I've really enjoyed toying around with Windows Vista, but sadly I will not be able to complete my review as I have planned. I am replacing Windows Vista with Windows Server 2003 R2 so that I may use it to get my MCSE certification. I will not be reviewing it. I do, however, have just a few final notes about Windows Vista before I switch over. I did not have a chance to test it's ability to play games or run popular software. Even if I had, I wouldn't be able to take the results completely seriously, as it is only a beta. Vista did run iTunes and Firefox perfectly.
An interesting feature of Vista is that it is capable of tricking old programs into running. Theoretically, anything that runs on XP will run on Vista. However, most installers are not aware of the existence of Vista, and so some will cancel their installation because it's not XP. If this happens, Vista brings up a little message saying it detected a failed installation, and it is going to make everything all better. The installer restarts, and everything works fine. It kind of amazes me that no one ever thought to build into the operating system a way to trick old installers into working.
That was my good point, now here is my bad point. They went overboard on security. On the Mac, when you want to install something, it asks for a password. This way, software can't install itself. Vista tries to go this route by simply asking you to click "yes" or "no". The function that performs this completely stops the entire computer to ask, thusly ensuring that the program cannot simply answer "yes" on it's own. The problem is that, well, the entire computer stops. That is really annoying, especially when you didn't ask it to do what it's asking you about. Imagine leaving your computer to do something over night, only to find that a half hour later some spyware tried to install itself and your computer stopped. This just shows that, once again, Microsoft makes better doors than Windows (old joke, I know).
It wouldn't be hard to find a way to cause this reaction either. It asks you about anything that has to do with modifying files anywhere. After I installed Vista, I had 4 unwanted shortcuts and a downloaded installer on the desktop. I selected them all, right clicked them and told Vista to recycle them. Vista then stopped my computer 5 consecutive times to ask me if it was okay to move each file individually. That is ridiculous. After reading some reviews of Public Beta 1, it seems that Microsoft has already toned down their security a bit in Beta 2, so let's hope they get the right balance by the time Vista is released.
Sadly, I will now wrap up my review by saying that the new versions of the same old games make them worth playing again, if only for a little while. Good luck with this operating system, Windows users, she's a handful.