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XP or Vista: Why Change your OS?

written by: Daniel Barros•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 12/10/2009

You've been working with XP for a long time, but are ready to move on to Vista - The burning question is this. Is it the right time for you? Here we take a look at migrating from Windows XP to Vista and offer up some advice.

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    Migrating from XP to Vista

    Reasons to change your OS are innumerable - you only have to pick the right one to tip you over the edge. As much as XP has great features and reasonable load times, you have to admit it just doesn't look quite as nice as Vista. Which is why I've compiled this list of reasons why it's worth moving from Windows XP to Vista. Bear in mind that this is merely a guide, if you feel that your current OS is serving your needs perfectly, there's absolutely no need to change that. But for those who like a little change:

    1. Vista is Undeniably...Pretty

    On my current rig, XP would run like Forrest Gump without the leg braces, but it just wouldn't look even nearly as good. One thing I must hand to Microsoft is that with Vista, they are approaching that almost Mac-like level of polish and sleekness (while sacrificing some speed in the process). The look of Vista is incredibly nice - with a black polish and transparent windows. So, upgrade for several reasons, but let the fact that one OS looks nicer than the other, be one of those reasons.

    2. Program Compatibility

    While initially an issue in Vista, nowadays, most programs are built from the ground up to only work on Vista. XP is quickly becoming the odd one out and while this process is happening, you're missing out on some great new programs that only work on Vista. Everything from antivirus softwares to firewalls are working everyday a little better on Vista, and while you're stuck with XP, you can only change program versions, not actually evolve in terms of program use. So kick out that old OS and get ready to experience a whole new set of programs, exclusively on your new OS.

    3. Security Features

    While I loathe the way Vista warns you of an oncoming threat, or the way it just smothers you with it's User Access Control, the fact is that a new OS always patches up more holes than the previous one's service packs. No matter how you look at it, an OS is always a leaky ship that the proprietary company sends new updates to patch the holes in. Yet somehow, thanks to the efforts of dedicated hackers the world over, we constantly have to keep updating our OSs. If you're a novice user in terms of computers, the new OS will also give you protection from the get-go, something that older OSs like XP don't offer outside of third-party software.

    And the final reason to upgrade your OS?

    4. New Features

    I upgraded to Vista for the Internet capabilities alone. With XP, you had to be an IT pro in order to figure out how to set up a wireless network. And while I did eventually earn my license just messing with XP's insane networking prompts, it's so much easier to just boot up my computer and have everything working in a perfect way. Furthermore, the new and improved laptop power interfaces and sound interfaces have greatly expanded the usability of the OS.

    For a Comparison study of Windows Vista, Apple Mac OS X and Linux read this article.

Upgrading from Windows XP to Vista

Thinking of making the move from Windows XP to Windows Vista, in this series we take a look at the aesthetics, security, performance and design features of both Microsoft Operating Systems, and offer up advice on when and why it might be a good time to make the change to Vista?
  1. XP or Vista: Why Change your OS?
  2. Vista or XP: User Access Control Issues