Wired News says “You Don’t Need Vista Now” (print version) with an explanation of why you don’t need to pay for the next operating system version of Microsoft Windows.
Vista’s power consumption superlatives aside, I would not recommend going out and buying Vista off the shelf or pre-installed on a PC when it becomes available. Users will likely suffer many headaches with missing peripheral drivers and a lack of backward compatibility with legacy software, and those headaches will not make Vista worth its hefty price tag.
If possible, wait a year or more after Vista’s launch to invest in the operating system. At least by then, numerous updates, hardware drivers and service packs will likely have been released.
As with all operating system upgrades, Wired reports that it’s biggest problems came from not having updated drivers for all the system peripherals, which can kill your printer, web cams, digital cameras, sound system, game equipment, and more. It’s a shame that operating systems can’t come with allowances for older equipment, after all, the older they are the simpler the drivers should be, right?
The article, though, isn’t clear on exactly why you should wait, other than it’s always a good idea. I like to let them work out all the bugs and upgrade with all the patches before unleashing them on my busy work schedule and computer.
Vista scans your computer with what is called the “Windows Experience Index” in order to evaluate your computer system and set the operating system to “match” your system and its needs. A highly graphic and RAM-stuffed system will be required to use Vista as well as take advantage of it’s “highly graphic user interface”.
Security is one of the biggest bonuses Microsoft promotes with Vista, which is not a single fix. Even if they plug all the holes, there are evil doers out there with a microscope looking for more holes to tear open. Though, I have to admit the new Vista security system for installing software looks good. You can set up your system to require a key or password before anything can be installed on your computer, which might stop malware and spyware from installing when you aren’t paying attention.
An interesting twist to the security issues in the Wired article covers parental controls.
One flaw I found is that the website-blocking feature is not worth much in a multilingual home or office setting. Good ol’ American porn sites were blocked, but I had carte blanche access to the raunchiest of raunchy French and Spanish sites. I was also able to use Google to search for vulgarities in those languages.
I found this particularly aggravating since I live and work in France. Microsoft is able to detect my France-based IP address, and I know this because it imposes French-language web pages on me when I try to access its help sites. If Microsoft can figure out how to switch over to a French site based on my IP address, why can’t it make its website-blocking feature multilingual?
From those I have talked to who have used Vista in pre-evaluation versions, they say it is close to Mac’s latest. Have you tried it? What do you think?
And if you have, would you say it was worth it to buy and install Windows Vista, or do you agree with Wired? Should we wait?
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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network