Time to Buy Vista?

OK, I promised I would post to the blog when I thought enough time and software error corrections had been made to make it safe to move to Vista.  I have been following comments in various legal technology listservs, and in the PC-related press for some time now, just waiting until I felt I could say all the turmoil had sufficiently died down.  Now that the first service pack has come out, and been subsequently patched several times, you no longer have to fear Vista from a reliability standpoint. 

Don’t get me wrong, though.  There are still issues.  Lots of them. 

There are still hardware and software incompatibilities — some things still will simply not work well with Vista.  There’s still lots of finger-pointing going on between Microsoft and other software and hardware application writers.  And likely that will continue for quite some time.  So before you even consider an upgrade, you will first want to check with all your “mission critical” hardware and software vendors to make sure they do not have reported issues from other of their users who have upgraded to Vista.  You may even want to call a few end users yourself to find out about some of the “gotchas” which they ultimately worked through to resolution.  It can save you gobs of time, expense, and inconvenience.

If you’re a member of the PA Bar Association, and you’ve already done the upgrade thing, consider sharing your experience on the new PBA Technology Blog, which is shared by all PBA members.  Subscription is free.  Posting doesn’t require a subscription, only that you be a PBA member.  (If you’re not a member, don’t even try the link, as you will be stopped for your logon and password before you can access it.)  We especially want to hear from you if you encountered an incompatibility which you were able to work around, and especially if you were NOT able to create a workaround.

By all accounts, Windows Vista Business Ultimate is the most reliable version for office, and Home Premium for the home.  Don’t scrimp on versions – – you’ll likely be sorry you did.  If you’re also going to be upgrading your Office suite at the same time to Office 2007, I strongly suggest you budget sufficient time and dollars for training.  It’s very different in look and feel, and the faster you can master it, the faster you and your staff can get back up to full speed productivity.

Don’t upgrade if you have no compelling reason.  There just isn’t enough improvement in functionality to justify the disruption and cost of an upgrade.  But if you’ve been holding off on a new purchase because it would come with Vista, you don’t necessarily have to hold off any more.  I put the emphasis there, because you still have to do some homework first to make sure everything you have which works now will still work later.  Unexpected surprises are great where a birthday is concerned, but not where a software upgrade is involved!

So proceed full speed ahead, but watch out carefully for the icebergs!

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