Windows Vista Business

Windows Vista Business is essentially warmed-over Windows XP. If you're currently happy with Windows XP SP2, we see no compelling reason to upgrade. On the other hand, if you need a new computer right now, Windows Vista is stable enough for everyday use.


7.4
CNET Rating
3.7
User Rating

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Performance
Upon installation, Windows Vista rates each system's overall hardware performance, with the final score reflecting your system's lowest individual score. This is handy. For example, if you suspect that everything's running a little slow, you might find that your hard drive is returning the lowest score. Windows Vista will then recommend a faster hard drive or a drive with larger compatibility. Mostly, though, the video card will be the sore spot for most users. There's also an event log viewer to show, for example, after a specific software install your system performance started to degrade, and that uninstalling the software may restore your overall performance.

Under the hood, Microsoft has moved device drivers for DVD burners and printers out of the system kernel; Microsoft says that a majority of system crashes can be traced to improperly installed third-party device drivers. Thus Windows Vista hopes to vanquish the dreaded Blue Screen of Death common to earlier releases of Windows. Indeed, after testing several early builds, we found Windows Vista to be remarkably stable and robust.

Support
Along with the diagnostic and performance monitors, Microsoft has improved the Help section considerably. There is a static FAQ, but it also links to Microsoft online and allows outreach to other users for help, either via a forum or direct PC-to-PC help. Of these, we really like a feature available on some, not all, FAQs that allows you to automate the solution by executing a script. This method doesn't teach you how to do it in the future, but it will accomplish the task at hand. For example, if you choose to update a device driver, Windows Vista will darken the desktop; highlight and open the Start menu, the Control Panel, and the Device Manager; then pause to ask you what device you want to update. It's like having a technician at your desktop, walking you though the process. There's an increasing reliance on user-generated support forums, which leads us to believe that Microsoft is shying away from its own live technical support. At press time, Microsoft's final support policy was unavailable.

Conclusion
Perhaps we're spoiled, but after more than five years of development, there's a definite "Is that all?" feeling about Windows Vista. Like cramming an info-dump into a book report the night before it's due, there certainly are a lot of individual features within the operating system, but the real value lies in their execution -- how the user experiences (or doesn't experience) these -- and like the info-dump, we came away shaking our heads, disappointed. Compared with Mac OS X 10.4, Windows Vista feels clunky and not very intuitive, almost as though it's still based on DOS (or at least the internal logic that made up DOS). Despite the addition of a system-wide, built-in Search, and various efforts to break away from staidly old directory trees, you still need to drill down one level to even access Search. And there are far too many dependencies on Microsoft products; this is not a very objective operating system, as preference is always given to Microsoft products (of which there are many), from MSN search to RSS feeds only from Internet Explorer. But is Windows Vista a bad operating system? No. It's just a disappointment for PC users who hoped that Microsoft would deliver something truly exciting to finally leapfrog ahead of Apple. They failed. But stick around; this is just Windows Vista 1.0. Windows Vista Service Pack 1 is due out sometime before the end of the year. Windows Vista SP1 promises to fix what's known to be wrong within Windows Vista and should offer a few concrete reasons to switch.

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Josh
1
Rating
 

Josh posted a review   

The Good:Ugh... 'Aero'... Kinda... Though it still feels like a cheap knock-off of 'Aqua'.

The Bad:Glitchy, not as stable as XP, prettier perhaps, but nothing to write home about.

I think this review is bang on. I shelled out for Windows Vista Business with a new machine I bought, and let's just say the good things that knocked me out of my seat have been much too few and far between compared to the soul-destroying headaches that leave me wanting to tear my eyes out.

On first boot-up Vista downloaded necessary updates and somehow in the process of updating Internet Explorer had a conniption and left the system kinda half-baked and setup from the wizard that never finished.

Then there's the fact that Windows Vista Service Pack 2 won't install correctly, and having tried every single one of the Microsoft work-arounds that's it! I'm just stuck at a dead end.

Really disappointed. All of the criticism I've heard is well-deserved.

lucuslocust
1
Rating
 

lucuslocust posted a review   

The Good:None that i can find

The Bad:I'm not even going to waste the next twenty mins typing all the problems I've had.

I regret buying my Sony Vaio! I had no idea that Vista would be such a horrible program. I use my computer to run art and video programs and this computer can barely run this ridiculous OS. The maddening thing about the Vaio is that you can't change the OS without possibly making everything worse. Thia is my first PC experience, and my last. So this is what billionaires do with all of their money and resources....make things worse and profit more.

canberra_photographer
2
Rating
 

canberra_photographer posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Slick interface

The Bad:Poor performance
Take up a lot of RAM
Doesn't work with many nVidia mobile cards
Burns up battery when turned on and off
Interface is bulky and heavy in feel
Doesn't work with many simply peripherals including scanners and card readers
Slow start up
Doesn't support CS2 Adobe applications
CS3 Applications will run slow unless you have lots of RAM, 3GB plus for PS
Everything else...

I was forced to put up with Vista on my new and very fast Sony VAIO, or it would be fast if it weren't for Vista. It takes up roughly 800-1000MB of RAM when idle, it "Stirs" the hard drive for 15 minutes after waking the computer which burns up about 10% of the battery each time and is slow once started. My laptop only goes 2.5 hours when it could easily go 5 with XP. So I definitely wouldn't recommend Vista for notebook users. Had I known how bad Vista would be, I would have bone for a MacBook. Especially since Vista will not work with the older GeforceGo graphics card, crashing all the time so I have to swap to integrated graphics, which harms performance more.

Put simply, if you're a mobile users who values battery life ad performance and want reliability, go with an XP notebook or a Mac notebook! Vista is all wrong.

sgall
2
Rating
 

sgall posted a review   

The Good:UAC control for launching unexected programs.

The Bad:Windows bluetooth didnt work
Logitech stack does work but get closed down randomly.
Slow
Buffalo link station took about 10 hours to get going.
Network printing took about 5 hours to get going.
Random nasty things like offline file sync pop and are very hard to stop.
I couldnt get anything done until I uninstalled Norton
Start button is not as good as XP
Crashes much more often than XP (2 crashes in one week Vista. No crashes in last 3 months on Vista)
4Gig of memory dual core process and runs actual working progmam slower than a 4 year old pentium 4 with 512meg.
Puppy linux (80meg) found more hardware and the local net support was better than Vista
So far there is nothing I found that is better, or runs faster or looks better than XP

Slow
Buggy
Useless eye candy
This was pre-installed on a Dell laptop and it makes me almost regret getting a new computer.

ANON
6
Rating
 

ANON posted a review   

When you compared the versions you claim Vista Business has Bitlocker Drive Encryption, yet here you say it doesn't.

Confusing!

ITprosupport
10
Rating
 

ITprosupport posted a review   

The Good:searches-full indexed(custom if you want)in every window and the start menu. 3-d flip thru tabs, sidebar with 1000s of gadgets...Smooth sync center..excellent backup and restore center..drive encription..software explorer..windows defender..media center..photo gallery..new games..speech recognition...paint..snipping tool..windows contacts..messenger live..shadow volume copies..IE7..MP11..networking center..windows dvd maker...fax and scan...photo gallery....movie maker..sound recorder...ability to run old software in differnet compatibility modes..slicker more customer user interface...superfetch file access!!..office 2000,2003 and 2007 work perfectly in vista!!windows marketplace offers about 60,000 software items for various vista editions.

The Bad:would like more 64bit edition programs.

Im running Vista Ultimate on a circa 2001 HP with 512ram 1.7ghtz P4 and ancient graphics card and it all works great!!The right drivers is what matters, Vista comes with about 30,000 drivers and most manufactures have updates-This crap about high -end machines only is BS!!In fact I have installed vista in 100s of machines and you would be suprised which ones work the best-I cant say because it would hurt the feelings of your cracker jack IT team,,,LOL..anyway follow the correct best practises when installing and install a clean install!! yes cash a check and get the full version never mind an upgrade version..never mind that open source freeware hippie operating systems will rule the world crap!!




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User Reviews / Comments  Windows Vista Business

  • Josh

    Josh

    Rating1

    "I think this review is bang on. I shelled out for Windows Vista Business with a new machine I bought, and let's just say the good things that knocked me out of my seat have been much too few and f..."

  • lucuslocust

    lucuslocust

    Rating1

    "I regret buying my Sony Vaio! I had no idea that Vista would be such a horrible program. I use my computer to run art and video programs and this computer can barely run this ridiculous OS. The mad..."

  • canberra_photographer

    canberra_photographer

    Rating2

    "I was forced to put up with Vista on my new and very fast Sony VAIO, or it would be fast if it weren't for Vista. It takes up roughly 800-1000MB of RAM when idle, it "Stirs" the hard drive for 15 m..."

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