Convince me that Vista is better than XP

Long story short, I’m trying to decide between sticking with Windows Vista Home Basic on my new-to-me laptop (traded laptops with my mom), or getting a copy of Windows XP off of eBay (plan B: Install Ubuntu or OpenSUSE and hope I can get the Wi-Fi to work, unlike with my previous laptop). I don’t have the system restore discs for this laptop, so if my Linux install goes south, I’m somewhat out of options.

So basically, what are the advantages of sticking with Vista? What are the advantages to XP?

Vista SP1 doesn’t suck.

That’s the best thing I can say about it. It does what it has to, adequately. I’d also recommend giving it 24 hours after installation to settle down. It spends an inordinate amount of that ‘first impressions’ part of the relationship furiously contemplating it’s navel.

After that, it’s not bad.

I suppose there’s not any chance of getting a second hard disk to do your OS experiments on? That way you can always fall back to the factory build if ya gotta.

Last thing to consider: does your laptop HAVE XP drivers? We bought the wife a new laptop last week and found that a perfectly adequate Vista laptop was $200. A laptop with XP support was $200 more. (Ymmv, and IMHO)

Do you have enough RAM? Vista is happy with 1 Gb, it’s happier with 2.

If you just wanna scratch that ‘grass is always greener’ itch, you COULD look at VMware player.

Make sure your laprop is designed for Vista (vesus vista compatible).

search is awesome, recognition of devices and networks much improved, fast boot times, etc

What both those guys said. I loved my XP. I was prepared to hate Vista. I wanted to hate Vista.

But I don’t.

I bought a high-end laptop in January. Vista came with it. I second the advice about first impressions - you’ll need to bear with this O/S for a few days, but then it’s fine. Essentially, once you’ve gotten over the hump of installing all your favourite stuff, be prepared to like it (the installations are easy enough - just tedious as it keeps asking you dumb questions). It’s stable and fast.

On the other hand, if I had no choice but to go back to XP, that’d be OK too.

I’ve had my new computer with Vista on it for about a week, and I think TheLoadedDog’s commentary sums up my feelings accurately. I did switch my Start Menu back to the classic view, though. I appreciated what they were going for, but the old way just works better for me.

Yeah, I did that as well. I much prefer it.

My new Lenovo ThinkPad with Vista didn’t seem to like AVG, but since I dumped the Spybot program that was causing the conflict, it runs like a champ. I’ve had no problems with it other than the aforementioned install tedium.

I don’t know the technical name for it, but the absolute best feature is “window key search” where you tap the window key and instantly go to search. For almost any program you can type one or two letters then enter and up pops the program you want. Since Vista preloads your most used programs into memory, it’s almost instantaneous, and the whole thing feels very peppy, responsive and keyboard driven.

I want to go on record as having phat phalanges. We bought a perfectly adequate $500 laptop…one with XP support was $200 more.

“Vista SP1 doesn’t suck.”

I’ll agree to that. What does suck fetid dingoes’ kidneys is Office 2007. Man I hate that shit. If you use more than one computer, make sure the old one gets the patch from Microsoft for 2003 stuff to read 2007 stuff.

Or you could just save your documents as 97-2003 documents or .rtf documents. There’s no reason to install a special patch.

True, but not everyone sending you documents will remember to do so.

I should have clarified: my gripe about office 07 was a twofer. I don’t like the changes they made to the layout, and the new file type means that you’ve got to get a patch installed on all older computers.

Who knows, maybe in time I’ll come to loathe office 07 only as much as I loathe the older version. Maybe.

You can also get search for XP…just go to windows update and select “custom” instead of “express”. Search is an optional update for XP so it won’t be installed via automatic updates.

Is it anything like Google Desktop? I’ve seen it available on updates, but passed over it since I have G’Desktop already installed.

Depending on the manufacturer, you may be able to call them and get them to send you new restore disks. Did this for a friend on their Compaq and it was only $15.

Actually, a random question: I was reading that for the old XP reinstall discs, any Dell reinstall disc for XP would work on any Dell system. Would this be true for Vista as well? If worst comes to worst, I could always borrow a Vista recovery disc from one of my numerous classmates with Dells.

Also, I think my mom might have the discs for this laptop somewhere, but it’ll be a small miracle if she can find it with the computer desk at my parents house looking the way it usually does :eek:

Raguleader: That’s a great big ‘depends’. Some restore disks are full disk images, some are the installation files that run a normal install of the OS, and some are really REALLY rabid that they can only be installed on the same brand/model they’re intended to run on.

I suggest if Mom can’t find the media, you contact Dell and order a replacement set, like Fugazi said, it won’t cost much.
It would be irresponsible of me to say you could jump ship entirely, use Ubuntu and Open Office and avoid the problem as it’s just be exchanging one set of problems for another. I REALLY like Ubuntu/Open Office, but if you’re not expecting some culture shock in doing to, it can lead to a bad experience.

Still, there’s no motivation like ‘I gotta get something done’ to push through issues. :wink:

I really like Vista, Ultimate more than Basic. The gripes I had were almost all fixed in SP1, with the exception of my 10 year old scanner still has no drivers. Turns out my problems with the Creative Zen I own 2 of were also magically fixed.

Recommended is RocketDock, however. It’s a free program, and you can map your programs to it just by dragging and dropping. It adds an interface along the likes of the Mac Dock, and is great for going to the basic programs - Firefox, Word, Thunderbird, COD4, Civ4, Snood - that you do over and over. Works great in Vista AND XP.

Any idea of the life expectancy of Vista? I thought Windows 7 is being primed to get released within a couple years or so (insert snide comment about setbacks and postponements here), then Vista was going to go the way of ME; a shorter-lived OS.

Of course, even if Windows 7 really is just around the corner, is that any reason to avoid hopping on the Vista wagon in the meantime? Avoiding the PITA of upgrading?

Also, people have said Vista is now working will (post SP1), but other than search (which seems to be available in XP), has anyone tried to convince the OP that Vista is better than XP?

I bought a laptop about six months ago and didn’t realize that no XP drivers were available for it, so I had no choice but to stick with Vista. I decided that I was going to try my best to like it for what it was.

After 6 months of using it I conclude that it doesn’t suck as horribly as I had feared, but given the choice, XP is still a better operating system, for me at least. The two main reasons I can think of offhand:

  • XP is significantly faster. This is noticeable even on a high end PC, but the faster your computer, the less of an issue this is. Nevertheless, I find it amazing how sluggish Vista can feel. Most of this is due to the new eye candy (transparent window borders etc), the search indexing (non-stop background indexing slows down your computer for the sake of a search system that personally I can’t help but hate), and the UAC security layer (even with it ‘disabled’ so that you are not prompted, it slows things down noticeably).

  • XP Explorer is better. I’ve tried my very very best to use the Vista explorer the way it is supposed to be used, but it is confusing and clunky. Some of the ideas in it are good, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to get it to be as usable as the XP version. It’s frustrating to me that some functionality was removed, without the ability to put it back.

Keep in mind that I’m a bit geeky in my requirements (I’m a programmer) but I’m trying my best to embrace the change. Nevertheless I get frustrated when said change has obvious negative repercussions with no obvious benefits.

I recently switched to a new desktop computer and expected to stay with Vista since I had been using it on my laptop for six months. After 2 days of getting annoyed that the desktop’s performance was not as good as I expected, I decided to go back to XP and see if things would improve. The difference was absolutely staggering and I’m totally relieved to be back with XP. I don’t like downgrades in life, and a computer is supposed to let me work as fast as I can - everything else to me is secondary. But that’s just me.