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Windows Vista Ultimate with SP1
List Price: $339.99

Our Price: $154.95

You Save: $185.04 (54%)


Product Description

The most complete choice for your business just got better.Windows Vista Ultimate with Service Pack 1 helps you focus on what matters the most: you, your business, and your customers. Special enhancements and security protocols help make this Vista truly ultimate. This is the most complete edition of Windows Vista - with the power, security, and mobility features that you need for work with fun entertainment features. Windows Vista Ultimate has an advanced, business-focused infrastructure, mobile productivity, and a premium home digital entertainment experience, all in one box. It combines all of the features found in Windows Vista Home Premium (like Windows Media Center, Windows Movie Maker with high-definition support, and Windows DVD Maker) and Windows Vista Business (like business networking, centralized management tools, and advanced system backup features). It also has all of the security and data protection features that you need. Found only in the Ultimate edition are Windows Ultimate Extras, add-ons that extend the capabilities of your system including:

Windows Defender & Windows Firewall - safeguard your PC against security threats Easier use of a PC with Windows Tablet & Touch Technology - pen-and-ink functionality, improved navigation, improved handwriting recognition & built-in touch screen support Collaborate & share documents with Windows Meeting Space Enjoy Windows Media Center on your TV with Xbox 360 & other devices Business networking connectivity with Networking Center & Remote DesktopSystem Requirements 800 MHz processor & 512 MB of system memory 20 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space Super VGA graphics support If you want a single PC that fulfills all of your work, travel, and entertainment needs, Windows Vista Ultimate is the system for you.

Windows Vista Ultimate with Service Pack 1 is the choice for those who want to have it all. Easily shift between the worlds of productivity and play with the most complete edition of Windows Vista. Ultimate provides the power, security, and mobility features needed for work, and all the entertainment features that you want for fun.

Compare Windows Vista editions.

Use Instant Search to quickly find the information you need. View larger.

Windows Vista Aero provides spectacular visual effects such as glass-like interface elements that you can see through.

The redesigned Windows Media Center in Windows Vista lets you enjoy your media throughout your home, even on your Xbox 360. View larger.

Improved Reliability and Performance
Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 and improvements delivered by hardware and software partners increase the reliability, performance, and compatibility of Windows Vista-based PCs.

With Windows Vista with SP1, many of the most common causes of operating system crashes and hangs have been addressed. Windows Vista includes new, innovative technologies that help pinpoint and diagnose issues reported anonymously by Windows Vista-based PCs from millions of users who have elected to have their PC send us system information.

Windows Vista with SP1 supports a number of important new technology standards, so it will keep making your PC easier and more enjoyable to use for years to come.

The most complete edition of Windows Vista--with the power, security, and mobility features that you need for work, and all of the entertainment features that you want for fun
When you want to have it all, including the ability to shift smoothly between the worlds of play and productivity, there's Windows Vista Ultimate with Service Pack 1. You'll never have to worry about having the most advanced capabilities?they're all here. This edition of Windows Vista offers an advanced, business-focused infrastructure, mobile productivity, and a premium home digital entertainment experience, all in a single offering.

Specifically, Windows Vista Ultimate with Service Pack 1 offers all of the features found in Windows Vista Home Premium, including Windows Media Center, Windows Movie Maker with high-definition support, and Windows DVD Maker. It also offers all of the features found in Windows Vista Business, including business networking, centralized management tools, and advanced system backup features. And Windows Vista Ultimate with Service Pack 1 has all of the new security and data protection features that help take Windows Vista to a whole new level of dependability.

In addition, Windows Vista Ultimate with Service Pack 1 includes support for all of the new mobility features in Windows Vista, including Windows Tablet and Touch Technology, Windows SideShow, Windows Mobility Center, and other new, advanced mobility features.

Exclusive to Windows Vista Ultimate with Service Pack 1 are Windows Ultimate Extras. Windows Ultimate Extras are add-ons that extend certain capabilities of your operating system or just make using your PC more fun. Windows Ultimate Extras currently available include:

  • Windows DreamScene, an Extra that enables you to use looped, full-motion video as your desktop wallpaper instead of a static image
  • Windows Hold'em, a poker game for players of all skill levels
  • Language packs for Windows multi-language interface, where users can install and use multiple languages on a single PC. Great for multi-lingual households or if you are learning a new language.
  • Secure Online Key Backup, where Ultimate users can store their BitLocker recovery password and Encrypting File System certificate on Windows Marketplace's Digital Locker website for access to the key anytime, anyplace, and from any computer that has an Internet connection
  • BitLocker Drive Preparation Tool, an automated tool which removes the complexity of setting up your PC to use this exclusive data security feature.

Whenever a new Windows Ultimate Extra is ready for distribution by Microsoft, you will see the Ultimate Extra control panel inform you that there are new extras to download. Simply download and install the Extras and begin enjoying these exclusive software and services that give your Windows Vista experience an extra lift!

If you want a single PC that fulfills all of your work, travel, and entertainment needs, or if you simply want to be confident that you have the very best, Windows Vista Ultimate with Service Pack 1 is the no-compromise edition for you.

Windows Sidebar gives you quick access to gadgets like picture slide shows, Windows Media Player controls, or news headlines. You pick the gadgets you want to see in Windows Sidebar. View larger.

Use Flip 3D to navigate through open windows using the scroll wheel on your mouse. View larger.

Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 helps protect your family and your personal information from threats from malicious software and phishing scams and helps you keep your PC backed-up and running smoothly.

Parental Controls help parents keep children safer while using PCs through convenient tools to manage and monitor children's computer use, access to websites, and ability to play certain games and use certain applications.

PCs running Windows Vista are 60% less likely to be infected with viruses, worms and rootkits than PCs running Windows XP SP2.

Windows Internet Explorer 7 helps protect your PC and your personal information against malicious software, fraudulent websites, and online phishing scams. New phishing attacks are more than 25 times as common as new viruses, and over 20,000 fraudulent phishing websites are created every month. Internet Explorer 7 is now blocking nearly one million inadvertent attempts to access fake phishing sites per week.

Help defend your PC against pop-ups, slow performance, and security threats caused by spyware and other unwanted software with Windows Defender. Windows Defender in Windows Vista automatically scans Internet Explorer 7 downloads to help bring spyware to your attention before it can infect your computer.

More easily back-up the content on your PC--including digital photos, music, movies, and documents--with Scheduled and Network Backup.

If you have serious PC problems, Complete PC Backup and Restore makes it easier to restore your PC by not only backing up all your files, but also the entire operating system and all of your applications.

Help ensure that the data on your computer stays confidential, even if your PC is lost or stolen. windows BitLocker Drive Encryption provides full-volume encryption and boot integrity monitoring (alerting you if someone has tampered with your PC).

Windows Vista with SP1 is more entertaining. With Windows Media Center, you can enjoy your digital photos and music on your TV as well as on your PC. And it can turn your PC into a digital video recorder, so you can record TV and watch it on your schedule, not theirs.

Sit back and enjoy recorded TV, photos, music, home videos, games and DVDs from the comfort of your couch with Windows Media Center.

Access and project your TV, music, photos, and movies to any room in your house using an Xbox 360 console connected to your wired or wireless home network. It's like having your Media Center PC wherever you have an Xbox 360!

Author and burn movies, photos, and music to DVDs you can play on your PC or a DVD player with Windows DVD Maker.

Live the game! It's easier for you to find, play, and manage your games with GAMES EXPLORER. Games Explorer provides detailed information including when you last played, game genre, and rating of your games. With DirectX 10, play vivid and engaging games with unrivalled realism. Also, use the same game controller with both your PC and your Xbox 360 system.

It's easier and faster than ever to find, use, manage and share the information on your PC or on the Web with Windows Vista with SP1.

Most Windows Vista-based PCs boot in less than a minute, which can be an improvement over Windows XP boot times.

The Windows Vista sleep and resume features can bring your PC to life in a snap. The vast majority of Windows Vista-based PCs resume from sleep in less than six seconds.

See everything you're working on more clearly with Windows Aero and quickly switch between windows or tasks using Windows Flip 3D.

Find it fast! Simply type something about a file, picture, or song, such as a word contained in a document or e-mail message, the artist of a song, or the date a picture was taken, and Instant Search will bring back any matches instantly.

Organize a lifetime of photos and movies with ease using Windows Photo Gallery. Tag your photos by date, keyword, star rating or any identifying label you choose--so you can find them anytime you want them.

Display live information, like weather, stocks, and news, directly on your desktop with easy-to-use Gadgets and Windows Sidebar.

View multiple web pages simultaneously with Quick Tabs in Windows Internet Explorer 7.

Get up and running faster than ever with Windows Easy Transfer that automatically copies your files and settings from your old PC.

With special features to help you go mobile, Windows Vista with SP1 makes computing and connecting away from home or the office easier than ever.

Work the way you want with touch and digital input and handwriting. Tablet and Touch Technology makes your notebook PC experience truly personal.

Set up a wireless network at home with Network and Sharing Center--so you can experience the freedom of working virtually anywhere in your home. Then easily find and join a wireless network at your favorite hotspot--so you can stay productive wherever you go.

Optimize your power and mobil settings centrally with Windows Mobility Center.

Easily sync and manage your music, contacts and pictures across your devices and other PCs with Sync Center.

Share your desktop or any program with Windows Meeting Space. Co-edit documents, and pass notes in class, a favorite hotspot, or where no network exists.

  • Mobility-based operating system meets all your computing needs whether you're working from home, working on the road, or searching for entertainment options
  • Combines all the features of a business-focused operating system, all the efficiency features of a mobility-focused operating system, and all of the digital entertainment features of a consumer-focused operating system
  • Remotely connect to business networks; Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption provides improved levels of protection against theft for your important business data whether you are at home, on the road, or in the office
  • Delivers all of the entertainment features available in Windows Vista Home Premium; includes everything you need to enjoy the latest in digital photography, music, movies, analog TV, or even HDTV
  • Ideal for both business and home entertainment use

Customer Reviews:

  • It has some perks over regular Vista, but Ubuntu is still better
    Let me begin by saying we've recently upgraded our computers, and in the process tried Vista Home Premium w/ SP1 ($200), Vista Ultimate w/ SP1 ($300), Ubuntu, tried installing Mac OSX Leopard on our PCs ($129), and Ubuntu (free).

    I must admit we were impressed with the look, feel, and some of the features of Vista Ultimate, but our bottom line is that it had way too many glitches, it was way too expensive, the rights management is absolutely ridiculous, it's way too bulky and clunky, and the free version of Ubuntu is a much better operating system. I've also posted a product review for Windows Vista Home Premium with SP1, and I'll be repeating myself on several issues. So let me begin by commenting on the features unique to Vista Ultimate:

    From my experience, the biggest perks for the Ultimate version are the "Meeting Space" features (for collaboration & sharing documents), XBox compatibility (which doesn't matter for us), backup features which are pretty helpful, hardware failure protection (which doesn't really matter since you are not allowed to reinstall Vista more than once), remote desktop accessibility, and business networking features. Some of these are pretty good features, but nothing here really impresses us deeply. Most of these things can be downloaded as individual programs or plug-ins ...they are nice features to have in an operating system, but it in no way warrants putting up with all the other bugs and glitches in Vista, nor does it warrant the price.

    Even though this version comes with a service pack, it still seems like a beta product. It really does take a lot of time to figure out how to install it, how to migrate your programs and information to Vista (I've read some nightmare stories about trying to uninstall it, too), and how to use it. I really don't see how Windows can compete with Ubuntu, which is free! Overall I would strongly suggest either 1.) keeping your previous version of Windows (I'm using XP on one machine, and NT or 2000 on our other machines, which remains the lightest, most functional version of Windows); 2.) installing Ubuntu instead; or 3.) getting a Mac.

    The new Internet Explorer 7 is a clear benefit over previous versions. It has much better security (though still not as good as Mozilla Firefox or Mac browsers), and it has more functionality. But you don't need to buy Vista to get it - you can upgrade free online.

    Also, it has some new gadgets & wizards which are useful, such as transparent layering windows and 3D layout (Aero), tablet interface, and others. But this is not enough to impress me - either these things are available already through Ubuntu or Mac OS, or these are things you can download with your other peripherals/accessories (such as the tablet interface).

    But I quickly run out of nice things to say about Vista. The DRM precautions (digital rights management) are ridiculous - there are way too many issues to mention here, so you'll have to google it to get the full story. My biggest problem with the "rights management", perhaps, is that you cannot reinstall this more than once... even with the disc! Yes, that means if you have a bad install, then you only get one more shot at installing it. That also means if you have to migrate to a new PC or
    hard drive, you are out of luck! This is a ripoff - absolute nonsense, and I would recommend against this OS for this reason alone.

    My second biggest problem is that this is a huge, clunky OS which takes an enormous amount of disk space. I have a pretty nice system at home, but its a couple years old and Vista slows me down to a snail's pace. It's ironic, because when we decided to install Ubuntu instead of upgrading our systems (keeping the old hardware), everything ran twice as fast. Microsoft simply doesn't get it. They seem to be adding a whole bunch of features and new stuff instead of making the OS lighter, more efficient, &/or easier to use.

    The power management feature does not seem to work. The operating system is constantly scanning your computer, so the features contradict themselves, making it a rather inefficient operating system for desktops or laptops. This can take a toll both on the environment and on your electric bill.

    The security features in Vista seem too little, too late. Yes, these features might help, but they pop up for the dumbest reasons (i.e., plugging in a USB drive or an external hard drive - is it warning me that my drive has a virus on it?, or that my drive *may* have a virus on it?, or that someone may be stealing my files? It's not clear). Also, as I said earlier, the new IE7 (bundled here) has clear advantages to the previous versions, but if security is a concern (as it should be - studies show that 90% of computers in the US have some sort of malware or virus on it), then get a Mac or upgrade to Ubuntu instead.

    Vista, for the first time in Windows, introduced a recording tools program (again, better versions come standard in Ubuntu or Mac), and upgraded their windows media player - and again, made it clunkier instead of lighter. Media player, by the way, remains a huge security risk.

    In terms of drivers, I couldn't get either of my printers to work with Vista (Dell Color Laser, and an old ALPS micro dry printer). These took me a LOT of time to set up in XP, and frankly, I gave up trying to get them to work with Vista. The legacy of "plug and pray" continues with Vista.

    There is a lot more I could say about Vista, but I should probably "bottom line" it for you ... who should get Vista? This does have some nice business & conferencing features not available in Ubuntu or Mac OS. So if these are really important to you, then maybe you should check it out...though I would definitely suggest trying to find individual programs to meet your needs instead of switching to a whole new operating system just for these features. If you do get it, expect to fork out another $300 next time your computer crashes (I cannot warn you enough about what a cost and inconvenience this will be for users), and expect to spend a LOT of time tinkering (something I suspect a lot of business users don't have time for)....more info
  • Great operating system
    When I first migrated to Vista, I wasn't sure I'd like it. Now I love it. It has so many great features. I especially like the Sidebar. I also like that you can set up photos into your screensaver. I no longer need to purchase a digital frame. I just use the screensaver.

    Ultimate has many features that the other versions of Vista don't, especially backing up your system.

    ...more info
  • I Was A Hater
    Ever since Vista came out, I've been cutting it up, laughing at my friends who got it, and harping on about how great OSX is, and that XP is the way to go if you have to use Windows. Well, a couple of weeks ago, after my XP Pro became seriously confused, and i knew i had to do a complete reinstall, I decided to get Vista and see for myself.

    Low and behold, Vista is actually really good! I was truly shocked and still am to a certain degree that it even works...and dare i say it - works better than XP.

    I do a lot of 3D modeling and animation, and use both Mac and PC throughout the day. I definitely like the simplicity and sophistication of OSX, but there are just some things that must be done on PC. And by far, Vista is the best version of Windows yet. It runs smoothly and faster on my machine (which is 3 years old) than XP.

    I never though I'd say this, but it's almost made me like Windows again.

    Don't believe the tidal wave of hate Vista has received, it is the evolution of Windows, and until a solid version of 7 comes out, the most enjoyable way to use your PC.

    ...more info
  • SP1 makes a difference
    I had Vista before the service pack.. and unfortunately, the operating system seemed to lack in one area, operating. My hardware drivers stopped working over time, and I ultimately uninstalled the OS and reinstalled XP.

    I built a new computer and wanted to have DirectX 10, and since installing Vista with SP1, I haven't had any issues with compatability with drivers. I'm pleased with the perfomance of it so far. ...more info
  • Works like it should.. Well, for the most part.
    I was afraid of purchasing these windows due to high price (since they did not come with any kind of frame separators) but it was a good decision.

    Where I live it rains a lot and sometimes water is very abusive and my previous windows have been "watered down". These, however, appear to be strong and trustworthy.

    I only wish they offered the white version. My house is gray and I would like to have my windows to be white but oh well. Black will do too.

    Recommended....more info
  • Big-time overhead, slower, confusing
    I have heard so many people complaining about Vista and now I know why. The overhead in this OS is way over the top. I have a brand new iMac - and when I say brand new, I don't just mean for me - this particular model just started rolling off the assembly lines 3 weeks ago. It's a 24" model with a Intel Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz processor and 512MB of dedicated graphics memory. I installed Vista using VMWare Fusion which is rated to be faster with Vista than via Parallels per the latest benchmarks published in PC Magazine.

    Even the box this thing came in was confusing. It took me 10 minutes to figure out how I was supposed to open this odd acrylic box without destroying it.

    VMWare Fusion had the whole system installed in about an hour and a half - one of the fastest Windows installs I've seen, other than when I installed XP, of course.

    I don't have any apps to run in Vista, so I spent hours just trying out every feature I could to get a good appraisal of it and to give an adequate review.

    It starts up slower than XP, likely to do to the bloated overhead. Right-clicking doesn't get the snappy response it should. Apparently my 512MB of graphics memory is insufficient for Vista - because only the Windows Flag screensaver will run - the others tell me I need a new graphics card. Hello? It has 512 MB of dedicated VRAM. How many GB of graphics memory does Vista need?

    Ok - no big deal, so I just can't review the screensavers - fine. Then I went to play Freecell. I'm not sure what was going on in the board room meetings in Redmond when they decided to work on existing games in Windows - but yowza - the overhead is ridiculous. You never have played Freecell this slow in your life.

    Things that should be very low overhead like WordPad, the Start Menu, etc. are just stuttery slow. I mean it is torture. The system is also frankly, patronizing. Do computer users really need to be alerted when they open an empty folder with the text "This folder is empty" ? A lot of alerts that repeat over and over seem to assume that the user is not simply new to computing, but also incapable of forming short term memories.

    As with Windows the alt-tab key combo cycles through applications, on the Mac, command-tab cycles through apps as well. Because there was no overt way to remap the keys on the Windows side, I was unable to activate the Windows flip feature. I've yet to try Vista in BootCamp - but it's something I would never do in real life. I'm a Mac user. If I use Windows, it's because I have to, not because I want to - and I want Windows open in another window so I can copy-paste and drag and drop between the two operating systems.

    It may not be fair to compare apples to oranges here, but I have no other reference point. When Apple came out with each new version of it's Mac OS X operating system iterations, there were loads of videos telling you how to take advantage of all the features. The new OS, Leopard, runs on my 6-year-old Mac w/o any upgrading and it flies on it. Even with SP1, Vista is just slower by an order of magnitude than XP.

    I use XP at work and was very frustrated moving from Office 2003 to 2007 because all of the menus I knew were gone and moved around. I feel the same way with Vista - familiarity is simply not embraced with this 'upgrade' - you are simply thrown into a whole new environment, replete with many of the old problems, at a much slower pace.

    As a Mac user, I buy a new Mac approximately every 5 years... that's all I need to really stay current and on top of the latest technologies and software. With Windows, however, you really need a new CPU every 2 years or sooner to make sure your hardware is space-age savvy enough to be able to run the glitz from the new software that Redmond rolls out. I don't see overt advantages to Vista. Their built-in firewall tries to protect you, but to the point of torturing you to death. It is less intuitive to use than its predecessors and I don't see what it does that's new that makes an 'upgrade' worthwhile. This entire OS seems like an utter failure. This is not simply a preference issue of Mac over Windows - putting preferences aside, Vista is simply slow. It has too much bloat compared to XP to make it a pleasant change. If it's more advanced, it should be more compatible (not less), snappier (not slower) and easier to use (not increasingly less intuitive)... especially at the cost - it should be doing something good for you, not punishing you....more info
  • Don't Buy From MicroIdea
    First one arrived, I just got a brand new puppy! I was excited up until Microsoft asks for the 25 digit activation code, which the one on the box is not valid. Spent a frustrating 45 minutes on the phone with Microsoft. They assume anybody calling about an activation code is a thief, good luck getting help from them. Then they recommend that I speak with the retailer that I purchased the os from. Amazon which I use to love has no real response to my issue besides REPLACEMENT. Okay maybe the first os was a fluke. 2nd one arrived and the same problem. Both returned and hopefully I get the refund. Spend the extra 75 bucks to get the os at staples to avoid this issue. Other than that this os is awesome, just not from Amazon....more info
  • fungchicken
    Having built computers since the Win98SE date, I am no stranger to Windows OSs. I'll make this short and sweet. If you have invest your money on hardwares and softwares on XP, stay there. You will lose use of some of your printers, scanners, and cameras right away due to lack of drivers. This happen the last time MS went from Win98 to XP. Don't even speak of WinME. How long did MS support that OS? I am presently using 2 computers. One using WinXP Pro and the other using Vista Ultimate with a KVM switch. So here is my word of advice. If you are using WinXP and are happy, stay there. If you are starting new with all new equipment and software, go Vista. I had to try Vista. ...more info
  • Another Microsoft OS
    I did not find this particularly helpful. I could not install it on my old laptop....more info
  • Complete JUNK in my opinion.
    Complete JUNK in my opinion. Don't waste your hard earned money or your time with this VISTA nonsense. VISTA should not have been released to the public in its current bugged filled form. I am now an APPLE (Leopard OS X) fan and it runs great. I loved XP and I run it on the side using Fusion software on Leopard OS X. Yes .... Apple computers cost far more, but the value is truly there, trust me you want be disappointed at all.

    Leopard OS X Safari internet surfing has fierce speed as compared to explorer running on Vista. Explorer on Vista is like frustrating baby steps (PISS POOR SPEED regardless of your internet connection speed).

    Friends don't let friends buy JUNK.......MY FRIENDS.... DON'T BUY THIS JUNK. ...more info
  • Better than I thought
    I'll level with you: I'm a geek for technology. That said, I think Microsoft did a nice job with Vista Ultimate. Be warned that you will need more computer horsepower to show off all of Vista's bells and whistles - the Aero display is stunning but requires a decent video card.

    My opinion is that if your computer is running fine with Windows XP, there's no reason to jump to Vista; but if you bought a computer with Vista Ultimate you'll be in for a nice improvement in the Windows family of products. ...more info
  • Be aware of the Intel & Microsoft Monopoly
    You cannot beat the market dictatorship run by Intel together with Microsoft. AMD has created a much better processor than Intel and introduced it faster into the market, but the AMD Turion X2 64bit is not 100% supported by Microsoft. When I tried to install the Windows Vista 64bit, after 70% done the installation failed and when I tried the Windows Vista 32bit, it failed after 96%. 96% supported does not make it work. So I had to throw away my AMD-based laptop and had to buy an Intel-based laptop instead. I figured out my fight is doomed and I had lost enough money and time already resisting the Wintel monopoly. Very sad.
    The money I spent on Vista, wasted as well. HP warns about Windows XP not actually running on the AMD processores unless using HP fixes, but I needed to upgrade to Vista. So do not buy HP with AMD processors if you want to use them more than a year....more info
  • Not Worthy At All
    * It has better security (than XP... Do not confuse with other OS's...)
    * Parental Controls are fairly decent

    * To this better security... It's either on or off... Meaning that if you disable UAC your computer realistically has no security
    * The OS is unstable
    * Many of the features that Vista contains are from other OS's just 'dimmed-down' making them worthless
    * Too many resource requirements
    * Techs like me generally hate this Windows version because everything is 'thrown at you' and to do the simplest of things you have to take the 'incompetent' path... For example for me to just get to my network connections area I have to go through about five windows...more info
  • Worst Version of Windows Yet
    This is, without a doubt, the worst version of Windows I have used so far. I have used Windows since 3.1 (pre Windows 95).

    If I could sum up my Windows Vista experience, it would be this: The moment you install the Operating System, it feels like you're engaging in an epic, never ending battle with it.

    The first malaise anyone who buys this flaming piece of crap will notice is a feature called User Access Control (UAC). It is a very poorly designed feature which brings pop-up warnings for every little thing. We're talking a pop-up warning every time you double click an icon to start up a program, people. On top of that, many programs, including big name ones like Photoshop, cannot even save files (they literally cannot save a file to the disk, nor save changes to a file) unless you start them up in an unconventional way, which may baffle some beginners. Do not despair, though - as the poorly designed UAC can be turned off in Control Panel.

    But it doesn't stop there. There are many incredible annoyances, which may seem small at first, but like a driving companion on a long trip who won't shut the hell up, your tolerance fades quickly. These are small annoyances like files auto-sorting when you copy them to a folder (in XP all your copied files appeared highlighted neatly at the bottom), making organizing a headache for directories with tons of files in them. Then there are seemingly random folders which seem to REFUSE to save their view settings. They literally just refuse like it's throwing your changes away in rebellion trying say, "Let me be myself!" Ugh!

    If you're a Photoshop user, you might want to stay away from Vista. MANY users (including myself) have had problems with Vista and Photoshop having extreme brush lag (we're talking about 1 or 2 seconds for a brush stroke to update on screen). I believe this problem has to do with Nvidia incompatibility. The only known fix, oddly, is to use Vista with the animated and glitzy Aero desktop theme, which itself is a resource hog, but at least it makes Photoshop usable.

    The list goes on - but let's sum it up: VISTA SUCKS!

    That said, there are (oh so unfortunately *grumbles*) some reasons you might want, or need to upgrade:

    1) Direct X will not be upgraded for XP passed 9.0c. Therefore, if you want Direct X 10 or higher to take advantage of new gaming features, you will need Vista

    2) MS as well as other software manufacturers will obviously phase out support for XP over time. But this won't happen for a few years yet.

    If you don't forsee any immediate use for Direct X 10, then there really is no reason to upgrade from XP. XP had a VASTLY superior interface, in my opinion, and uses less resources. With Vista it feels like you're constantly fighting with the OS.

    Vista, quite simply, is the result of Microsoft trying to reinvent the wheel. Any attempt to make a circle more round will only ruin the circle. Paradoxically, they've actually managed to ruin Windows....more info
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
    Best windows product I have used so far. I am running this on my Imac computer so I can run Flight Sim X,
    and several other windows products I own. I would highly recommend this version of windows....more info
  • Buyer Beware!
    I purchased Vista from Amazon itself. When it began acting up, I contacted Microsoft for warranty support. They told me my product ID showed it to be a version for release in Serbia or Latin America and that it would not operate properly in the U.S. They would provide no warranty support. Amazon replaced it, but neither Amazon nor Microsoft would explain how this could happen. I suggest you check the ID number with Microsoft immediately upon installation. Otherwise, I like Vista just fine....more info
  • SP1 And Still Not Ready!
    With Service Pack 1, Microsoft has attempted to fix up their new OS. Off to very bad start, the world was sceptical about Vista, and for good reason. With dozens of fixes, does Service Pack 1 make their new OS worth using? I say no.

    All new features considered I cannot think of anyone who would benefit from Microsoft's new operating system. While they have added some visual sizzle its clear that the artists over at Apple have a much better sense of designing a user interface. Vista is just plain ugly, even with the transparency features. The buttons are now harder to push, and they are smaller.

    At the end of the day, isn't it all about how much you got done? Vista will waste so much of your time with its constant crashing, memory, and driver issues that you will absolutely go nuts. Even to advanced PC technicians: you've been warned. Let me save you some time. Maybe one more year and Microsoft will get it right.

    Windows Vista is unrefined, overpriced, ugly, and constantly crashes in regular computing circumstances. You would be wise to stick with Windows XP no matter who you are....more info
  • DRM is an unavoidable, powerful blow
    those who need it:

    1. photo editors [Vista 64-bit - Also, they will need a native (not to be confused with "certified") 64-bit application such as Adobe Photoshop CS4.]

    2. video gamers who wish to take advantage of DirectX 10 and/or install more than 4 GB of RAM in their system (the latter requires Vista 64-bit)

    3. users who wish to install more than 4 GB of RAM in their system (again, Vista 64-bit)

    those who don't need it:

    everyone else, pretty much; especially those who work professionally with audio and/or video

    built-in Digital Rights Management (DRM) may not allow capturing, editing and/or transcoding of audio and/or video:

    DRM especially interferes with anything audio-related
    except for "Digital-In", all audio sources are blocked for the following programs:

    1. Audacity 1.2.6
    2. Canopus EDIUS Broadcast 4.61 (including Voice Overs)
    3. Creative Labs Smart Recorder 2.40.23 (including "What U Hear")

    one may not be able to transcode files with the following programs:

    1. AVS Video Converter 5.6
    2. Canopus EDIUS Broadcast 4.61
    3. Canopus ProCoder Express
    4. Moyea FLV to Video Converter Pro 2
    Note: I stated *may not* for the above because, for the first time in two months (5/31/09), I tried these programs again on Vista without any problems. I had installed Service Pack 2 on 5/27. That may have something to do with it.


    Overall, Vista is a decent successor to XP. The interface has been overhauled for the first time since Windows 95. So it definitely takes a week or so to get used to the changes. Big annoyances such as Indexed Searching and User Account Control can be disabled. DRM cannot be bypassed; as far as I'm aware of. However, this problem affects just a small percentage of users. If you're thinking about purchasing Vista. Don't. Windows 7 is coming out in 5-8 months....more info
  • VISTA a vast improvement
    After reading many of the reviews I realised that most people should not own a computer. If you go back to the late 90's you will read the same kind of tripe about Win2000 and XP! Not to say that these OS's were perfect upon release, to be sure they were not. However I use to be in the PC and networking biz and I can tell you most people who had problems with these OS's had hardware issues like bad Ram and Flaky chipsets they also ran flaky software some of it hacked. Also viruses and other problems were usually evident. I see the same thing going on now with Vista. I took part in the Beta testing and even the Beta was way stable in comparison with XP or Win2000. I have been running Vista from the day it became available and I have never experienced an OS crash! I do a lot of intensive graphics, gaming, transcoding and conversion, web editing, video and sound editing, also E-house applications. So my machine gets a work out. I have found that doing your homework (researching hardware) before building a machine is a necessity. Also avoiding questionable software and good security practices are all very importent in maintaining a stable operating environment. Much has been made of VISTA's supposed incompatibility. LIES! VISTA32 is compatible with just about everything that XP is compatible with. The exception are programs with kernal mode drivers. IT was wise of microsoft to prevent the loading of those sorts of drivers and thers no reason for software companies to have that kind od access to your OS. Now VISTA64 is another can of beans. That is very stable also but there are hardware compatibiltiy issues there but thats actually the fault of hardware manufactures being slow or reluctant to write 64 bit drivers. All and all VISTA has been the OS I have been waiting for since the 80's. You cant go wrong with VISTA so long as you have good hardware and know about best practises with software and security....more info
  • Vista is the red-headed stepchild.
    I've officially lived the Vista horror story now! I really didn't expect to since Vista has been out for so long now (thought they would have fixed compatibility issues by now). I bought Vista, none of my applications worked, and had to get a refund. What a joke. Get XP....more info
  • Nice refresh, but is it compelling?
    Vista has gotten its share of knocks, many of them well-deserved. But as an IT professional, and having used XP on the desktop for many years, I decided to give Vista a shot now that it's "mature" at over a year old and with the release of SP1.

    XP was starting to show its age ("ugly"), and with Vista, Windows finally looks like it belongs in today's technology world. It's pretty, it's REALLY slick, the interface is more streamlined, and everything is laid out just a little better than in XP. Even little things are easier to use. Copy a large set of files, and the prompt that asks if you want to overwrite existing files let's you click "yes to all", "no to all", AND tells you how many conflicts remain. Much better than XP's Windows 3.1 style dialog.

    Those changes in layout are a mixed blessing; much like the transition from MS Office 2003 to Office 2007, many things are in slightly different places and it takes a while to adjust to that.

    From an IT perspective, aesthetics are unimportant but they are what is most visible; so Microsoft now provides some lovely images for use as wallpaper, dozens of themes/skins, much better looking icons that look good at all sizes, new screensavers, etc. Some of these things use more CPU than you'd expect.

    The Help system actually feels helpful finally, and a new Windows Welcome Center is great for the beginning user. Games have been updated and no longer look like 1990s shareware.

    There is support for new technologies like iSCSI.

    Security is finally taken seriously, but this is a mixed-bag. Precautionary security pop-ups are a bit too frequent, and worse, take over the screen ("pre-emptive")-- not good for multitasking work-flow. There's drive encryption software included now-- but it's not very robust. Etc.

    My favorite addition is the Sidebar, a strip on the side where you can run mini-applications that are always visible. No more separate windows to manage, or kludges using the taskbar for the purpose. A CPU/RAM usage meter is one thing I ran in my Sidebar. The Sidebar also makes good use of the real-estate on wide-screen LCDs.

    Compatibility issues have been covered ad-naseum so I won't go into those, but before upgrading check that your favorite apps AND hardware are supported. You can safely assume most current products will work reasonably well, but expect to have to upgrade older software, especially system utilities like anything by Mcafe or Norton.

    I ran Vista on a new Dell Vostro with 2GB dual-channel RAM and a fast 2.33GHZ Intel E6550 processor. Your experience may suffer on slower hardware.

    All of this begs the question of whether you need THIS edition of Vista. You definitely want to run SP1, which greatly improves the Vista experience. But chances are the few extras for "Ultimate" aren't going to be terribly useful, you'd be just fine with the cheaper Windows Vista Home Premium with SP1.

    A more difficult question is do you need to buy Vista for a machine that was presumably already running something else? While there is a handful of software that is Vista specific (such as games using DirectX10), there is little compelling reason to go through upgrade or reinstall hassles otherwise. If you don't need those few packages, and don't care to "keep up" with the newest technology, there's little urgency to go to Vista.

    For these reasons, I give Vista Ultimate 4-stars. A much needed refresh, but not compelling enough for 5-stars in this premium-priced package.

    Other thoughts: Despite Microsoft's attempt to set system requirements low to expand the possible user-base, you will NOT have a good experience with those minimum requirements. Run Vista only a reasonably new machine, at least double the minimum CPU and memory recommendation....more info
  • At This Point, Wait For Windows 7 (Mac User)
    I own an Intel based iMac and partitioned my hard drive so that I could install Vista. After some delays during the install process I was up and running.

    I have to say, I like the look and feel of Vista. But there is little to draw me to it over OSX. I already have that and it works better than Vista. I can only think of a handful of reasons to run Vista and those are all so that I can use PC specific software. However, my Mac does 99.9% of what I need so why bother? As an Apple guy, I would say to others only install ANY windows OS on your Mac if you really need a piece of software that is only PC compatible. Even then, PC emulators are an alternative.

    When I played around with it I really didn't run into many issues. I got my printer to print and could connect to the internet, but I didn't have any PC software but for a few older games (that wouldn't install properly) so I can't say mine is the average experience. It did seem to run slower than the OSX, for what it is worth. It looked better than XP, but then again OSX does too.

    After a few months of very little use, I saw no need to keep Vista on my Mac so I deleted the partition. Goodbye Vista. I've heard Windows 7 is a much better release, so I suggest waiting for that at this point. I believe I'll stick with an Appler operating system....more info
  • Horrible OS

    Poor compatibility. Poor performance. I need HOW much ram to just run the OS? Driver incompatibilities with my relatively new hardware....more info
  • Windows and Hardware Conspiracy
    I just bought XP Pro because MS is supposed to phase out XP in June of this year. Go to InfoWorld and read about why the world is up in arms with MS. Over 200,000 signatures have signed the petition to save XP.

    And MS is loving every minute of it, as well as all PC and hardware manufacturers. Why?

    Vista has promoted the sale of new PCs, Printers, Scanners, etc. This is a win-win scenario for MS, PC and hardware manufacturers. And Vista is killing off most of your applications, but running MS's Office, games, and other applications. Does this sound familiar (IE vs Netscape wars)?

    Because Vista does not work, everyone must buy a copy of XP because OEM versions on one machine can't be installed on a new machine. And neither can any other packaged version be installed on a "second" machine. And if you replace all your hard drives, you will have to go through the 40 digit validation process on the phone with MS. Arrgggghhhh! I've had hard drive failures and had to bear this MS criminal investion phone process, because MS software is too stupid to know I'm using the same Motherboard and Processor. How arrogant!

    All of the different packaged versions of the same Windows OS were created to take advantage of everyone. A few years back I bought XP 64. It was not supported by Adelphia (now Comcast) and I could not even get on the Web.

    I believe MS was fully aware that Vista would not work on most machines, and knew that it would promote PC sales for Enron-like companies; MS gets to double its income by selling flawed Vista and then double-dip by selling XP Pro/Home to make our expensive PCs work. Next, in 2010 MS will triple its income by selling Windows 7 or its next version. MS learned well from all of its other OS failures (95, 98, especially from Millennium).

    MS and PC hardware manufacturers are in the hog pen together, selling Windows, Printers, software applications,and on and on. Aren't most of the hardware manufacturers behind the power curve, not producing drivers or driver updates for Vista?

    I think Congress needs to do some investigating, that is, if they are not already in MS's deep soft money pockets!

    The Al Queda mind set (AQMS) is in warp drive in the U.S., the AQMS financial version that is (also oil, mortgage ARMs, medical, drugs, and so on).

    ...more info
  • Ultimate
    Well worth the money, 64bit and 32bit dual boot, but mainly use the 64 bit and have a overkill gaming rig!!! More than worth the price...more info
  • BUY IT
    Works Great! Installed w/out a problem.

    All my 3d software and Crysis run great on this platform!

    Once again, I received no compensation for this review, not even a coupon!...more info
  • THis one met and exceeded our expectations
    First, a disclaimer: I got to try this free. However, we use this product daily and are fully satisfied with its performance - in fact, we got more than we ever expected from this in terms of satisfaction.

    To determine if it meets YOUR needs, read on:

    We wanted a system that met what I'd call a fairly high level of computing needs. It has many business as well as personal use features and that fulfilled these needs:

    1. Those of a family where one member works primarily from the computer and several others spend a significant amount of time online. The teen member of the family is fairly skilled at computer use and relies heavily on programs that come with this, including those who use photo and entertainment options. He was thrilled with the ability to share photos, even from our living room and to use this with the Xbox 360 and other devices.

    2. Also good for a group of family members which needed digital photography, music, movies and HDTV capability

    3. The ability to connect to business networks and a high degree of anti-theft protection was appreciated.

    4. The ability to backup and restore our data was a MAJOR plus.

    We got all of this and more and we could use the photo gallery option to share photo and the media center for tv shows. This is an excellent choice for laptop users who have the capability to support a Windows Vista system. We are still enjoying the features of this one and I'd gladly have paid to own it. It really upped our computer's abilities and capability.

    Please check my other reviews and you'll see that I write honest reviews about products. If I like them, I say so. Hate them or feel cold about a product? I'll note why.

    This one? I really liked it!

    ...more info