A while back, I posted links to reviews of Windows Vista. That page is getting quite a bit of play and undoubtedly, my flippant summary at the end isn't much help for people trying to make buying decisions, so here's my buying advice (with links to Amazon for easy purchasing).
First off, will Vista run on your computer? If you're computer is reasonably new (last two years), then you're probably OK. You'll need gobs of memory, however--probably at least 1Gb of RAM. So, make sure you add that into the total purchase price if you decide to upgrade.
Now, the bad news is that there's way too many editions of Vista and that's sure to cause some confusion. For most people, there's only two real choices: Windows Vista Ultimate or Windows Vista Home Premium. I never recommended XP Home edition to anyone, but the Vista Home Premium edition looks to be pretty good. (Don't purchase the Home Basic edition.)
What does Ultimate have that Home Premium doesn't? Here's a list:
- Max memory of 128 Gb (vs 16Gb) in the 64-bit edition
- Windows ShadowCopy
- System image backup and recovery
- Encrypting File System (EFS)
- Windows BitLocker Full Drive Encryption
- Client only remote desktop
- IIS Web server
- Offline file and folder support
- Fax and Scan
If you can live without those, then settle for the Home Premium edition.
If you're upgrading from Microsoft XP Media Center Edition or Windows XP Home Edition, you can get the upgrade edition of Vista Home Premium and save $90. If you're upgrading from Microsoft XP Media Center Edition or Windows XP Home Edition / Professional, you can get the upgrade edition of Vista Ultimate and save $130!