February 03, 2007

Windows Vista First Impressions

I purchased an upgrade copy of Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate Edition on Tuesday 1/31/2007 for my Tablet PC.  To my surprise overall the experience has been fairly good, below I will explain my experience and first impressions on the new OS.  Keep in mind this isn’t the first time I have touched Vista as my roommate was running a version of RC1 a few months ago.

Prior to starting the upgrade I consulted the Gateway website to ensure that drivers were available for my Tablet as I know many users have had driver issues.  After Gateway assured me that they had all drivers, I started the installation process from my current copy of Windows XP Tablet PC Edition.  I was instantly amazed at the nice looking installation UI as well as the blazing speed for the installation process.

After a short time I had finished the configuration and installation of Vista and was looking to see which hardware devices were not found.  Initially I had multiple devices that were listed as not having drivers; video card, Tablet control, SD card reader.  I decided to try the “let windows search the internet for a driver” option.  Amazingly Windows was able to locate the needed drives for ALL devices without any need to contact the manufacturer’s websites! 

Next was the configuration of the Windows Firewall and Defender which was very quick.  I personally recommend that everyone take a look at the settings for both of these applications as by default Windows does grant itself abilities to automatically remove “high” risk malware applications.  I do not believe this setting should be the default so I changed mine to quarantine but not remove from the system.

Overall the installation process was quite smooth taking a bit over an hour and a half including a series of updates from Windows Update and the various extra Ultimate goodies.  I have already noticed that my system boots much faster and is actually a bit more responsive.  This was a bit amazing as it only has 1Gb of RAM installed.  I did find that removing the analog clock from the sidebar was a much needed.  Prior to removing the clock my CPU utilization never dipped below 15%, after removing the clock I saw my familiar 0% utilization when not using the system.  I remember reading some Microsoft information stating that an update should be delivered for the clock sometime soon. 

Share your Vista experiences below!  I will be providing another blog post in the upcoming week regarding my first experiences running SQL Server and Visual Studio on Vista!

tags: Product Review
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