PC World on Vista
How are the visuals? "Some may say this is mere eye candy that won't affect your real productivity. Maybe so. But it makes life at the keyboard fun again. And for my money, that's right up there with productivity."
How are performance and stability? "[W]ith the beta drivers in our tests, games ran significantly slower under Vista than under Windows XP. In earlier testing of the Dell XPS 710 running XP, this system ran at 143 frames per second in the game Far Cry at 1024 by 768 resolution. An identical system using the same settings with Vista managed a frame rate of just 108 fps-some 24 percent slower."
How compatible is it? "The lack of Vista drivers for some peripherals could be a major issue for many users."
How's UAC? "Because of UAC, using Vista can at times become a herky-jerky kind of experience, with so many annoying pop-ups coming at you that you want to scream ‘Stop!'...Of course, if you do turn off UAC, then you have no one but yourself to blame if a piece of malware does get in and take over your system."
The bottom line? "All in all, Windows Vista is a great leap forward for the operating system, with a much-improved, far more useful (and pleasurable) interface; faster, better search; beefed-up security that's a big improvement over Windows XP with SP2; and far, far better networking. There are some clunkers in there, though, such as the annoying UAC feature...But the pluses make you forget the minuses."
The New York Times on Vista
How are the visuals? "Windows Vista is beautiful. Microsoft has never taken elegance so seriously before. Discreet eye candy is partly responsible. Windows and menus cast subtle shadows. A new typeface gives the whole affair a fresh, modern feeling. Subtle animations liven up the proceedings."
How are performance and stability? Not addressed.
How compatible is it? "Moving to Vista means hunting for updated drivers for your printer, audio card and so on, not to mention troubleshooting incompatible programs."
How's UAC? "This will strike most people as an unnecessary nuisance, and you can turn it off. But it's actually one of Vista's most important new protection features; when the day comes that a virus is making changes to your PC, and not you, you'll know about it."
The bottom line? "[It]t doesn't matter what you (or tech reviewers) think of Windows Vista; sooner or later, it's what most people will have on their PCs. In that light, it's fortunate that Vista is better looking, better designed and better insulated against the annoyances of the Internet. At the very least, it's well equipped to pull the world's PCs along for the next five years - or whenever the next version of Windows drops down the chimney."
USA Today on Vista
How are the visuals? "The Aero interface is handsome. Users will appreciate translucent edges, live thumbnail images that appear over taskbar items you mouse over, and a 3D effect that lets you use the mouse scroll wheel to flip through a stack of open windows."
How are performance and stability? "[A]t times, the computer has been running noticeably slower. The system crashed at least once."
How compatible is it? "Post-op, most of my programs seem to be behaving. Same goes for the printer. I successfully installed the Vista-ready 2007 version of Norton Internet Security, too....I did encounter a few compatibility snags. A downloadable update to Quicken didn't load properly on first attempt. When I ran the Opera Web browser, the ‘color scheme' was temporarily downgraded to Vista Basic, something repeated when I launched the InterVideo WinDVD program."
How's UAC? "Vista promises to be more secure. Time will tell. At the very least, Windows frequently asks you for permission before allowing potentially risky changes to be made."
The bottom line? "In most respects, Vista is a better Windows. But you'll need patience, money and a powerful system to upgrade. The overhaul isn't so dramatic that you couldn't hum along with XP awhile longer."
The Wall Street Journal on Vista
How are the visuals? "The new Aero interface is lovely, and it makes using a PC more pleasant and efficient. It apes some elements on the Macintosh but retains a distinct look and feel. Icons of folders look three dimensional, and they pop."
How are performance and stability ? "[I]n my tests, some elements of Vista could be maddeningly slow even on new, well-configured computers."
How compatible is it? "To get the full benefits of Vista, especially the new look and user interface, which is called Aero, you will need a hefty new computer, or a hefty one that you purchased fairly recently. The vast majority of existing Windows PCs won't be able to use all of Vista's features without major hardware upgrades."
How's UAC? "One visible security feature asks for your permission before you do potentially dangerous tasks, like installing new software. This is a good thing, and it's been on the Macintosh for years. But unlike the Mac version, the Vista version of this permission feature doesn't necessarily require you to type in a password, so a stranger or a child using your PC could grant permission for something you yourself might not allow."
The bottom line? "After months of testing Vista on multiple computers, new and old, I believe it is the best version of Windows that Microsoft has produced. However, while navigation has been improved, Vista isn't a breakthrough in ease of use. Overall, it works pretty much the same way as Windows XP...Gradually, all Windows computers will be Vista computers, and that's a good thing, if only for security reasons. But you may want to keep your older Windows XP box around awhile longer, until you can afford new hardware that can handle Vista."