The Good Windows Vista Ultimate does improve some features within Windows XP; fewer system crashes than Windows XP; Windows Vista offers better built-in support options.
The Bad Windows Vista Ultimate does not put Search on the desktop (it's buried within applications, within the Start Menu); optimized only for the Microsoft Windows ecosystem (for example, RSS feeds from Internet Explorer 7 get preferential treatment); there's simply too much and not all of it is implemented properly; no new software yet written exclusively for Windows Vista; and there are too many editions of Windows Vista.
The Bottom Line Windows Vista is essentially warmed-over Windows XP. If you're currently happy with Windows XP SP2, we see no compelling reason to upgrade. On the other hand, if you need a new computer right now, Windows Vista is stable enough for everyday use.
Windows Vista Ultimate
Windows Vista Ultimate edition
Windows Vista is Microsoft's first new operating system in more than five years and the successor to Windows XP. However, it is not worth rushing out to purchase. If you desperately need to buy a new PC (if your old one died or you've been waiting and waiting for Vista to be released), then by all means do so; there's nothing wrong with Windows Vista. But there's no one compelling feature within Windows Vista that cries out to switch over, neither the enhanced graphic capabilities (Aero) nor the improved system performance features (truthfully, our Windows XP doesn't crash). As for security, Microsoft's biggest improvements in Windows Vista are within the Enterprise or 64-bit editions, editions most home users will not be running. Windows Vista is not the Apple Mac OS X 10.4 killer one hoped for (or feared). Nor are there specific big-name software packages written exclusively for Windows Vista--most software available today is compatible with both Windows XP and Windows Vista. But the extensive tie-ins to Microsoft.com and Live.com, and the many, many interdependences upon Internet Explorer 7 left us desperately wanting more (and often best-of-breed) alternatives. Hard core Microsofties who live and breathe within the MSN, Live.com, and Microsoft desktop software ecosystem will rejoice with the release of Windows Vista, but for the rest of us who are product agnostic, who use Firefox, Google Desktop, ZoneAlarm, GMail, and Corel WordPerfect, Windows XP SP2 will suffice nicely until some killer program necessitates that we all upgrade to Windows Vista.
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