Some cool things about Vista

Recently, I made the upgrade to a new laptop running Vista Ultimate.  Some of you might remember that I tried this back in December last year on my old laptop, and it didn't work out so well.
This trip hasn't been without it's share of pain either, I'll admit, but there are a couple of cool things in Vista that are a pleasant upgrade from XP.

I should say that my wife has been running Vista Home Premium on a new desktop for a few months, and she quite likes it.  I don't think that there is any question that Vista is by far a prettier and sexier operating system than XP, which seemed more focussed on stability and functionality.

I'll give you the things I don't like about it first:

  • It's a memory pig.  512MB of RAM for the OS alone is crazy.  Especially when you can only put in 4GB in the 32bit version as a system max.  We had that same limit in XP, so what gives there?
  • Business programs still aren't ready for it, IMHO.  I have a Property Management System at work which, while claimed to work with Vista Business, caused me four bluescreens in 20 minutes.  I haven't seen four bluescreens in XP in the last two years, despite being pretty hard on my systems.
  • I find the UAC a little frustrating.  I get that we want to have users aware of what they are doing, but I've had encountered situations where I've had to clear at least four "Oh my god the world is going to end if you do this" prompts to change certain things on my system.  Once would have been enough.
  • The lack of option to trust a specific exe file so that I can run it without getting the UAC prompt every time would be nice.
  • I also find that the Windows Explorer window never seems to have quite the setup I'm looking for when browsing files.  It's either got too many folders listed, the wrong top level shortcut folders, or... I don't know.  I just have to seem to click more.

Things I do like:

  • ReadyBoost.  (The ability to stick in a USB stick to give the system a little more juice.)
  • Adding a new network printer is a snap!  In XP you had to tell it you had a local printer, set up a TCP/IP port, find your network printer, find drivers, etc...  In Vista you tell it you have a network printer and it comes back with a list of all of them.  For work, this was awesome as I could just pick from the list of 10 and I'm off to the races.  Now, to be fair, my printers all pre-date vista, so the drivers ship with it.  I'm not sure how easy this will be when we get a new printer on site.
  • Wizards for working with pictures are greatly improved.  Plug in the camera and it will download them.  You can even rate them, which is kind of neat, although I'll be fair and say I've never tried to go back and look for one that's been rated.
  • The sidebar would be kind of neat, but I'm never really looking at my desktop...
  • Speaking of the desktop, Windows Dreamscene (a Vista Ulimate add-on that allows you to play a movie as your desktop background) is kind of neat as well.  Only problem is that it seems to be pretty unstable and crashes Windows Explorer quite regularly.

I'm curious what other people's likes/dislikes are about this OS.  My recommendation, based on trying to get it hooked up at work with Novell and Citrix, is to stick with XP for now.  For home use though, it's not half bad.

One thought on “Some cool things about Vista

  1. I also was a XP user for my business, mostly using cisco vpn software. From day one with the XP/Cisco mix it was a nightmare. Dropped connections, failure of the vpn software to even load, refusal to connect, etc. I switched to vista, and the cisco vpn works flawlessly, and has not once dropped the connection.
    So dont be so quick to reject vista for business/work related applications....it all depends on what the software is that you are using.

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