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To Vista or Not to Vista…that is the question…

Many people are asking our “geeks” whether they should upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft Windows – Windows Vista. Here are some answers to common questions to help you make this important decision.

Is Vista a good version of Windows or is it “buggy”?

There is nothing inherently wrong with Vista. It is a visually stunning new version of Windows with some interesting new features, and a lot of changes from how Windows XP does things. It has a lot more levels of security, which can sometimes make it really annoying to new users even though this is supposed to protect you from viruses, spyware, and the like.

Does Vista require a really fancy new computer?

Yes, it does. Because most of the enhancements in Windows Vista are visual and security oriented, it requires a very capable computer to run it well. Most computers running Vista that cost less than $1000 do NOT run the system very well at all. Upgrading computers that are more than a year or so old from XP to Vista is NOT recommended because of performance and compatibility issues. You may need to buy a new printer for Vista as well since there are numerous printers we have seen that do not work with Vista.

Should I buy a new computer with Windows Vista? Do I even have a choice?

We advise business users to wait before upgrading to Vista. We have seen incompatibilities with numerous printers, various wireless networking devices, and all sorts of software programs that you may be depending on to run your business. We expect these issues to be resolved in the coming months, but for now Vista is quite problematic for business users. Home users can upgrade to Vista if they want, but it is not that compelling an upgrade that we think you should rush out and buy it.

There are still good computers available from Dell with Windows XP. Most computers at retail are inferior brands (like HP and Compaq) and will come with Vista. If you buy a computer with Windows XP for use in the office, always buy Windows XP Professional. If you buy a Vista PC for use in the office, always buy Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate.

What about the new version of Microsoft Office 2007?

The new version of Office, which is optimized for Vista, is VERY different from prior versions of Office. It’s nice, but there will be a steep learning curve if you decide to upgrade. As with Vista, we are advising most business users to wait.


Someday, we will all be running Vista on our PCs. This is Microsoft’s latest version of Windows and eventually all common hardware and software products will work with it. However, because of the numerous differences between Vista and XP, and the many problems we have right now with printers, programs, and so forth, we advise people to wait before hopping onto the “Vista train”. 

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

     -- Arthur C. Clarke