So, I switched to Windows Vista back in November 2007. I am running it on a Dell Inspiron 1501 with 2 GB of Ram and a 1.8 GHZ AMD Athlon 64 X2 TK-55 Dual Core Processor. Aside from a video display problem when coming out of Sleep Mode, which was fixed with a driver upgrade from the video chip manufacturer, the conversion has been uneventful.
I officially declare Vista safe for most users. If you are running older version of software that is important to your business, you really need to confirm compatibility with your vendor, and spring for the upgrade if necessary, but for the most part it works fine. Service Pack 1 is out in what is called a Release Candidate, which is the last step before public release. SP1 will fix the various bugs and issues that still exist, and should help stabilize the product. But as I said, I have not run into many issues in my own use.
What is an improvement? Microsoft has really made setting up a network, connecting to a wireless network, and sharing files and printers across a network much easier. Setting up peer-to-peer networking in Windows XP after Service Pack 2 required changing settings in the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) or hacking the registry in many cases. Vista is much better at setting up networks.
The visuals are nice, I like the Sidebar, the application thumbnails, and the Rolodex-like Windows Switcher tool. I also think the Snipping Tool is pretty cool and long overdue. Now my Vista clients can capture an actual "snip" or picture of that error message and email it to me!! Seriously, it could have many uses for the average computer user.
And did I mention Microsoft is dropping the price for the upgrade versions? This article clip is from "Good Morning Silicon Valley":
"Late Thursday, Microsoft announced it was cutting the retail prices on the upgrade versions of Vista Home Premium and Ultimate editions (the Basic price holds steady). The Premium edition drops from $159 to $129, and Ultimate goes from $299 down to $219. What does not change are the prices Microsoft charges computer makers (another captive audience), so most consumers won’t see any benefit. All of which left analysts a little baffled, both at the markdown itself ("I can’t remember a big price cut like this," said Chris Swenson of the NPD Group. "It’s very unheard of.") and its focus on upgraders ("It’s sort of an odd move," said Gartner’s Michael Silver). "
So feel free to take the plunge.