Review: Windows Vista Business (Upgrade)

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Windows Vista ReviewSo you're thinking of upgrading to Vista? Is it worth it? Is the upgrade painful? What do you get for your money, and will it actually improve your productivity? Read on to see a full review of the upgrade edition of Windows Vista Business.

Before you even part with your cash you need to decide which version of Vista you're going to upgrade to. Yes, this review is concentrating on the Business Edition, but you may want to consider one of the alternatives. There are four main versions - Home Basic, Home Premium, Business and Ultimate. Home Basic will eventually replace XP Home as a lower end solution, which is still being shipped with many systems. Most PCs are now being offered with Home Premium, which includes the new 'Aero' interface, better support for laptops & tablet PCs, Windows Meeting Space and Windows Media Center. Vista Business excludes Media Center but includes a better backup facility and Remote Desktop (for connecting to your PC remotely). Ultimate includes all of the above plus BitLocker drive encryption technology for securing data.

So, in short, unless you want the Media Center interface on your PC and need to encrypt data Vista Business will offer a cheaper alternative.

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What is Aero and Flip 3D?
Aero is essentially a prettier alternative XP's interface, with a translucent glass effect around all windows. Flip 3D is an alternative to the 'Alt and Tab' method that you may currently use to flick between applications. You cycle through your applications in a 'Rolodex' fashion using the Windows Key and Tab keys. The Desktop is also included, so you can quickly minimise all applications. Using Alt & Tab will now display a thumbnail image of the selected window rather than just the title bar information that XP provided.

Aero with flip 3d

What's in the Box?
Before we look at the contents, you will no doubt have noted the new plastic box styling. It's smaller than previous OS boxes, although my case was decidedly snug, and it took me about 5 minutes to open it!  You don't get a great deal inside - there's a 34 page booklet showcasing the new features, a leaflet offering different media formats (CDs instead of DVDs and 64 bit instead of 32 bit version), and the DVD itself. There is also a separate product key and certificate of authenticity label (both of which were already adhered to the box, so at least they cannot get lost).