Windows Vista Business
Manufacturer: Microsoft Part number: 66J-00002
- Bottom Line:
- Windows Vista Business is essentially warmed-over Windows XP. If you're currently happy with Windows XP SP2, we see no compelling reason to upgrade. On the other hand, if you need a new computer right now, Windows Vista is stable enough for everyday use.
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CNET editors' review
price range: $125.00
- Reviewed by: Robert Vamosi
- Reviewed on: 01/24/2007
- Released on: 01/30/2007
The good: Windows Vista Business does improve some features within Windows XP; fewer system crashes than Windows XP; and Windows Vista offers better built-in support options.
The bad: Windows Vista Business does not put Search on the desktop (it's buried within applications, within the Start Menu); no new software yet written exclusively for Windows Vista; optimized only for the Microsoft Windows ecosystem (for example, RSS feeds from Internet Explorer 7 get preferential treatment); no BitLocker drive encryption; no DVD Maker; and there are too many editions of Windows Vista.
The bottom line: Windows Vista Business is essentially warmed-over Windows XP. If you're currently happy with Windows XP SP2, we see no compelling reason to upgrade. On the other hand, if you need a new computer right now, Windows Vista is stable enough for everyday use.
A very attractive replacement to XP that steals most of its ideas from Google Desktop and Macs.
by jfowers on February 3, 2007
Pros: Aero looks great, search is very accesable and useful, Times Reader is great
Cons: iTunes is incompatable and widgets are pretty useless, not as stable as Microsoft implies.
Summary: The main reason that I'm posting this review is to comment on CNET's abject hate of the search function being one level down. Here's the thing, if ...
Summary: The main reason that I'm posting this review is to comment on CNET's abject hate of the search function being one level down. Here's the thing, if you're about to type then your fingers are on the keyboard. All you have to do is tap the Windows button to and the start menu pops up and anything you type goes into the search box. Then push the enter key and presto--no need to click anything or "delve through layers." This is a hundred times more convenient then having search on the desktop, which would require me to minimize all of my windows just to search.
One thing I don't like is Windows Sidebar. The gadgets can't be resized, and are for the most part to small to be useful (looking at you, RSS reader). For whatever reason there isn't a gadget to control media players, which was one of my favorites on Google Desktop (far superior to Windows Sidebar).
I don't regret my free upgrade (courtesy of the University of Florida, go Gators!), but I wouldn't pay money for Vista. Most of the useful features are free through programs like Google Desktop and Window Blinds, so whats the point of spending hundreds of dollars?
5 out of 5 users found this user opinion helpful.
make sure you have a working system to fall back on
by theoboeguy on February 28, 2007
Pros: visually appealing
Cons: so many kinks to iron out
Summary: I recently had my business laptop die on me and replaced it with a Dell loaded with Vista Business. So far, I have had major time consuming issues with Outlook. ...
Summary: I recently had my business laptop die on me and replaced it with a Dell loaded with Vista Business. So far, I have had major time consuming issues with Outlook. I originally tried my Outlook 2000 which is not supported. Apparently this is because of a file called wab32.dll that was located in Outlook Express does not exist because OE has been replaced by Windows Mail. Now that I am loading in Outlook 2000 from the Office XP suite, I am getting all kinds of error messages and warnings from Vista that a program is trying to hijack my email addresses from outlook...and I most certainly don't have any viruses or anything! You would think that somewhere along the line, the designers would have realized that people coming into vista will be using Outlook 2000 or 2002, and they seem to have done NOTHING to bring these business users into this new platform.
Aside from that, the system isn't really very fast, which is surprising, and it seems to have an awful lot of thinking to do. I know Microsoft wants to create this "totally new experience" and the website claims like "simplifying your business so you can have more fun!" and others that are equally nauseating. Vista has provided me with no benefits thus far.
3 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
More "Flash" but not nearly as refined as XP.
by MDJTS on June 25, 2007
Pros: Superficial flashiness (that does not translate into usefulness)
Cons: Drivers less capable than XP; Some useful existing hardware will never be supported
Summary: It is infuriating to have a great printer (Lexmark C524dtn) with duplex capability and not be able to duplex under Vista but have to go to an XP machine to ...
Summary: It is infuriating to have a great printer (Lexmark C524dtn) with duplex capability and not be able to duplex under Vista but have to go to an XP machine to do the duplex printing. This is a driver issue that should have been ironed out before Vista's release. It is even more infuriating to see that detachable disk drives by major manufacturers (e.g. Iomega) are not supported under Vista but are supported under XP. Furthermore, the web sites for these devices state that these devices will not be supported in the future because of "major architectural changes" between Vista and XP. This is absurd. We shouldn't have to upgrade peripheral hardware every time there is a "major" OS upgrade. Even worse: The hardware requirements for basic satisfactory operation are substantially greater for Vista than for XP. XP will run reasonably well on 500 MB or even less. Vista is intolerable on 500 MB and becomes comparable performance wise to XP only at about 1.5 to 2.0 GB of memory. Ridiculous. Vista would never have been released in its present form if Microsoft has serious competition in the OS business. I think XP is superior to Vista in its present form and will be serviceable for almost all applications for many years to come. Microsoft should not be allowed to drop support for XP.Updated
How would you feel about not being able to re-read a book on your bookshelf because the letters have expired and to read it, you have to purchase new letters? If you own a large Type 1 font library (as I do), you will not *ever* be able to use these fonts under Vista. You will either have to purchase Type 3 versions (Adobe is phasing out Type 1) or will have to pay $300 - $1,000 for a font converter (which may or may not render the fonts correctly). XP implements Type 1 fonts flawlessly and seamlessly. There is no reason that Vista cannot support Type 1 fonts other than Microsoft's (and Adobe's) refusal to provide this support.
I have used vista for 5 months now on a new laptop (2.5 GHz, 1.5 GB) and can honestly say that that the "improvements" over XP are marginal at best (and annoying at worst) and that the backward incompatibility with even recent hardware and software is intolerable. I do not want to spend the time and effort doing it, but I feel compelled to install XP over vista.
3 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
not all it's cracked up to be. ugly and hard to use.
by psychoxl99 on March 29, 2007
Pros: Isolating the kernel will be good for security. A lot of minor improvements over XP.
Cons: Removed the "All Programs" part of the Start Menu, UAC is a nightmare, very ugly colors you wouldn't want to spend all day looking at.
Summary: After toying around with Vista Business for about 4 hours, I got frustrated enough that I ended up wiping my hard disk and reverting back to XP. I had made ...
Summary: After toying around with Vista Business for about 4 hours, I got frustrated enough that I ended up wiping my hard disk and reverting back to XP. I had made an image of the hard drive before upgrading with Norton Ghost so it was easy. I'm back on XP and frankly have no intention of upgrading in the near future, if even the distant future.
The appearance features weren't all that did me in, but they were the most disappointing because it had been hyped up so much as such a supposedly beautiful operating system. On appearance, XP's solid blues and greens are so much better than Vista's 10,000 shades of teal, plus the grey/black for maximum nausea. If they wanted it to look good, the least they could have done was package some themes rather than telling users to download nonexistant themes if they didn't like the layout.
The "Flip 3D" feature of "Aero" is killed by the fact that you have to find a little button on the taskbar to use it - or do an awkward 3 key combo - so it's not convenient the way it should be.
Other disappointments included the fact that the "All Programs" menu in the start menu doesn't expand the way it does in XP and previous versions. If you want that, you have to revert to a "classic" theme for the start menu and taskbar, which is basically straight out of Windows 2000, so it clashes with the rest of the desktop (and it is not as convenient as XP's start menu because it only has a single column).
Instead, the start menu in Vista just has a scrolling list of expandable folders, which is about as easy to use as if I were trying to use Windows on my Blackberry. You have to scroll up and down to find anything.
The User Access Control is one thing I thought wouldn't bother me, but it does. Unless you turn it off, it will warn you whenever you run a program it doesn't recognize, which included something as benign as WinRAR. And there is no way I could find to flag a program as "Acceptable." It warned me about WinRAR several times in a row.
Certain folders now take forever to load, for example the Control Panel, which even on my very fast computer takes about 5 seconds to load. On XP it loads right away.
There are now 2 startup pages instead of one. The second is an animation with a nice sound, but before you get there you get a black screen with "(c) Microsoft Windows" at the bottom and an ugly, puke-green progress bar where the bars aren't even evenly spaced. You'd think they would have at least tried to create a good presentation for the opening screen.
Some of those things I could get used to, but the desktop appearance and ease of using the start menu are things that I consider nonnegotiable.
It seems like they made changes to the user interface because they felt like they ought to be making changes, not because they had any compelling reason to do so. This is the same feeling I got when I upgraded to IE7, and which is why I started using Firefox a few months ago after being a longtime IE enthusiast through IE 6. If Vista doesn't crash and burn and force Microsoft to change direction, I think XP will be the last Windows I buy (I got this Vista upgrade for free with my new Dell laptop). I love XP, I just hate Vista. I'll go for a Mac or maybe Linux, if they make Linux easier to use (i.e. multimedia-wise... this would probably require widespread adoption of non-proprietary formats, so it's probably too far in the future).
Now that I think about it, the "commoditization" of operating systems that Microsoft fears seems like it would be pretty good from a consumer perspective... we need more competition in this market, especially if it can be commensurate with standarization. The compatibility issue is the only reason having Windows as a monopoly has been good for consumers thus far, and this can be solved with standardization.
3 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
Stay away at least 6 Month
by mitra911 on February 17, 2007
Pros: Looks Very Attractive
Cons: Nothing works neither Printer Driver nor any other XP based software
Summary: Before You Buy Vista Business Edition,Just check whatever you use Like Printer, Internet Because none of the things supports in this advance version.Microsoft doesn't bothered how existing ...
Summary: Before You Buy Vista Business Edition,Just check whatever you use Like Printer, Internet Because none of the things supports in this advance version.Microsoft doesn't bothered how existing system works.
2 out of 2 users found this user opinion helpful.
Never mind my handle -- Vista is not that bad
by LinuxAddict2010 on July 24, 2008
Pros: Awesome, sleek interface; reasonable software compatibility; friendlier networking; enhanced security
Cons: Some compatibility issues; performance hog; hefty machine needed
Summary: Say what you will about Microsoft, but Windows Vista is all right. I replaced XP Professional with Vista Business on my MacBook (soon thereafter, I replaced OS X Tiger with ...
Summary: Say what you will about Microsoft, but Windows Vista is all right. I replaced XP Professional with Vista Business on my MacBook (soon thereafter, I replaced OS X Tiger with Leopard), and I have to say, even though it's a Microsoft product, I'm still impressed.
The most obvious change from XP is the new interface. Aero, I think, is an improvement over even Aqua on the Mac; the translucence of your window elements and task bar lend an airiness to the Windows interface that no other OS can match (unless you've customized your Linux to resemble Vista, of course). I enjoy this, as it's a highlight to my day shuffling among Word 2007, Visual Studio 2005, Firefox, and my other favorite Windows applications.
I was surprised to see my copy of Word 97 working in Vista without any issues; likewise, I got Age of Empires 2, a game released in 1999, working without issue. Some good. But what bugs me even today is that some old applications utterly refuse to work, and even VS 2005 has a litany of compatibility issues. But at least Microsoft is working on backward compatibility, unlike another computer company out there….
Networking is a bit friendlier in Vista as well. Whenever your Vista laptop detects a new wireless network, it handily tells you to pick an access specification for it -- "Work," "Home," and "Public" are the choices. This is perhaps the most tangible proof of Vista's renewed focus on security, aside from User Account Control.
UAC will be familiar to anyone who's used a Linux or Mac desktop for a while: when you do something that requires administrative permission (like running VS 2005 on my machine, changing system settings, or installing a program), Windows prompts you to tell you that you're doing something that requires administrative permission. If you're an admin user, you only have to click "Continue;" non-admin users have to supply the name and password of an admin in order to complete the action.
The code base is also more secure as a virtue of being based on Windows Server 2003 rather than Windows XP; say what you will about the Vista development cycle, but this was the single smartest decision Microsoft made.
Vista isn't without its warts, though. As I alluded to above, Visual Studio 2005 isn't perfectly compatible with Vista, and there are (from around the Internet, anyway) more reports of incompatibility. Most people won't get bit by those, though.
And let's face it -- Vista is a hoss of an operating system; on my MacBook, easily 40% of the machine's 2048 MB of RAM is in use at any given time. Now with that much memory and a dual-core processor, Vista is sufferable, but I'd hate to be one of the people who got a machine with 512 MB of RAM and a single-core CPU, hoping that Vista would run on it. And with an official requirement of 15 GB of hard drive space, it's nigh impossible to dual boot Vista with anything terribly recent, at least on the piddly 60 GB hard drive in my laptop -- I recently took Leopard off my MacBook to make the machine Windows-only. (Thankfully, I have a Power Mac for Leopard, and a PowerBook for Linux.) Any new machine that you spend a reasonable amount for should have enough muscle to run Vista, but those with older machines should be careful. Microsoft happens to make a "Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor" for people hoping to run Vista on their older PC -- the Advisor reports that my parents' old Pentium 4-based Compaq tower will run it just fine, thanks to the non-integrated video. But they're sticking with XP for now.
In sum, I encourage people who are looking for a new PC to just go ahead and jump in with Vista -- it's a pleasant romp, at least I think so, and Mac users needing a copy to dual-boot with can't really go wrong either. Just make sure to buy as much RAM as you can afford (but hey, that's a strategy for any OS these days, right?), and open your mind to the future of Windows.
1 out of 1 users found this user opinion helpful.
Very stable with few problems
by Dango517 on July 21, 2008
Pros: Vista Business is a considerable improvement over XP Business
Cons: had a few problems at the onset, has a few bugs still in it
Summary: Vista Business is far less trouble prone then XP Business. This OS is very solid with few errors and bugs. Microsoft has done a fine job with this OS despite ...
Summary: Vista Business is far less trouble prone then XP Business. This OS is very solid with few errors and bugs. Microsoft has done a fine job with this OS despite a few start up problems. I think the net has some catching up to do before it's full capabilities are reached. This is especially true for Web 2 programs, applications and utilities involving video, gaming and perhaps audio. I believe there are still problems with connectivity, IE7, and USB support concerning "Ready Boost". More could be done to improve PC over heating problems and video connectivity. Let's hope we see these improvements in SP2. Much work should be done with "problem reports and solutions". To many problems are going unresolved. I certainly hope they resolve the event 1003, Dhcp Client error that has been present in ME, XP Business and now in Vista Business. This error consumes hardware resources and needs to go away. Fine job Microsoft, time to press forward for a perfect 10.
1 out of 1 users found this user opinion helpful.
Too many time-consuming and unsolvable problems to solve make Vista Business a poor choice.
by Jurislaw on January 8, 2008
Pros: Some pretty useless cleverness such as 3-D display of multiple windows
Cons: Incompatible with practically everything you would want to use.
Summary: I cannot recommend that a small business use this highly buggy program until Microsoft updates what is really a beta software product. For reasons probably best known to Microsoft, Vista ...
Summary: I cannot recommend that a small business use this highly buggy program until Microsoft updates what is really a beta software product. For reasons probably best known to Microsoft, Vista is actually being sold as a tested product. Incredibly Vista Business, installed on my Dell Optiflex 766 computer by Dell, does not work either with Microsoft Office's Word (also installed on the computer by the OEM) most of the time, or frequently with the other components of Microsoft Office. If there was one program that you would expect not to have any issue with Vista, it would be Office. Yikes.
1 out of 1 users found this user opinion helpful.
really really bad
by hthomas49 on January 6, 2008
Pros: looks better than xp
Cons: be prepared to reinstall
Summary: I 've had to reinstall once because it wouldn't install office 2003 (office 2007 is another story. Control Panel and all included in CP dissappeared(printers etc), several lock ...
Summary: I 've had to reinstall once because it wouldn't install office 2003 (office 2007 is another story. Control Panel and all included in CP dissappeared(printers etc), several lock ups, task mgr shows processor & memeory usage, but no programs are running. I don't know what the hell it's doing & I've only had it a week. I bought this new computer for increased speed and have spent all week trying to get it to work. I'll probably format and install xp pro.Updated
I've had Vista Business for about 7 months now. Its working like it is supposed to. Once I upgraded to Office 2007 I haven’t had any problems. As with most MS operating systems, you should wait 6 months before buying.
I did turn off “User Account Control” for awhile.
1 out of 1 users found this user opinion helpful.
Beautiful new operating system! (Reasons to wait though)
by manogamez on March 23, 2007
Pros: Stable, beautiful, feature rich, VERY fast (explained below), accessible interface (search is FAST)----Definately NOT a "warmed" Over XP
Cons: Price, PRICE, PRICE,Released too early (Microsoft needs to give time for software and hardware vendors to adapt), Slightly naggy security (can be changed), requires some tweaking at first install
Summary: To start off I would like to say that I in way claim the illusion of objectivity in my review; I have always loved the speed and customizeability of microsoft ...
Summary: To start off I would like to say that I in way claim the illusion of objectivity in my review; I have always loved the speed and customizeability of microsoft products and have been a microsoft customer for 8+ years.
-I've had the pleasure of using Vista Beta for 1 month and Vista Business for 5 days.
-My current computer's specifications
Inspiron 6400/E1505, 120 GB 5600 RPM HD, 1 GB 666MHz RAM, ATI X1300 128 MB Video Card
First off I'd like to say that if you are interested in buying a new operating system, do your research FIRST! If your hardware vendors have not made vista drivers yet for you then don't buy Vista yet. If you really want it quickly I suggest e-mailing those vendors and pressuring them to get with the program (pun intended). Now, on to the review.
~Installation of Vista on my machine:
Installing Vista was child's work even when installing on a seperate partition along with XP (partitioning the HD however, is NOT child's work). Installation took about 32 minutes from when I put the CD in to when I was fully logged in to Vista.
I was soon greated with a simple welcome window and a windows update notification with a few drivers that I needed to download. I press a button, then another, and voila! All my hardware works! (May not be so easy for others without a vista premium capable Dell).
-The Interface (Look and feel):
These days all you hear about operating systems is how nice they 'feel' and how great they look. If you're looking to show Vista off to others you are in luck. It is a STUNNER. No where near the shear power of Beryl on Ubuntu but still quite spectacular. Moreover, this interface does not bogg the user down but feels crisp and well....bouncy.
Basically, as an extremely proficient XP user (who said I was arrogant?!1?), my windows XP already had MOST of the features in Vista installed through third party vendors and tweaks. However, for those of you without my amazing powers Vista is a GODSEND. Let me outline some things for you:
1. Search - Extremely fast and accessible searchs allow you to run programs or documents simply by hitting the windows key and typing the first 4 letters (maybe 3, maybe EVEN 2) of the program or document's name. Productivity goes through the roof! Contextual searching also makes searching through folders easy with a simple shortcut (windows key + S) when in a folder view in explorer.
Moving around in Vista is a breeze with the new 3d tab view (windows key + Tab) and previews on the taskbar. Everything I look for in a folder is exactly where I expect it to be and working with files has never been easier. However, there is a dark side to all of this (see security below).
3. Desktop Sidebar
Although this is nothing new (Konfabulator was the first) it's about time microsoft integrated mini programs ("gadgets") into its operating system. I've found some (drool) really useful ones that replace the functionality of full programs I had in XP. And when it gets intrusive simply turn it off.
4. Many others like:
i. Built in 3d games
ii. Revamped Volume controls
iii. New and fast Windows Media Player
iV. EASY networking and filesharing
With the addition of User Account control and the built in Windows Defender (for spyware) Vista is almost bullet proof when run as a standard user. Even running as an administrator is much more secure than it was under XP. No programs install themselves without the explicit authorization of the user and no system files (or any files for that matter) can be modified without permission.
However, due to the constant nagging of security it may get VERY frustrating for an expert user who installs a lot of programs. Therefore I recommend switching UAC (user account control) off when first installing all of your programs on Vista. Also, I would suggest getting a virus scanning program to supplement Windows Defender (AVG Free is great).
All in all this will become a great investment when all the driver/software issues are sorted out (all of mine have been). However, the price may still be prohibitive to many. I for one would never have bough a $300 operating system and only am using Vista because I got it free though my College MSDN free software licensing program. (Jealous?? Well I pay $40K a year to go here...)
My recommendation: Vista is the upgrade in your life that you've been waiting for. But before you upgrade, research, resewarch, and research. And if you're one of the lucky ones without any problems, Buy buy buy. (Nsyc' reference anyone?)
1 out of 1 users found this user opinion helpful.