Windows Vista is the latest edition of the Windows operating system by Microsoft. It has some pros and cons just like any other Windows, and I will discuss some of these in detail. But first a brief history. Vista had a code name, “Longhorn,” was finished on November 8, 2006, and later released worldwide on January 30, 2007. It comes in three versions, including Home editions Basic and Premium, and corporate edition Ultimate. Bill Gates has previously put out 23 windows versions, such as popular Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and plans on putting out Windows 7, codenamed Blackcomb (then Vienna), in 2010. Vista’s release was pushed back numerous times over three years as Windows XP was given many security updates and improvements. Which is also why XP has retained much popularity, perhaps.

Fewer than one in 10 developers are writing applications for Microsoft's Vista operating system, according to new statistics from analyst house Evans Data. Security may be the root factor, as its importance has increased in the past couple of years. (CRN)

Slow Adoption/Reception
The intended business OS purchase rate from the Q2, 2008, is roughly 18% Vista, 55% XP, 8% Leopard, with Corporate satisfaction heavily favoring Leopard over Vista. “Within its first month, 20 million copies of Vista were sold, double the amount of Windows XP sales within its first month in October 2001, five years earlier. However, PC World reports that adoption of Windows Vista is going at a much slower rate compared to the adoption of Windows XP. Within the first year of its release, the percentage of Windows XP users visiting PC World's website reached 36%; in the same time frame, however, Windows Vista adoption reached only 14%, with 71% of users still running XP. Due to Vista's relatively low adoption rates and continued demand for Windows XP, Microsoft is allowing continued sales of Windows XP and has extended XP's support lifecycle to April 8, 2014.” (Wiki)

    The Pros
  • The Search Feature. Instantaneous searching of your entire computer for any sort of file. This is the greatest benefit to someone who has hundreds of documents, as you can search by a key phrase or title.
  • Updated Graphical Interface, called Windows Aero as well as Windows Shell.
  • Multimedia creation tools within the interface, Windows DVD Maker, and Roxio products.
  • Better networking and computer-to-computer communication. Peer-to-peer technology has been included.
  • Vista gadgets is probably worth a mention, Google has a vested interest with their own Google gadgets.
  • Backup and Restore capacity.
  • In summary, it just looks better, feels smoother, and is more techy than any previous system
”Vista includes technologies such as ReadyBoost and ReadyDrive which employ fast flash memory (located on USB drives and hybrid hard disk drives) to improve system performance by caching commonly used programs and data. This manifests itself in improved battery life on notebook computers as well, since a hybrid drive can be spun down when not in use. Another new technology called SuperFetch utilizes machine learning techniques to analyze usage patterns to allow Windows Vista to make intelligent decisions about what content should be present in system memory at any given time.” (Wiki)
    The Cons
  • Bugs, bugs, and more bugs. This is no new complaint, however, as every Microsoft product is targeted by hackers nonstop.
  • High system requirements. If you don’t have 2 gigs of ram, don’t bother getting Vista. It requires about .7 gigs of ram just to run itself, and you need some play room, yeah?
  • Lack of compatibility, and more Microsoft monopoly type of ploys, making their digital rights management targeted criticism
  • User Account Control. Although easily disabled, for those who do not find Vista user friendly, this can be the most annoying problem they face. Anytime you install something new, you get prompted, even when running certain programs. It generally doesn’t seem to add much protection, as an auto run script virus I had even bypassed this, but ESET NOD32 Antivirus picked it up for me.
  • If you search Windows Vista news, a large majority of it is negative press.

Service Pack 1 was released on February 4, 2008, which improved performance and support for new hardware and software standards. It also allows for third party desktop searching, improved wireless networking, and an update to DirectX 10.1. We will likely see a Service Pack 2 forthcoming.

I suggest checking out for additional goodies, gadgets, toolbars, and backgrounds.