Microsoft’s long awaited release of Windows Vista is set to debut at the end of this month for businesses, and in early 2007 for standard consumers. With so many views on the pros and cons of Vista, its hard to really get a grasp on if users should upgrade from their current operating system to the new Vista. It is my strong opinion that users should NOT upgrade at least until the new operating system has had time to live in the real world, under the hands of ordinary users. Let us take some time to find out if Microsoft’s senior vice president Bob Muglia was correct when he boasted that Vista is the most secure operating system on the market. After all, we wouldn’t want to empty our pockets and have it turn out to be like Windows ME. With that said, I have put together a list of opinionated reasons NOT to upgrade to Windows Vista.
Microsoft has been known for price gouging in the past, but the release of Vista takes the term to a whole new level. A copy of Microsoft Vista Ultimate is going to cost almost fifty percent more than a copy of Microsoft XP Pro. If thats not price gouging I don’t know what is! James Gaskin put it best when he said:
- Unknown Security Issues
If you do plan on upgrading to Vista, I would recommend at least waiting a few months to allow it to mature in the real world. Nobody knows how many bugs and security flaws may exist until it’s tested. I hope Microsoft is right when they say this is the most secure version of Windows they have ever released.
- High-End Specifications
Sure, Vista will run on your older computer. But why spend so much money on an operating system only to find out that you can’t run it up to its full potential because your hardware wasn’t made in 2006. You shouldn’t have to upgrade your entire system just to get your moneys worth.
- Pop ups galore!
When I demoed one of the Vista release candidate’s, there were pop up messages left and right. In fact, I recall it taking me at least four clicks just to empty my recycle bin! This is one of the major annoyances that users are going to complain about until they die. Vista’s new User Account Protection (UAP) enhancement has totally failed in my eyes, as well as others. I think Paul Thurrott put it best: The bad news, then, is that UAP is a sad, sad joke. It’s the most annoying feature that Microsoft has ever added to any software product, and yes, that includes that ridiculous Clippy character from older Office versions. The problem with UAP is that it throws up an unbelievable number of warning dialogs for even the simplest of tasks. That these dialogs pop up repeatedly for the same action would be comical if it weren’t so amazingly frustrating. It would be hilarious if it weren’t going to affect hundreds of millions of people in a few short months. It is, in fact, almost criminal in its insidiousness.Read more on UAP by Paul Thurrott here.
- If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
If you truly think about the reasons for upgrading operating system to the latest and greatest version, what are they? I could sum them up in about three points:
- Security enhancements
- Feature enhancements
- Application additions and enhancements
Now, with the right precautions and protocols in place, your Windows XP machine can be just as secure as any other computer on the net. You don’t need annoying User Account Protection pop up boxes notifying you that you are about to empty your recycle bin. It’s always been my stance that a machine is as secure as the administrator allows it to be. Further, do you really need to spend a ton of money just to enhance the look of your desktop? Why not check out a desktop enhancement engine such as WinCustomize if thats your concern. Besides, all the enhancements I’ve seen from Vista are Microsoft’s way of playing catchup with Mac OSX and Linux window managers.
… I estimate each Vista user will cost your company between $3,250 and $5,000. That’s each and every Vista user… New PCs will cost $1,500-$2,000. Darn few existing corporate PCs will have the video horsepower needed to run Aero, Vista’s primary upgrade inducement. You need 256MB of video RAM to run Aero properly, no matter what Microsoft’s marketing says. I don’t know of any motherboard-based video chip sets that include 256MB of RAM. Upgrade? While in the PC, add memory: Vista needs a minimum of 1GB of RAM. The hardware cost of the RAM may be less than your labor costs getting that installed in every PC. If your existing PCs can take full advantage of Vista, I’m happy for you. I don’t believe you, but I hope your upgrade goes well.
Read more of James Gaskin’s commentary here
Finally, when it comes down to it, upgrading to Vista is up to you and how much you are willing to dish out and put up with from the Microsoft monopoly. Personally, I’m a happy open source user who easily finds alternatives to everything I need and love to use on the desktop. With the higher costs averages, unknown potential security risks, and high end specifications, I’m baffled at businesses that are actually planning on upgrading to Vista at the end of this month. I wish those IT managers luck.