What Are Your Reasons for Upgrading to Vista?

I’ve been running Vista on my work laptop and home workstation for a few months now and the experience has been substantially better since SP1 was released, although doesn’t it deserve a better product page than this confusing page.  For a minute I thought Microsoft was selling laptops!

The upgrade to Vista from XP was painful. In fact, Microsoft should be ashamed for suggesting customers should attempt to upgrade XP machines to Vista. From my experience, the only way to install Vista is to do a fresh install which, for most people, means wiping the XP installation. Because I’m moving more of my work online (Blog, Gmail, Flickr, etc) I have fewer programs to reinstall and fewer files to backup.

So if you’re considering upgrading to Vista, here’s my take on why it’s been worthwhile:

SEARCH. SEARCH. SEARCH.

Vista’s best feature is the massively improved SEARCH. I can’t overstate how well it works. I use it dozens of times each day and it never fails me. XP search is so terrible that I installed Google Desktop which was an improvement, but is nowhere near as slick as Vista search. The best thing I can say about Vista search is that it just works. Windows users who have trouble organizing documents will find this a Godsend because every file is now only a few clicks away.

And that’s it. That’s the only substantial reason to upgrade to Vista. But search is such a helpful and oft used feature that it makes the upgrade worthwhile. Oh sure, there are other, less significant reasons to upgrade such as:

  1. Aero Interface – Vista is better looking than XP if that matters to you. It mattered to me for about 2 days.
  2. Photo and Music – If I drag a picture or mp3 to the desktop, Vista displays a thumbnail of the picture or album.
  3. Windows Update – I don’t know why but it works better on Vista and I don’t have to launch IE to run it.
  4. More Backup Options – If you’re running higher end versions of Vista (Enterprise, Ultimate) Vista offers a slick computer or file backup. Microsoft should stop the absurdity and put this feature into every version of Windows.

A word of warning: Vista demands newer hardware and runs best on when paired with a fast CPU like an Intel Core Duo or Quad. And even then, don’t expect much more than a small performance increase if any compared to XP. But Vista is stable doesn’t get in the way of things once you turn UAC off.

A few of my friends are going to be shocked, but I have to admit that Vista is growing on me each day. I wish it I could rip out all the features I never use (Movie Maker, Paint, Sound Recorder, Wordpad, etc) and only install a bare bones Vista. But overall, it’s a welcome upgrade to XP.

Plus, it runs Firefox just fine.

Why did you upgrade to Vista? Or are you going to wait for Windows 7 or move to the Mac?

7 thoughts on “What Are Your Reasons for Upgrading to Vista?

  1. I have grown to like Vista a lot … but sometimes I hate the computer! My new one just had a hard drive crash and I’m back to the old one temporarily. I have the worst luck with machines sometimes!

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  2. shocked? just happy you joined the modern age. no one likes change and many are resistant to it, but I promise that AC/DC album you are secretly listening too sounds better on CD than Tape…

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  3. Lamar, given that it’s AC/DC wouldn’t it sound ever better on vinyl?
    Would that be the equivalent of running DOS?

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  4. How about, What are your reasons for going back to XP? I was given a laptop that came with Vista and the new desktop my wife got for Christmas runs Vista, but my Dell desktop has been running XP Media Center Edition and I can’t recall the last time I got a blue screen. The Aero interface is actually one of the things I didn’t like about Vista and I turned those features off as all they do is cause my video card & other resources to be eaten up by eye candy vs. something useful. I’m leaning towards the next step being a Mac at some point down the road.

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  5. Doug, I agree about XP. If you’re happy with XP there’s probably no reason to shell out the cash for Vista. But if you can get it with a new machine (or from the company store) it’s not bad. A year has made a big difference and I enjoy Vista search a lot.

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  6. I went with Vista Ultimate because I could not find my XP Restore DVD for my HP z545 Media Center PC… AND because I have read that the Media Center app is better on Vista. And so far it is cept for a few things I miss from XP’s MC. A lot more clicks to exit out and the TV stuff is not centralized.

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