Windows Vista - Verdict

By Jonathan Bray



  • Recommended by TR
Windows Vista


Our Score:


User Score:

And now to the question on everybody's lips: should you upgrade or stick with XP?

For anyone into gaming the answer is straightforward. In fact the question isn't whether you should consider upgrading, but when to do it. Once DirectX 10 games become widespread, there's going to be no alternative. I'd be tempted to move over only after two or three updates to your graphics card drivers have taken place just to on the safe side, though.

For the rest of us, the question of whether to upgrade or not is more tricky. If you're happy with what XP does and don't fancy upgrading an ageing system just yet, there's really not much reason to upgrade. With the move from Windows 98, the choice was more obvious – XP was a world away in terms of stability and for that reason alone it was worth making the move as soon as was humanly possible. Adding extra hardware may push the price to a level that just isn't acceptable to you and, obviously, if Vista won't run software that you absolutely must have, then you're best advised to stick with XP. If you're not confident in installing it without the safety net of technical support then I'd also advise staying with XP – at least until you can enlist a friend to help, or buy a new machine with it preinstalled.

But I'm not going to say don't bother with Vista because it's a hardware hungry beast, or because it's just a pretty version of XP. Why? Because for the asking price of £65 for an OEM copy of Premium, this is an awful lot of software for the money.

The extra security tools and new applications are worth the money and the hassle of the upgrade alone, and there are enough improvements to the interface and basic productivity tools to make living with it a lot easier than earlier versions of Windows. Compared to XP, Vista is a breath of fresh air.

Others may disagree with me, and they're entitled to their opinions, but I like Vista, I don't want to go back to XP, and I'm prepared to give it the thumbs up.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Value 9
  • Usability 9
  • Features 8

Paul Tasker

July 19, 2008, 5:55 am

Initially I wasn't that impressed with vista premium. I thought it slower to use than XP and more resource hungry. But it learns how you use it and now my system runs really quickly. The opposite of XP which slowed to a crawl the longer you used it. Vista service pack 1 seemed to make a huge difference and now if I use a computer with XP it looks and feels dated. The sidebar is great, I have many weather, monitoring and photo slideshow gadgets and its 100% stable. Not once has it crashed, rebooted, or frozen in 6 months of use!!!! I'd be lucky to get through a week with XP!

100% recommended so long as your computers up to it. I'd recommend 2GB memory, makes a big difference.


January 4, 2009, 7:57 pm

So after all that has happened with Vista, any regrets/thoughts TR?


September 16, 2009, 5:09 am

I am using computer since 1994. with DOS. then Microsoft introduced windows 95. open a new ear for PC. then best ever version 98-SE. Windows ME. Windows NT. Windows 2000. finally windows XP with its server pack 2..the best ever WINDOW till today !

I used windows Vista Ultimate for two months but fed up with that. I am using core 2 duo 2.56 with 3'GB RAM. Intel desktop board DG31 PR. but Ultimate gave me worst performance ever. I can not download more then 50 MB software with my broadband 2mbps speed. always gave me problem. very slow can not open more then two programs together its hangs a lot. disconnect many times.

but i believe that its having best security features no doubt its only for multimedia users. that means you can do small amount of work on that. not very graphical work or hard core work with required more speed support. still I prefer to run windows xp with service pack 2. support all software !

mostly I am using chess playing software. that software s required to cop up with operating system and processor to give its best to search best result out of millions games. like GM Kasparove played with deep blue of IBM.

I think Vista's era will come to an end with windows 7. lets hope for the best !

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