First, no matter what way you look at it, Windows Vista isn’t just an upgrade to Windows XP! Everywhere you look, critics are looking at Windows and saying “Yep, it’s definitely a big improvement over XP. OMG! It has better security than its predecessor, and even a nicer GUI!”
In the history of computers, and “upgrade” has never been termed as a “version released later of a program or platform” but rather “an improved version following the original release of…” and that’s important. Windows Vista is supposed to be better than XP in every single way. That’s not a competition, it’s a given. Microsoft has Windows XP’s source code, and if they can’t figure out how to make it a better OS than the first one, then we’re in deep trouble.
Fortunately, they can and they have. You can read all about the various improvements in our Windows Vista RC1 review, but that’s not what this article is mainly about. Because Windows Vista is supposed to be better than XP… But what we don’t know for sure is, the stuff that’s not a guarantee, is it there?
Meaning, of course, is Windows Vista up to scratch? Windows Vista is a platform and a platform serves a purpose. It should allow users to easily and powerfully deploy and use any software that crosses their minds, and customize the workspace to their taste. More importantly, since no platform is perfect, Windows Vista should be reviewed with comparison in mind. No, not comparing it to XP, but rather to Linux, Mac OS X, and every other budding operating system out there.
No operating system is too small nor any idea too far out that it shouldn’t be taken into focus. Every small thing helps, and whether or not Microsoft (or the reviewer) sees Mac OS (or SkyOS even) as a challenge to Windows, the fact remains, it’s another platform, and undoubtedly has a couple of idea to contribute to the mix, and a legacy to beat.
And that’s the important thing. At the end of the day, if you keep the big picture in mind, it’ll be hard to even write a biased review. It’ll be positive, negative, or neutral (and that’s quite OK!), but it will be accurate, and that’s what counts.