The Day has finally arrived: today, after five years of development, Microsoft launches Windows Vista. On one side, Vista has received quite positive feedback and has been regarded as a reliable and stable OS. On the other side, Vista has been criticized for its high hardware requirements and for not offering really new exciting core features. According to Robert Vamosi, from Cnet,
"Vista is essentially warmed-over Windows XP. If you're currently happy with Windows XP SP2, we see no compelling reason to upgrade".
However, here at Softonic we’re all software geeks so I couldn't resist the lure of a shiny new OS. Though lacking any pressing reason to do so, I upgraded. I installed Windows Vista Ultimate about a week ago and so far I’m quite satisfied with the results.
If you too feel the urge to test Microsoft’s new OS, you’ll be glad to know that you don’t need to reformat your hard-disk and start from scratch. You can just upgrade your system and Vista will keep everything you had (applications, documents) in its place. That said, a word to the wise: always remember to create a backup copy of your most valuable digital possessions before performing any serious upgrade like changing the OS. You know, just in case.
During the installation process, Vista will check if your computer meets the minimum hardware requirements. It will tell you if there’s any non Vista compatible applications on you PC and ask you very politely to uninstall them. Also, if your computer uses a FAT32 file system like mine, you will have to change it to NTFS. This process took me a really long time but I must say it was totally automated and was flawlessly done.
Once installed, everything’s ready to test your new operating system. The first time you boot it you can check Vista’s new features in the Welcome Center. But if you feel more adventurous you may disable this screen and explore for yourself (guess which option I chose).
In any case, the main question here is whether it is a good idea to upgrade to Vista. Based on our experience of the new operating system, it's only really the bleeding-edge advanced user who will enjoy Vista. We're talking about the people already equipped with a powerful enough computer to allow them to test Vista’s new features. Bearing in mind that there’ll be loads of patches in the next few weeks and that some applications are not yet Vista-compatible, perhaps the most advisable thing to do is to wait and see. And if you want to know more about our Vista experience, stay tuned for future blog entries at iT in the next few days.