- Aero Interface makes using PC a much more elegant experience
- Directx10 support for next generation games and multimedia
- More intuitive file organization and hardware integration
- Requires a high-end PC to run properly
- Expensive for most useful "Ultimate" 64 bit edition
- Requires re-learning some features to use efficiently
I used to hate the whole idea of Vista -- a unnecessarily bulky operating system from Microsoft that didn't offer much if any advantages to make it worth the price and hassle of upgrading. In short: just another garbage Microsoft product.
I still think most Microsoft products are garbage -- but Vista isn't one of them. At least not the Vista I'm running: 64 bit Vista Ultimate SP1. I couldn't imagine running the 32 bit versions (which limit the amount of RAM to well under my 4 GB), or the non heavily patched (SP1) version I'm running. Vista was the wild wild west for compatibility when it was released -- but now driver and software support has caught up and the 64 bit version of Ultimate allows the power craving Vista the advantages it needs to to show off its shine.
My Vista Desktop -- the background is a looped movie!
Sure, the UAC, a feature that asks permissions for the silliest things (say, installing anti-virus software) is horrible and the first thing I did was disable it. Sure, it's still not was pretty as Leopard (Mac's latest) or as ruthlessly cool and efficient as the free and open source Unbuntu (Linux' current darling): but it's loads superior to XP -- as long as your machine has the hardware to run it with no slowdown.
The good news is that now is a great time to buy a new PC and cost of a plenty powerful Internet and Multimedia powerhouse is shrinking. I recently assembled a budget Vista buster (and fairly heavy gaming system) for under $800.
Processor: Intel e8400 3.0GHZ (overclocked to 3.2GHZ)
RAM: G-Skill PC6400 800MHZ DDR2
Hard Drive: WD-CAVIER SE16 640GB
Video: XFX Nvidia GeForce 8800GT
With these specs the Vista experience score gives me a max 5.9 rating on everything except processor, where I score a 5.7 due to the limits of the dual core. (But don't be fooled, the Intel e8400 is a great buy for myriad other reasons than just raw power, although maybe a quad core is in my near future!)
Still, with all other areas maxed out the system flys along even with heavy multi-tasking.