Having delayed upgrading to XP until my Windows 98 PC fell over, I was even more hesitant to move to Vista after the widespread bad internet press of Microsoft's latest OS.
Sometimes it pays to ignore really scathing comments that are essentially groundless Microsoft-bashing.
I have this installed on a 2Ghz, Dual Core system at home with 4GB of RAM (it only recognises 3.5GB - a limitation of the 32 bit version.). It forms the hub of my computer system and Windows Media Centre oversees my Freeview television recordings. There is great stability when less disciplined programs (from earlier days) go belly up.
There's over 1TB of storage plugged in and I'm pleased with the overall speed of the system especially for preparing resources for school (I'm a technician, not a pupil).
I don't constantly install and remove applications and it's not a games machine, it's a workhorse and it does very, very well.
If I have one gripe, it's the proprietary DVR-MS recording format for the TV programs. I haven't found an application to directly edit these and as a result, I need to edit them in Windows Movie Maker, export them as HQ wmv files and then convert them to a more user friendly format using Pinnacle Studio 11 before compressing them to Xvid. It's lengthy, and even with the Dual Cores, the coding is all done in real-time in each stage. So it's an hour to convert a one hour show to wmv, another hour to convert to mpg and the same to convert to xvid. That's four hours excluding editing
And Windows DVD maker is nice but I'd like to have more control over my finished DVD menus.
With my older XP system, it took 2.5 minutes to edit and save a one hour show and one hour to code to xvid. Half the time, but I was working from mpg recordings. I used TMPGEnc DVD Author to produce personalised DVDs with unique menus.
As for all the rest of my work, Vista does a very nice job, very quickly and I am happy that I did not listen to the bad mouthing.
So much so, I bought another Vista OS DVD to install on my other PC!
This version of Windows, is very user friendly, has no driver issues, even with older hardware, my computer is not vista compliant, [ but it helps,] onboard graphics, may be a restriction, as may your DDRAM, but I installed PCI graphics card to resolve limitations, increased the DDRAM to over 1gbt, install is very smooth, if you have doubts, about this version, all your old software/hardware etc, will work fine,[NOTE; driver disks for printers, and other hardware,may not have Vista drivers, but this is not a problem, just let vista go on line to find, and install] is it worth the upgrade, ? [ for most PC's built after 2004/5 ] yes, no doubt about it, once installed, you may need to modestly upgrade RAM / Graphics / power unit, should be 450watts or more, to deal with system upgrades, 10 out of 10, for this product, By:-[David in Lincolnshire UK]
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i bought this after my own computer, starting to lock up, since it allready had this version on, turned out it was the cheap faulty dvd drive. Looked around, some prices were shall we say too much, found this one on amazon all the right things that i needed, and dare i say it the price was right. After it's installation to my computer and the activation code, had been applied, i have had no problems with it, and eveything works fine. If you are looking to replace the OS, on your computer then you should look at amazon or the sellers who have them, as they sent the items quickley and swiftly. Just annoyed it was a fault with a internal drive that caused my machine to lock up, thus and then having to buy an operating sytem compatable to get machine back online. For the general use it is very good, and easy to navigate, once you set it to your personel preferences.The only problem is now windows 7 is due soon, so do you stay with this or move to windows 7? This is still a good overall operating system to use.
I have been using Windows Vista Home Premium for nearly two years. Initially I used it on a "Windows Vista Capable" machine, and with all the UI effects turned on it ran like a dog. I remember the same thing in 2001 when I ran Windows XP on a 233 MHz machine with 64 MB RAM (the minimum spec for XP). I have since used Vista on my other two newer machines, each of which exceed the recommended spec, and I have been rewarded with new stability and security, along with an enhanced multimedia experience. Mac OS 10.5 has nothing on Vista (I use both at work), just don't try to run it on low-end hardware and expect miracles.
Media Center is a brilliant pack-in, get a remote and plug the PC into your TV and away you go. For gamers I would recommend the Wireless gaming receiver which lets you use Xbox 360 pads in games (including the games build into windows). Multimedia integration with the Xbox 360 is improved also through Windows Media Player 11, allowing you to access music stored on your PC to replace the in-game soundtrack of any 360 game, and general good support of video codecs (Including high-definition video files).
Don't listen to the Vista hearsay, in my experience it comes mostly from people whose entire experience of using Vista is limited to the demo models at PC World.
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