Microsoft's new operating system, Windows Vista, goes on sale on 30 January in more than 70 countries around the world.
Bloggers are already dissecting Windows Vista
Bloggers are responding to the upgrade process, new features, and some problems with the new operating system.
Will upgrading to Microsoft's latest operating system - with all the flashy, resource intensive features and user interface - bring a computer to its knees?
Techgage reports that new features don't always come at the price of performance:
Should you stick with XP to save on performance? Hardly... there was not much of a difference between XP and Vista overall, I'm actually quite impressed.
Microsoft has a Vista "Upgrade Advisor" utility to tell users whether or not their current hardware and software is compatible with the new operating system.
The Register ponders the ease of upgrading after the utility identified "mainstream" devices and programs on their top-tier system as incompatible:
I know that my system has all the raw resources needed to run the Aero desktop easily under heavy multitasking... after running the Advisor utility, I'm a good deal less confident that Vista will handle my hardware. I was also warned that some of my software might not be compatible. There was nothing on the list that would concern me personally or interfere with my forthcoming reviews, but I was quite surprised to find Windows Messenger included.
Though Windows Vista starts shipping on new PCs 30 from January, 2007, consumers will be able to buy a boxed copy and upgrade an older computer as well.
Tom's Hardware Guide asks, why upgrade?
For old Windows hands, the improved security should be the strongest reason to switch, but it is the overall experience that makes Windows Vista so smooth. It installs quickly, it can easily be customized, it connects to other devices and networks much better, and finally, it just 'feels good.'
'BILLY G's' AUTOGRAPH
Though many would contend that Bill Gates is nowhere near as cool as Bono, that hasn't stopped him from selling an autographed version of Windows Vista in the US. And for a premium price as well.
Best Buy has autographed versions of Billy G's Limited Edition Vista Ultimate editions for $259; advertised in your local flyer for Vista's launch on Tuesday. It's only the upgrade edition (darn), and you're paying $10 over the regular price.
A DISASTER RECOVERY DISASTER?
Unlike prior versions, Vista upgrade discs will not work unless an old version of Windows is already installed on the computer. Prior generations of Windows upgrades checked users' old installation discs, but did not require an install of the prior version.
Ars Technica says this will complicate disaster recovery:
For its part, Microsoft seems to be confident that the Vista repair process should be sufficient to solve any problems with the OS, since otherwise the only option for disaster recovery in the absence of backups would be to wipe a machine, install XP, and then upgrade to Vista. This will certainly make disaster recovery a more irritating experience.
SEARCH YOUR STACKS
One of the key features built into Windows Vista is a system-wide search tool that lets you save searches in "stacks." Unlike their real-world counterparts, these stacks organize themselves based on many different criteria.
CNET's Crave blog likes "stacks":
You can select how you want to create your stack (or search). For example, if you have thousands of digital images, you can choose to display only those with a certain ISO setting, lens model, camera model - or if it's a song, you can use bit rate, beats-per-minute and so on. Each stack can be saved so you can access it later - a nice touch.
Some of Windows Vista's most touted features are security related. After Windows XP suffered from a string of attacks, Microsoft has locked down Vista from the outset.
The Inquirer reports on an anti-virus vendor who feels overly constrained by the new security features:
Microsoft, "has made it impossible for security solution vendors to implement certain functionality within their products. As a result, it's currently not possible to use the full range of effective tools developed by antivirus vendors in the security area." The conclusion is that Vista is "undoubtedly more secure than previous operating systems from Microsoft". And, a system which is configured in such a way that "everything is blocked except for access to designated sites could be regarded as being absolutely secure." But that leaves the user constrained.