I recently had to purchase a new computer to replace one that was beginning to show it’s age. Instead of performing a repair on Windows XP (again) to try and salvage another few more months of use, I opted to purchase a new Dell Dimension E520. This way, I can use the new Dell as my main machine and reformat the XP computer to run as a spare multimedia box. Before I get a chance to write a full review of the Dell, I wanted to share some thoughts on whether now would the right time to upgrade to Vista and to also let others know some of the challenges that I have encountered so far with Windows Vista.
Windows Vista & Software Issues
Having had a few weeks to work within Windows Vista Business, I can only come to one conclusion. If you plan on upgrading to Vista, I would strongly suggest you re-consider. Upgrading means you are trying to keep all your data & software programs installed on the same machine and simply upgrade the OS (XP to Vista). Given that many software vendors are still not putting out Vista ready titles, I would definitely not upgrade XP to Vista at this time.
Many of the day-to-day software that I use is not Vista ready. For instance, Quickbooks (Canadian version) is not Vista ready. Adobe Acrobat is not Vista ready. In fact, many Adobe products (although they run with minimal issues) are yet to be 100% Vista compatible. Since many of these non-Vista ready software titles are mission critical to my line of work, the XP machine has indeed undergone a Windows Repair process and is now dedicated for accounts payable, printing/scanning, and creative design work. I will simply have to wait for all software titles to become Vista ready before reformatting the XP box.
I am still shell-shocked that Quickbooks, being the popular accounting software title that it is, is still not Vista ready. Maybe this is another hint that I should consider using more OS independent web applications!
Windows Vista & Hardware Issues
On a hardware note, even my semi-new HP all-in-one printer/scanner/copier is not Vista ready. I actually can’t use HP Director software that came with the printer to scan. A notice on HP.com suggest that Windows Vista applications be used to perform the scanning. Even though there are new releases, reports are still coming in that iTunes is still not fully Vista ready yet. And what about software for my Palm PDA? Come to think of it, what about Nikon’s Picture Project software that I use to download (rename and rotate) digital images from my dSLR? The list just goes on. Not even going to try and install these on Vista until later… when I have had more time to look into compatibility issues at each manufacturer’s website. Although the above deal specifically with software, they are classified as hardware issues because without Vista ready software, hardware connectivity is definitely affected.
Conclusion – Why do I run Vista when I suggest for others not to upgrade?
So why do I use Windows Vista when I am suggesting for others to wait on the upgrade? Simple. Because I purchased a new machine and it would be silly to install XP on a new machine when Vista is already launched. If you can wait to purchase a new machine, I would suggest doing so… maybe for a few more weeks / months. As with previous Win98 and XP OS releases, sooner rather than later, most manufacturers will catch up and put out Vista ready products. It’s simply suicide for a PC computer supplier not to.
I truly believe that computer hardware & software should be matched with their same generation counterparts. In other words, use software & hardware that is manufactured from around the same time period. The release of Vista has confirmed this belief even more so. If you can wait a little while longer before purchasing a new PC, that will alleviate most of the Windows Vista hardware & software incompatibility issues.