Well, I have finally done it. I have upgraded (or downgraded depending on your perspective) to Microsoft Vista. I have avoided Microsoft’s newest operating system like the proverbial plague for almost two years now. This is the longest I have gone without having the latest and greatest ( again – perspective here!) Microsoft has to offer.

Why the wait? Well I heard all of the bad press, and of course I heard form a guy who had a friend who knew somebody,yadda,yadda, yadda… who had their system totally fried by Vista. Then of course there are the ads by Mac. You know where the chubby, conservative looking guy in the suit represents PC, and the hip looking guy in the blue jeans and the t-shirt represents Mac. PC guy is always bitching about how screwed up  Vista is, and always comes off a envious of Mac. The ads are knid of cute, but it’s obvious that the message is switch to Mac if you want to be cool, and hip!

At any rate the reason I have taken the plunge into Vista is that I needed to upgrade my computer. I have been using Windows XP for several years, and Windows just released Service Pack 3. Talk about horror stories… SO here I was, stuck between a rock and a hard place.

So  to gain a 12% discount on a new system I got a system from Dell. (Dell has an arrangement with Kaplan University) I was able to put together the system I wanted ( pretty much) I got a Dual core processor, maxed out the memory at 4 gigs, got a 320 gig hard drive, and and ATI Radeon video card with 256 megs of video memory. One of my biggest bottlenecks had been video memory previously, so I figured to get the best I could get with what I could afford at the time.

Now I am learning Vista. Thus far I have not found any major problems. I had recently read an article about Vista bashing. Many of the people who went to Vista immediately when it was released, and then started complaining about the OS, had upgraded directly on top of their XP machines. Not only that, bu a lot of manufacturers wanting to jump on the Vista bandwagon rush-installed Vista on machines they already had in production. Therein lies the problem. Many of these systems did not have the processors, memory, and video to run Vista. True it is a lot more memory intense, however, if you have the proper system the features Vista offers are well worth the upgrade.

While I have only had this system for a couple of weeks, thus far, I am happy with it. I realize that with every new operating system there are bound to be some bugs. I was fortunate in that I waited long enough that my system had Service Pack 1 installed. It’s possible that in the weeks and months to come, I may find some things about Vista that I don’t like. I will let you know how it goes. My advice, if your XP machine does what you want, don’t upgrade unless you have no choice. Of course, Microsoft is no longer going to be supporting XP much longer. If you do decide to go with Vista, look at what you need your system to do. If you just need a system to write reports on and do some minor web surfing – Get Vista Home Basic. It is cheaper, and will do what you want it do do, and then some. On the other hand if you want a system to play the latest and greatest games with fantastic in your face graphics, then get Windows Home Premium. It’s more expensive, but you will find that it is worth it.

(I don’t use my system for business so I cannot comment on the Business versions of Vista.)