A Review of Microsoft Windows Vista

By: Marko Hammond

The release of Windows Vista has not been greeted with the earth shattering yells of welcome as everyone thought it would be. On the contrary, there has been a lot of grumbling and complaining. Although we cannot deny that Vista truly has its merits, it also has its downsides and inconveniences. What happened?

Microsoft actually took five years to get the Vista act together. After years of long waiting, people's expectations either faded or grew in proportion. You would expect some fireworks If you had to wait that long, right? For some users however, especially the XP users, it was a long wait that culminated in disappointment. It is true that Vista has a new and cool user interface and a bunch of other new features. Even non-experts would agree though that Vista looks painfully like XP in a new dress. It may not be completely fair to say this but some people do say that Vista is no better than if XP got a product upgrade.

What people are tying to say is that XP has not outlived its usefulness. In those five years that people waited for Vista, XP has answered most user needs to a T. Windows XP has gained its popularity because it has proven stable and capable through the years. It may have had its bugs but it was a system that everyone was comfortable using. It's not like a question of moving from Windows 98 to Vista, in which case, people would be fools not to. Moving from XP to Vista however is just like moving from your house to another one just across the street. People want to know if Vista can answer some brand new need that XP cannot.

We all know of course, that every new edition must have something new to offer. Microsoft would not unleash something on the market if it were to become a projected flop. Users then can expect some changes and improvements. On the aspect of security for example people can expect better software performance through its user account control, full disk encryption, anti-spyware and parental controls.

Other developments include better wireless networking capabilities and a new integrated system-wide instant search. Multi media enthusiasts would also welcome the improved Media Player, the new Photo Gallery and the Media Center and DVD Maker. Included in Vista's bragging rights is the new user interface which features Aero. Who wouldn't want to have that futuristic translucent look, those 3D flip effects and those live thumbnails and icons? The Vista user interface is both pleasing to look at and smooth to use. Then again, some people simply feel that this is just a load of frills. People want to see more useful features.

Another concern about Vista is the hardware requirements. Yes, it is true that Vista requires just a minimum of 512 MB of RAM, and 800 MHz processor and a good graphics card. These are the basic hardware specifications needed for the most basic functions of Vista to run. In reality though, you may really need one hell of a unit especially if you want to run higher editions of Vista adequately. You may realize for example that your unit may just not be able to cope with the memory demands of the software. You may run just a few programs and find out that you have no memory left.

To be fair with Vista, it is something that many users will still look forward to using. It is perhaps simply a matter of choice. The time will come when XP will eventually outlive its usefulness. Perhaps while waiting for that perfect operating system to come along, Vista will be a good system to stick with.

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