Tom said:Your suggestion of "new PC = Vista, old PC stay with XP" makes a lot of sense.
Am very careful to do the IMHO thing here, Tom , because at this juncture many are doing what works for them, for whatever reason. And as Ron and Jerry mention from my post, I had no choice. I would probably not even have Vista installed now had it not been necessary for me.
When I tried installing Vista Home Basic over XP Home, I ran into what I would normally consider a "take it back to Fry's" problem. Vista does a thing up front that examines the machine to be upgraded to display all the items that will need to be fixed, with updated drivers or whatever. I had built that machine about a year of so prior and was pleased to get a message that it would be OK to upgrade without any problems so I proceeded.
Well, it did have problems -- and not only where they not correctly identified up front, the problems were not displayed during the upgrade. When Vista ran into a problem the screen would just go completely blank -- with no clue as to why. Each time this would happen I had to begin taking hardware items one at a time and update their drivers -- then proceed until the blank screen displayed again. Finally, the only thing left was the MB, which being relatively new was not a top priority in my list of possibilities. The "only" reason I doggedly continued was because I "had" to get it running as a developer. Even tho I had it running, I was still not sure how stable it would be and perhaps other driver problems might crop up - so that became the straw that broke the camels back of my decision to also buy a machine w/Vista already installed. And I for sure double checked the 30 day return policy at Fry's before proceeding.
I then beat the new Fujitsu to death -- and just could not make it fail. Also, the "upgraded" machine has never crashed or caused me a problem. So my opinion of Vista slowly changed to from warning folk to wait, to the formula you post, Tom. I am not seeing posts here of Vista machines crashing over and over the way Win98 did before SP2 -- or the first Versions of XP. It certainly hasn't for me. In fact, have never had a system crash in several months of continual usage.
By the same token, it isn't just a case of being OK with Vista because it works -- it is because at every turn, I like it better. One of the biggest problems reported is actually one of the best features. And that is the security thing that has raised the bar considerably. Any EXE that finds it's way into an XP computer will be executed when clicked by a user inadvertently at any level of privilege, or by some other SW while any user is logged on -- regardless of the nasties it might introduce. Way back when, DOS was designed to recognize an EXE or BAT extension as files that are to be "executed". So that is exactly what any version of XP will do - regardless of the potential danger that EXE poses. Vista will not do that -- unless one disables that feature. If it does not recognize it, it will bring it to the operators attention and "requires" a higher level of privilege to execute.
As I work with Vista little things I was not aware of keep popping up. Eg., another complaint folk have is how things are done differently so they do not have the time to re-learn. And that is OK and a valid reason hold off. However, I have generally found that if Vista does it differently than XP, it represents an improvement over how XP did it in terms of where it is located to how it is done. When I find something is not where I would find it in XP, I just click Help. Many things are done exactly the same so the learning curve has not been steep at all.
Here's one of "many" examples I could list. Outlook Express is now called Windows Mail in Vista. And that dumb idea of "Identities" is gone and has been replaced by a My Contacts file -- found where you would find My Pictures, My Documents, and so forth for each User. You can back it up or copy it to another computer just as you would My Favorites. You can send the whole file or a single contact to someone else just as you would pass a business card to others. Several years ago I purchased an OEM version of Outlook 2003. I have "never" been able to get it working in XP. In Vista it loaded and is now up and running perfectly.
I prefer Windows Explorer vs. My Computer for file management -- and that works so much better now. The Search feature does the thing where as you type in each character of the search string Vista moves ahead with the search based on each significant character. When you click a folder in the Left Pane, it only opens in the right pane -- not also in the left. In order to open on the left, it must be specifically opened. That really bugged me in XP.
So the new features and improvements over XP just go on and on. Visually, the Sidebar gives me the stuff I would normally have to have displayed in a Google or Yahoo "My" screen. Multiple tasks are displayed in a three dimensional array on he desktop vs. just in the task bar. And the icons in the task bar open when passed over by the mouse to small displays of the screen that was minimized. The graphic improvements just go on and on.
Anyway, it works for me. If I were not a developer and know what I know now, I would easily prefer Vista over XP. As a developer, things are now just the opposite in that I am forced to keep my XP desktop because of XP users of my SW -- and my older Toshiba is maxed out at 512mb of RAM so cannot be upgraded. Otherwise I would go all Vista . . .