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Vista Rebuttals

So, now you've at least read about one family's great experience with Vista - but that is probably not enough to change your mind if you've read much else on the net about this topic. There is still a lot of ground to cover if you are trying to decide between XP and Vista, so lets keep going. Here are some charges that have been leveled against Vista, and my responses:

"User Account Control is an annoyance! I hate needless pop-ups!"

Well, the truth is that making every action that could affect the core of the system require user approval is about the most fundamental security measure possible. I'll agree that it is rather annoying, though - a way to "always approve" a type of action (or a certain program) would be nice. However, if you really can't live with it then do what I do: turn UAC off. This is a simple process:

1) Go to the Control Panel
2) Select "Classic View"
3) Go to User Accounts
4) Select "Turn User Account Control on or off"
5) De-select the check box
6) Click OK
7) Reboot

"Vista costs too much!"

Some folks like to complain about how much Microsoft charges for Windows, but to me that isn't a huge deal. I paid something like $125 per license for my OEM copies on my home systems, which is about what you end up paying to have it loaded on a computer you purchase (for Home Premium). Retail copies are more expensive - $199-450 for full copies, less for upgrades - which is normal Microsoft policy, but not a whole ton of folks end up purchasing this type of software that way. If you do, part of what you are getting is a better level of support from Microsoft themselves compared to what you get with OEM software (which stipulates that the computer vendor is responsible for support). You also get a license that can legally be moved from one computer to another, which is a lot more lax than the OEM terms of use.

When compared to Mac OS, which costs $129, the retail box versions of Windows do seem a little expensive (though OEM prices stack up nicely against that number, and of course one gets Mac's latest OS version included on any Apple computer). Keep in mind, though, that a vast majority of software out there doesn't run on Macs - and while they have their niche purposes I can't endorse an operating system that is limited to one manufacturer's hardware (Apple) and such a small portion of the software that has been written for computers. Also note that whenever a new version of OS X comes out (1.4, 1.5, etc) you have to pay to upgrade. Service packs on Microsoft operating systems are always free, though some would argue that the Mac OS upgrades offer more than the service packs Microsoft churns out every year or two.

The real place where Windows looks expensive is when compared to Linux, the free open-source operating system that is slowly gaining in user base. Again it is worth remembering that a lot of software out there will only run on Windows, so you aren't getting the same level of functionality and interoperability, but proponents of Linux tend to argue that you also can't beat the price tag of $0. If you are interested in learning more about the "other" operating system, check out the user-friendly variant known as Ubuntu.

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Tags: Advice, Windows Vista

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