Posted by: evtechie | August 20, 2008

What’s with Vista?

What’s Different with Windows Vista?

  • Navigating the computer is a whole new adventure. They got rid of the words “start” on your task menu, so you start with the windows blob that integrates all those annoying shuffling menus into one pane that scrolls –> a little bit to get used to, but rather clean.
  • My Documents has changed to the “User’s” complete folder: Documents, Pictures, Music, Cookies, Favorites & Downloads – all isolated for easy use
  • Added Security Features: integrated Windows Defender and MS Internet Explorer 7+ are set up to add extra security while surfing the internet.
  • New Look – Windows Aero™ which offers a new translucent look, flippable views, and some sweet new visuals.
  • Explorer (what you use to find stuff on your computer) now utilizes “bread-crumb trails” a system of links in a path. A lot of web sites use these to help you go back from whence you came. So, instead of navigating in and out of folders (which you still are doing) you instead move along paths.
  • Gadgets – light mini-applications: Vista’s way of being as appealing as Mac OSX Tiger – but it stays on the desktop as opposed to disappearing. Actually a feature I really like. I used one by Google, but it wasn’t as pretty. You can add your own gadgets, and customize most of them.
  • Mobility Features – All important laptop settings found in one place (sync for pda’s, phones, and other devices) Sync, Presentation, and Roaming features
  • New and improved Windows Backup & Restore features that allow you to manage your data and keep it backed up.

So the big question is – is it worth it to change over?  I think this really is dependant on each user and what they do with their computer, their skill level, and their interest in learning something new.

  • If you are a high-end user, you will likely already know that Vista offers a handful of head-aches, some of which were massaged a bit my a recent service pack (SP1 for Vista), but not enough to win us techies over.
  • If you are a basic surf-to-email kind of user, then Vista isn’t so bad, and visually a lot of fun. It takes some relearning to find what you were once familiar with, but that is why you have a Computer Angel!
  • IF you are using a lot of specific software for an industry that isn’t the standard, THEN I would warn you to be tentative in buying a machine with Vista. Vista can be temperamental with software not written for the platform. Even though Microsoft professes that it will play nice, it can be an investment that costs more than you may be willing to deal with.

Recently I purchased a new Laptop, and got it with the infamous Vista. Overall, I have enjoyed the interface, and I noted some improvement after the service pack. On the flip side, I have had all kinds of frustration of quirks in the software that “over-control” my environment, and other issues with our multi-platform home office [Intel Mac, Windows XP, Windows Vista, pda, and Playstation) on the network. I keep my old XP system handy, more as a security blanket and to keep me in touch with the skills needed the most (not everyone uses Vista, you know?). I don’t regret it though. I learn a lot when I have something new to play with.

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