Saturday, March 10, 2007


Vista Upgrade

Now that I finally had my hands on a licensed copy of Windows Vista (Home Premium), I was itching to get it on my system and install it for good. I ran the `Upgrade Advisor` before starting the install and it pointed out a couple of issues that had to be fixed before I could proceed. Most of these issues were to do with programs which were simply not compatible for the new OS for e.g., NERO, TweakXP, Norton Anti-Virus, ZoneAlarm etc. but all that was understandable and I could always get their newer versions. But the thing that worried was a warning on the `Intel System Management BIOS Driver`. After every other driver from Intel checked out fine, why in the world did the Vista Upgrade Advisor had no idea whether this particular SMBIOS driver would not work ?! Anyway, a little research on the Internet cleared up the confusion and I proceeded with the Install.

To my amazement, the whole OS installation completed in around 15 mins! Kudos to them for that really and the process was ridiculously simple. Another fantastic thing was that every hardware device on my computer was detected in advance and was working already when I booted for the first time! Overall, Vista gave my system a performance index of 4.0 primarily because I have a 256MB graphic card.

Graphics really are the first thing you notice about Windows Vista. The new AERO themes are glassy and translucent and look quite cool although when you turn it off, everything goes back to the Windows Classic style. The Sidebar comes with a couple of nifty gadgets and more can be downloaded from the web galleries. Some of the new features including Calendar, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Media Center etc. are very neat I must say. You can now give movies and pictures tags which makes searching for them a whole lot easier.

The Control Panel gets a major makeover in the form of new 'Centers' and options. There's a Tablet PC Settings section which comes pre-installed in all editions (a bit presumptuous on their part tbh). One of the new things in here are the Indexing Options where you can configure folders/files to be indexed in order to make searching for them faster. There are extensive multimedia options available like Movie Making/Picture Galleries/CD and DVD Burning in Vista. Not to mention all the games in XP get a major face-lift in Vista and actually look quite good especially my favorite i.e., Hearts.

All in all, a visually spectacular OS but not too different from XP and like they said on CNET, there's no compelling reason for anyone running XP SP2 smoothly to upgrade to Vista. That's about for my first impressions for now. I'll get into more technical stuff later on and post my findings here. For now, check out my desktop below (which wears a rather deserted look at present). This shot was took using the all-new Sniping Tool that comes with Vista!



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