Windows Vista

February 8, 2007 at 10:26 pm | Posted in Mac, MacBook, Microsoft, Office, OS X, Parallels, upgrade, Vista, VM, XP | Leave a comment

So I’ve tried it out. I loaded it on my MacBook via Parallels and upgraded my desktop PC. All I can really say right now is that it is decent. I can’t find the “WoW” that Microsoft is touting, but it looks pretty and they seem to have done a really nice job with the Start menu. I ran into a little difficulty with upgrading my Windows XP VM to Vista, but I was able to get it working. I’ve listed what I had to do below just in case someone else needs some assistance with upgrading their Parallels Windows XP VM to Vista.

  • Found my Windows XP installation disk (my solution doesn’t work unless you have the XP installation disk)
  • Created a new virtual machine and indicated that it was a Vista OS
  • Installed XP as if it was a new installation
  • Entered my license key as requested
  • When the installation finished, I didn’t bother with updating (patches), registering, or activating – I just immediately mounted the image of the Vista DVD and began the Vista upgrade
  • Entered my new Vista license key and Voila!

Now I will say that I am disappointed with the start-up/shutdown speed of Vista. It is a lot clunkier then what I would have expected. I remember 98 was pretty fast towards its end of life and XP was pretty decent too if you didn’t have a lot of crap. But Vista is just slow to start-up regardless. I was talking with a couple IT colleagues at work today and they told me that the Microsoft guy that demoed Vista to them had a configuration with 4GB RAM. Obviously a sales representative is going to have a better machine than average just for showboating – but 4 GB?! Come on!

Again I’ll mention the Start Menu. I think they did a really good job with this one. I don’t quite understand the Power-off button that hibernates, but perhaps there is a way to change the function of that button that I just haven’t discovered yet. The search tool in the Start Menu is fairly fast and responsive, seems to find what little I need (keep in mind that I primarily use OS X for everyday use, storing needed files, etc). I can’t tell you how happy I am that they got rid of the word “Start” and just replaced it with the logo. I think we were all sick of going to “Start” to shutdown.

The graphics are pretty. They look better on my glossy MacBook screen than on my desktop LCD. Neither setup does the 3-D windowing thing that I have seen advertised but no worries really, I am sure I can get that with a 4 GB RAM upgrade and some 3-D video card.

The file system is clean (at first glance or at least to your average user) and I liked the fact that it stored my old Windows files in a directory called Windows.old (I actually had to go back to grab some files I needed). Control panel looks different but OK, it took me a few minutes to find the Vista equivalent to Add/Remove Programs.

After setting all this up, I was curious about the new Office 2007 Suite, so I downloaded the Professional 60-day trial edition and am going to give it a whirl. I am interested in seeing some improved functionality in Outlook and Access, but the most buzz I have been hearing has been about Word. I’ll have to write a separate review on that since I haven’t really tinkered with it much.

I am interested in what other people think about Vista. By nature of my job, a lot of people ask me for recommendations on their personal computers. Right now I would be inclined to recommend that the average user go ahead and upgrade if they just have to have the latest and greatest, otherwise, wait until at least SP1. What about everyone else? Post a comment and let me (and the rest of the world) know what you think. I’ll be back soon with some Office 2007 notes…

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