Update: Someone asked if these were my suggestions for buying Vista, and I said they were. They then told me I should make that clear – I am. The reasons below are my suggestions why you should buy Vista. – Rob
1. Security. Vista is much more robust when it comes to protecting you from malicious software, phishing attempts, etc. The Parental Controls give you additional security for your children’s accounts
2. Find stuff faster. The Vista Desktop Search is much improved over XP. The robust tagging allowed by the file system should make it much easier to sort and find your files. Finding emails in Outlook is dramatically faster (and if you are using Office 2007 it’s almost instant).
3. The Media Center is much more robust and plays extremely well with the XBOX360. It’s great for watching podcasts and web videos on the big screen, in the comfort of your own recliner,
4. It’s faster than XP. OK – I haven’t actually done any formal testing of this, but everyone who has come over and “played with” one of my Vista machines has commented that it “feels much faster” than XP. I agree with them.
5. Aesthetics – yes, Vista is pretty – especially with the Aero interface. It’s also easier to get some things done because of changes in the user interface (although I will admit, a couple things – like changing screen resolution – are now one-click more difficult.
6. Remote Assistance – wether you occasionally need help with your PC, or if you are the one helping others – the Remote Assistance features in Vista are much improved – especially if you are dealing with a home network with NAT. The Remote Desktop has gotten more secure as well (and appears to be more robust).
7. Improved Networking – if you have a home network Vista improves the experience – especially from one Vista PC to another. But I’ve even found improvements in networking with both Macintosh and Linux workstations – the network appears to be more “discoverable” from within your own subnet.
8. Voice recognition – yeah, I know – you make think, “So what?” – you could do this for years with third party software. And you are correct. But nothing causes adoption like including it for free, and the Vista Voice Recognition works extremely well for everything to dictating a Word document or email to navigating among applications. Try it – you’ll like it!
9. The added tools are nice – like the Snipping Tool, the Windows DVD Maker, Application Switcher, Windows Sidebar, etc. Again, there are existing tools to do these things on Windows XP, but building them into the OS makes them more available.
10. Windows Mobility Center – this feature makes a lot of things easier on a laptop, or tablet PC – from managing power to screen rotation and presenting via a projector, it’s all here, and it’s drop-dead easy to use.