Approach Vista™ with Care

Ever walked up to the edge of a cliff to see the grand vista and been warned to stay away from the edge? That warning could also be applied to the new Microsoft Vista™ operating system. If you haven't yet heard about it, Vista is Microsoft's replacement for Windows XP. After five years in development Microsoft promises that Vista is more secure, friendlier, easier to use, and more entertaining than ever. After installing Vista and fixing PCs that came with Vista, all I can say is, "stay away from the edge!", the vista isn't as grand as you were told. Here are three points to ponder.

  1. There are Five versions of Vista to choose from! Which one are you getting and is it the one you need? There is Home Basic, Home Premium, Vista Ultimate, Vista Business, and Vista Enterprise. You can divide these into three groups. Vista Basic is for older PCs that don't have the horsepower and hardware to run all the fancy new graphics that the rest sport. Vista Business and Enterprise are for the business folks who don't need "entertainment" features such as photo editing and Media Center™. That leaves Vista Premium and Ultimate. These versions add the pretty new look and multi-media "entertainment" features that you have seen advertised.
  2. Can your PC handle Vista? This is a very difficult question given the many makes and versions of PCs in homes today. Add to that the five versions of Vista and you see the problem. If your PC was built before 2007 and is a typical floor model the answer is probably "not well". If you just have to have it then Vista Basic is for you since it places the least demands on the hardware. That is because it comes with out just about everything that is new in Vista! All the other versions of Vista require at least 1 gigabyte (GB) of RAM, (some say 2GB!), a dedicated video card with at least 128MB of video RAM, and advanced graphics software installed!
  3. Will your other equipment work after installing Vista? Manufacturers seem to have been caught unprepared for Vista. Many folks have found that after installing Vista their favorite printer, digital camera, scanner, or other peripherals don't work! That is because they need a new Vista "driver" and the manufacturer has not yet written one for older equipment.

Quick Tip-Bit: Stick with Windows XP for now until Microsoft has had time to fix most of the bugs. I am waiting for something like Service Pack 1 (SP1). This will also give manufacturers time to write good Vista drivers for their products. If you have any questions please call Dean Hancy.

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