If you’re the type that use your computer for email, word processing and casual web browsing then there is no use in upgrading to Vista. If you decide to upgrade anyways the only noticable benefits are the flashy new GUI.
Power users fall into the same category, but the only thing that might hinder them is software compatibility. Currently, some software companies are pushing out Vista patches and updates. Smaller software company seems to have a difficult time catching up. So before you upgrade make sure your application is 100% compatible with Vista.
Vista is touted for its security. It’s the most secure Windows ever released. I hope so. Too bad the security isn’t transparent which is why many of the software applications are not compatible. My biggest gripe is the User Account Control (UAC). When enabled an annoying pop-up window opens everytime you adjust a setting. Some applications require you to turn it off before installing. And everytime you turn it off or on it requires a system reboot. I immediately turn the UAC off after I installed the OS. Ironically, the User Account Control is where all that awesome security is based. So you have to choose between being annoyed or having a more secured OS.
Vista Media Center
One of my biggest reason for installing Vista was to use its Media Center. The visuals and graphics of the Media Center looks great, but functionality-wise it’s a piece of shit. The previous version, MCE 2005 is so much better in terms of ease of use and compatibility. The way the media is organized in Vista is horrendous. Grouping pictures, music, and videos into one area is NOT an efficient way of organizing. And even more idiotic aspect of Vista is that it doesn’t support third party video codecs. The most advance OS doesn’t even support the industry standard video codec, H.264 (AVC). This is what happens when a company like Microsoft tries to shove and force the use of their own codec down consumers’ throats, they get a crappy product that is ‘broken by design’.
I’ve tried several versions of Vista well before it’s retail release. Each release got better and better, but unfortunately its retail release is somewhat feels a bit incomplete. I have installed Vista Ultimate on my work laptop and my desktop computer and it looks like I will be switching back to XP soon.
My suggestion, save your money and buy something that actually works.