Is it game over for Windows Vista?

The saviour that was meant to be, Vista Service Pack 1, isn’t. In some cases it’s actually a performance decrease for an operating system already grinding up-to-date PCs to a halt.

XP fans (for the most part) are happily using Service Pack 3, and Windows 7 (formerly known as Blackcomb) is barking at the gates (or should that be Gates?), ready for an early release in Q3 2009. Windows Vista never stood a chance.

Not much has gone right for Microsoft’s fledgling OS. First it was delayed over three years (initially it was meant to be a stopgap between XP and 7, but then turned into a fully fledged OS), then stories of incompatible software and drivers surfaced. Most recently Vista Service Pack 1 was pulled from Automatic Download. Now that it’s back up and running it could very well be the one and only service pack ever released for the struggling OS.

Microsoft has shot itself in the foot in two ways with regards to Vista. Firstly, it went ahead with the release of Service Pack 3 for the hugely popular Windows XP. Secondly, its progress on Windows 7 and its potential release ahead of schedule has been extensively covered by the media. What this means is that consumers who were reluctant to switch from a perfectly reliable XP SP2 to Vista now have no reason to. They have a fresh upgrade in SP3 that should be able to see them through the roughly 1.5 years until Windows 7 hits shelves.

No matter what kind of reluctant computer user you are, swapping to Vista just doesn’t make sense anymore. There are a few different perspectives you can look at it from. It’s hard to come up with reasons for broad groups of computer users, like gamers, business users and home users to migrate to Vista as well.

Gamers especially should be running for the hills whenever they hear the word Vista. Yes, it’s the only way you can get DirectX 10, but is that really a big enough carrot to dangle in front of gamers? Not by a long shot. While DirectX 10 delivers a significant improvement in graphics, Vista provides a significant drop off in performance, even with SP1. In fact, it’s been proven that installing SP1 could actually make your PC slower. What’s more, over a year after Vista was released, there still isn’t a compelling enough library of games that make good enough use of DirectX 10 to justify the upgrade (around 20 only if Wikipedia is to be believed). It’s no wonder gaming PC manufacturers like Alienware and NRG by Altech have only just switched over to supplying their machines with Vista.

Business users are in the same boat. Most important to them is reliability and security. But Vista isn’t any better than XP in either reliability or security. Most of the security issues with XP were fixed with SP2 and even more have been fixed with SP3. Any additional problems are more than likely to have been dealt with by third party tools and applications. Reliability is a non-contest. XP has a five-year head start. Add to this the fact that the reason SP1 was pulled from Automatic Download was an issue with Microsoft’s Dynamic RMS software used by small to medium businesses and the Vista doesn’t seem all that welcoming.

Furthermore, business users are well aware of the fact that there are still plenty of drivers and software that won’t play nice with the OS, a particular problem for small businesses requiring obscure software. Financially, it wouldn’t be a smart idea for them either. The cost of upgrading an entire company to Windows Vista can’t be justified if another operating system is just around the corner.

Even general home users have no reason to upgrade. This is the group that doesn’t mind using technology that’s not at the forefront. They use PCs for email, music, the Internet and minesweeper. Upgrading from XP to Vista will likely turn a working PC into a sloth if users have less than 2GB of memory, and it can become quite costly if they need to upgrade their PC’s specs to handle the transition on top of purchasing the OS.

Posted By: IndoSourceCode

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