To answer this question you first need to know some of the differences in Vista.

Windows Vista provides a much better parental control feature.  Not only can you limit the time your child spends on the computer but you can also specify what sites he or she can view and between what hours they can be on the computer.  This is a great feature for any parent.
The way Windows Vista presents itself is absolutely stunning compared to older versions. Two things I really like are the Windows sidebar and the screen switching button (Areo Feature).

The screen switching button is great, as when you have a number of screens open you can press it and Vista shows all the screens in a 3D cascade in the middle of the screen. It looks great and is really useful.

The sidebar is a collection of small info gadgets that are fixed to the side of the screen. On mine I have an analogue clock, a calender, a local weather panel. Other gadgets can be added. This is an excellent utility.

Another good addition is the ability to review what programs are in your start menu. As I’ve had my pc for over a year there were programs in there which I very rarely use and it is really easy to turn them off using this utility.

The start menu is much slicker than it used to be on XP. On clicking the start button, you are presented with similar information to that of XP but it is organised much better. All the programs in the All Programs menu are now listed sequentially in a scrolling box as opposed to expanding right across your screen as in XP. The usual shortcuts are also there, like control panel, recent files, etc…

Windows Mail is much improved. Essentially Microsoft has taken Outlook and integrated it right into Windows Vista. Mail can be checked at a click of a button. The features of Windows Mail have not been scimped upon, with 99% of Outlooks features available, i.e. calender, tasks, etc…

Windows Explorer has changed quite substantially and it is so easy to find the files you are looking for. As you drill down through the directories, a link to each directory/subdirectory is displayed above the main window so going back on yourself is very much simplified. Also the used/free space on each drive is shown in a bar above the drive letters, much like a progress bar when downloading something off the web. My Documents, My Pictures, My Music are now given a specific short cut link at the top of the Explorer Window, which makes finding your media files really easy. Also Microsoft have dropped the ‘My’ part of the directory name. Something which always used to bug me!

Security is much improved. When you try to install anything, Windows pops up a question confirming you requested this action. Should help to stop some of those Trojans I guess.

Having used Internet Explorer 7.0 on XP and now on Vista, I can see why I had so many problems with XP. The 7.0 update was designed to integrate into Vista and this is plainly obvious when you use it for the first time. Pages load faster and IE is much more stable in Vista. I used to get 2 or 3 crashes a day in XP.

Other updates include, Windows Photo Gallery, Windows Movie Maker, Windows DVD Maker, Windows Meeting Space, Sync Center, Ease of Access Center, and some great new games. I haven’t had chance to play with these new additions yet, except a few games of Mahjong, but on the surface they look really good.

The Control Panel is one area where Microsoft have really improved things, everything is now organised more sensibly into various categories, i.e. security, system & maintenance, user accounts, appearance & personalisation, network and internet, etc…

Perhaps the biggest addition is the Media Center. This allows you to view all your pictures and videos either on your desktop or onto a linked TV. You can also watch, pause and record live TV if you have a TV tuner in your machine.

So Is Windows Vista Worth Upgrading? the simple answer is yes.  If your computer is over 3 years old you should consider just pruchasing a new one with Windows Vista pre-installed and then purchase Laplink PCmover to transfer over your old files and programs.

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