Everything you need to know about Windows Vista

What are the benefits of Vista over XP?
Microsoft's reasons to upgrade.

Should I upgrade?
Maybe. One of the biggest to wait is that it is always best to wait until the first service pack that will fix the problems Microsoft didn't find or fix before release. This has happened with Vista with many of the performance problems have been fixed. Still, Vista requires more power than XP and unless you computer is newer, Vista may be too much for it. If you are a business, you should not upgrade because Vista may not be compatible with some hardware and devices you use, especially if it is older hardware. Another reason is the sheer cost of Vista. Retail copies range from $200 to $400. Not counting the extra time you have to spend re-learning the many things of Vista. Vista is not as easy to use as XP. And, in fact, some things are very difficult to do in Vista that were easy in XP. Also remember that Vista is always bugging you for sometimes trivial tasks which can get real old, real quick. Upgrading to Vista shouldn't be a last minute decision. For your Vista installation to work, you must install a fresh copy; major problems have occurred when upgrading XP to Vista. That means you must copy your documents, you must re-install all your old programs, and you must take time to do all this. Upgrading may or may not be right for you.

What are the disadvantages of Vista over XP?
Vista is, in fact, more secure than XP. But, it is not more secure at the core. Vista reduces the chance a person accidentally installs bad software like spyware by annoying you to death anytime something wants to make system changes. But, it does not eliminate it. Vista made an attempt to copy Linux and Unix security. In those operating system models, only a special user can install software, and you should only be logged in under that special user when you must make system changes and when you are done, log out. This way, installing bad software has virtually no chance of succeeding. Not so in Vista, instead you are annoyed to death, but anyone can still install it. And the special user that allows you make system changes without annoyances is very difficult to enable.

Vista is not based on Windows XP. Windows XP was basically Windows 2000 with a coat of paint. That meant that software and drivers that worked in Windows 2000 would work in Windows XP as well. Not so with Vista. Vista is based on Windows Server 2003. Thus, there is no guarantee that your old software will work on Vista, and old drivers definately will not.

Also, as had already been mentioned, Vista is very annoying and difficult to use at times. Vista takes several things that were once easy and simple and makes them so complex that you have to work for Microsoft to understand them. Make no mistake, despite what Microsoft says, Vista is harder to use.

What are the requirements of Vista?
If your computer runs fine with XP, chances are it will not with Vista. The requirements are much steeper. The minimum requirements are 800 MHz CPU, 512 MB of memory, a DVD drive, and a 20 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB free. However, you will hate Vista unless you use Techs-on-Call's recommended minimum. Our recommended minimum is a dual-core CPU, 1 GB (1024 MB) of memory, a DVD drive, and 100 GB hard drive. Our recommended requirements are a dual-core CPU, 2 GB of memory, a DVD drive, 100 GB hard drive, and an upgraded 3D graphics card. Even at the recommended minimum, your Vista computer is much slower than XP. Memory requirements are double in Vista as they are in XP.

I want to upgrade, which version is right for me?
On older computers, you always want the 32-bit version of Windows Vista. Unless your computer was made after February 2007, you should get the 32-bit version. If your computer has 3 GB or less of computer memory, than the 32-bit version is probably better. If your computer more than 3 GB of memory, then you must get the 64-bit version.

Now you need to know if Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, or Ultimate is right for you. Read this page and this page carefully as it explains all the key differences. If you are unfamiliar with anything in the article, just use Google to get an explanation. Or call us at 252-452-1874.

I don't have time to upgrade, how much do you charge to do it?
Now that Windows 7 has been released, Windows Vista licenses are no longer being created. You may be able to find one for sale. However, since all copies of Windows must be activated, you run the risk of purchasing an invalid license on-line. Techs-on-Call does not recommend you upgrade to Windows Vista. But if you are interested, please see our Windows upgrade pricing chart.