Just in case you were wondering, Microsoft and Edelman did not send me an Acer Ferrari laptop loaded up with Vista. So no ethical conundrum for me. I did, however, receive a Vista Launch kit with some fun geegaws and gadgets which, I assure you, will in no way influence my opinions about Vista.
I'm generally inclined to agree with the advice Joel Spolsky offered up in a recent post about the uproar over the "free" laptop PR program and the merits of upgrading to Vista. This does not really apply to the technology enthusiasts out there but I do think it's pretty sound advice for the general PC-using public.
- Do not, under any circumstances, consider upgrading an XP system to Vista... even if it's fairly new and even if it's Vista Supremo Premium Ultra-Capable.
- When you get a new computer, if it comes with Vista pre-installed, that's when you'll upgrade.
- Don't buy a new computer now just to get Vista. If your current system meets your needs, stick with it until you really need a new system. Vista is not reason enough for a new PC.
- Need more details? Read Paul Thurrott's review.
My favorite quote from that very lengthy review is:
The problem with the five year gestation isn't that OS X and Linux have caught up and in some ways surpassed Windows, which of course they have in some respects. The problem isn't even that Microsoft promised us the world and then failed to deliver. No, the problem is that there's another OS out there that runs just fine on over 400 million computers around the world. That system is stable, secure, and gets the job done. It's Windows Vista's biggest competitor. To be fair, it's Windows Vista's only competitor. Maybe you've heard of it: It's called Windows XP.
Now, that having been said... er, quoted, the big question you may have is will I upgrade to Vista? Absolutely. I'm excited as can be about putting Vista and Office 2007 through their paces in final release form. But I am most decidedly not a typical PC user and I have hardware available to test the waters that most people simply do not have to spare. And I can't wait to get a new Tablet PC with Vista preinstalled. My experimentation with Vista on my trusty old Toshiba M200 has convinced me that Vista will be the best Tablet PC OS yet.
Both of my kids have laptops capable of running Vista quite well and neither of them has the slightest interest in me upgrading their PCs. What they have now meets their needs just fine. Same with my mom. And my wife, the fine artist? She uses a Mac.