Whether you should upgrade to Vista depends on your needs, how well your current version of Windows is fulfilling them, and whether your hardware is up to the test. The decision is wholly yours (of course), but the following sections offer some suggestions, depending on where you’re coming from.
Windows 3.x, Windows 9x, Windows NT, Windows 2000
Vista requires a ton of new hardware, so if you’re using an old system that has one of these operating systems installed on it, you’ll need to start from scratch. Microsoft doesn’t offer any upgrade path for you and it’s unlikely that your hardware will handle all of the requirements of Vista. You have good reasons to upgrade to Vista. Microsoft has ended or is ending support for all of these products, including fixes for problems that viruses and spyware can use to gain entry to your system. Most new applications also require something a bit more robust than these older operating systems can provide. The hardware you’re using will eventually give up the ghost, but you’ll probably give up on it first because you’ll want to perform the tasks that your neighbor can. These older operating systems just don’t offer quite the functionality that Vista can provide.
Windows XP Home Edition
Interestingly enough, this version of Windows XP provides the largest number of upgrade possibilities. You can upgrade to any Vista edition. There are a lot of reasons to upgrade Windows XP Home Edition and many of you already know what they are because people have been creating workarounds for Windows XP Home Edition shortcomings for quite some time. For most people, the biggest reason to upgrade to Vista is the extra security it provides. It’s a lot harder to become infested with viruses and spyware when the system is working so hard to keep itself clean. Of course, nothing is impossible. Home business users will gain access to a number of new features, not the least of which is the small business support that Microsoft provides with Vista. You’ll also like features such as Game Explorer if you have to share access to the system with your children. All of the new applications are helpful as well. A home user doesn’t need all of the capabilities of Outlook. With the addition of features such as Windows Calendar, you no longer have to decide between the cost of a full version of Windows and the functionality you require to get the job done.
Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Media Center, and Windows XP Tablet PC
Microsoft has provided less flexible upgrade paths for these other Windows XP editions. The reason is that these Windows XP editions provided specific functionality that some Vista editions don’t provide. Here’s the list of update choices for each of the Windows XP editions.
• Windows XP Professional: Vista Business or Vista Ultimate
• Windows XP Media Center: Vista Home Premium or Vista Ultimate
• Windows XP Tablet PC: Vista Business or Vista Ultimate
Security is a very good reason to upgrade from these other Windows XP editions. Microsoft does provide significant changes in security that makes securing your system significantly easier. The new security management tools are also a plus. For example, you can now create group policies with greater ease. In addition, the policies don’t consume as much space or lend themselves to certain kinds of corruption that plagued earlier versions of Windows. If you get Vista Ultimate, you obtain everything that Windows has to offer, including full media support. However, most business users will find that Vista Business does everything they need, including providing support for the Tablet PC. You can actually access all of the Tablet PC utilities from your desktop now.
I’m sure you’ll agree that there are many good reasons, but often you’ll need to add extra memory or a new display adapter to your existing system to make it work with Vista. It’s important to consider the tradeoff of investment in new hardware against the new features that Vista provides. In some cases, you’ll find that sticking with Windows XP for now is the best choice.
Source of Information : Sybex Mastering Windows Vista Business
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