Service pack unlikely to make Vista more desirable
With the much anticipated release of Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Vista scheduled for later this month, many folks are wondering if it's time to finally take the leap. After all, most IT folks recommend holding off implementing any major software package until the first service pack is released.
Typically, a service pack (sometimes described by other vendors as a "refresh" or an "update") is a collection of bug fixes and additional features that improve upon the original version of software.
With Vista, though, SP1 might not be enough to sway the masses. Relatively few folks have adopted Vista. Pretty much the only folks who run Vista today are uber-geeks and folks who bought PCs with Vista already loaded.
For the most part, the average Joe doesn't see much benefit in the new features of Vista as compared to XP.
As a double whammy, the most visible feature in Vista is a pain in the butt for most users. In the name of security, every time a program is run that Vista doesn't recognize, it asks for your permission first. Sounds like a great idea, but the run-of-the-mill user will always give permission, especially because Vista doesn't ask the question in English. Rather, it tells you, "A program needs your permission to continue" and then names the program, which is often something like "asdfzxcv.exe." If you say "no" then the computer won't do what you want it to, so users get conditioned to saying "yes."
Of course, there is a way to disable this, but Microsoft does not recommend it.
Another downside to Vista is speed. Simply put, if you upgrade your XP-based computer to Vista, it will be slower. More RAM might help, but only marginally.
An important question to ask before considering upgrading to Vista is whether or not your existing hardware supports it. Microsoft provides a tool, Windows Adviser, which can be downloaded at go.microsoft.com.
A similar tool, Windows Experience Index, is built into Vista and tells you how well your PC stacks up. It provides a base score, the higher the better.
This is important because one of the coolest features of Vista is the Aero interface. Aero provides an innovative view of the desktop that is really efficient, especially for those of us who like to work in multiple windows. Aero requires a Windows Experience Index base score of at least 3.0.
Without Aero, the value of a Vista upgrade is negligible. If your hardware can't handle it, then you should really examine what it would cost to get there, because there's no real pressing need to upgrade at this time.
If you're buying a new PC with Vista already installed and it is running Aero, then you should be fine.
John Agsalud is president of ISDI Technologies Inc. Call him at 944-8742 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org