I’ve come to the conclusion that upgrading to Windows Vista would be a horrible decision; allow me to explain why.
Cost: The main reason behind doing or not doing most things with PCs is cost. An upgrade to Windows Vista Ultimate will set you back $200 or more dollars. But that’s just the start! Chances are the hardware that runs at speed or soars with Windows XP will run dreadfully slow with Windows Vista. So not only are you looking at the cost of the operating system but you need cutting edge technology to run that operating system. Why in the world would you want to buy new hardware for your operating system? I could understand an application or series of applications (for video editing as an example) pushing you to buy new hardware but not the operating system. The only reason I see in upgrading now would be to learn the new OS and be on the cutting edge.
Too Early: There are already plans for a service pack for Windows Vista. Microsoft has not learned their lesson in regards to beta testing their operating system before its release. Those installing Windows Vista at the moment are the Microsoft beta testers. No thanks I’ll wait.
Windows XP: Windows XP is the perfect reason not to upgrade to Windows Vista. There is nothing wrong with tried and true installs of Windows XP. The laptop I’m using to write this article with is a Windows XP Media Center and the default Windows install from the manufacturer is what is running on this laptop right now. Sure, I tweaked settings, improved security, and personalized it but it’s running just fine. When you throw in the fact that Microsoft will support Windows XP until 2014 (probably longer) there is no sense in upgrading to a beta operating system. By 2014 will have purchased a PC with Windows Vista pre-loaded.
Mac and Linux: Of course, the competition is a great reason not to upgrade. You can nab OS X from Apple on a Mac and get all that Windows Vista 3D GUI magic pretty cheap. Oh, and OS X has been around for years (not days). However, Linux is starting to look like an even better reason to not upgrade to Windows Vista. Get an Ubuntu install running with Crossover Office and I’d be willing to bet money you’ll never look back.
In a nutshell, it’s not smart to upgrade to Windows Vista, at this time. The day may come when you actually force yourself to upgrade but running out and upgrading to the latest and greatest operating system isn’t going to do anything but give you headaches. Hold off for now folks, your next PC will be running Vista anyways. Besides, hardware needs to catch up with the software.