| By Ian “Gizmo” Richards |
Every day, people ask me whether they should order their new PCs with Windows XP or Vista, while others wonder whether they should hold off for Windows 7.
And there are those who are already running Vista and want to know what they can do to overcome its problems.
Making sense of the big Vista muddle
I don’t blame people for being confused over Vista. Before it was released, Microsoft hyped Vista, just as the company is currently playing up Vista’s successor, Windows 7. When Vista was finally introduced, the press and public reception was generally terrible. Then the Microsoft PR machine chipped in, trying to convince users that Vista was actually the answer to their prayers.
This led to another round of criticism from the press and users. Then the whole cycle was repeated again with the release of Vista Service Pack 1. Finally, Microsoft has totally confused things by switching the focus from Vista to Windows 7, a product that might not even appear until 2010.
At the moment, getting an accurate take on Vista is like trying to form a political opinion by listening to a room full of die-hard Democrats and rabid Republicans. You won’t end up with a balanced opinion, but you sure will be totally confused.
Taking a second close look at Vista
I’ve been as uncertain about Vista as anybody, but last September I had an opportunity to cut through the Gordian knot and clarify the situation for myself.
At that time, I was replacing my aging IBM T42 laptop with the latest IBM T500 model. The T500’s standard configuration ships with Vista Home Premium. Normally, I would have requested a downgrade to Windows XP, but I decided instead to try an experiment.