Windows Vista: Where to buy, whether to upgrade, & volume activation

There are enough articles on Windows Vista, and by more credible people at that. However, mail continues to pour in, & this is my humble attempt to answer some of them:

Windows Vista is so expensive. Where is the cheapest place to buy it?

– Thelma A.

If you’re planning on buying a new PC, now is the best time to do it. New PCs usually come with an OEM version of Windows Vista. An OEM version is exactly the same as the boxed version — minus the nice bounded user manuals (which you probably won’t read anyway).

I work for a large organization. My boss is asking me if we should upgrade our computers to Vista. What should I tell him? Is it true that it has to be activated on the internet? Some of our PCs are not allowed to access the internet for security reasons.

– G. Toronto

Windows Vista has something called Key Management Service (KMS) to handle volume activation. You just need to install this in a PC within your network. Your computers simply need to activate thru this PC (the KMS host), without the need to connect to the internet.

The bad:

  • Complicated setup
  • Limited to Business & Enterprise editions (no support for Ultimate)
  • Minimum of 25 computers
  • All PCs need to be reactivated every 6 months

Should I upgrade to Windows Vista? Or should I wait?

Allow me, instead, to tell you my personal reasons why I am not upgrading to Windows Vista (yet).

My main machine is on Windows XP Professional. I’ll be purchasing a new notebook in a few weeks, & I plan on having it preinstalled with XP, too (even if it could come with Vista at the same price).

But, I’m a special case. Changing operating systems are not as simple for people with my line of work. I use custom-made programs, and my computer interconnects with a lot of systems. Additionally, I have an insane work schedule. I do not have the time yet to test a new operating system & how my other applications will react to it.

How long do I think I can wait until I finally give in? Maybe 2 to 3 years. The novelty of constantly upgrading my hardware has finally worn off. It was a sad waste of my time, energy, and money.

Software & hardware are merely tools, after all. In the end, it’s my output & how I make use of my machine that will count.

The same graphic designer who made a fantastic sketch in Adobe Illustrator could easily be outdone by another artist who merely used Microsoft Paint. And believe me, I have actually met & worked with these kinds of people.

10 thoughts on “Windows Vista: Where to buy, whether to upgrade, & volume activation”

  1. Ah Leopard. Another few months of delay. I believe it will be released in October?

    The people around me have been switching to Macs. I don’t see myself using it as my main OS yet. I’m still used to Windows.

  2. The R&D poured into activation and key management should have been added to R&D on product improvement and Windows XP SP3 8)

    And XP is still the standard for Windows in terms of compatibility, Software APIs and of course, marketability of 3rd party products. So it’s still relevant even 2 years from now.

    If not we, could always switch to Debian or Ubuntu anyhow ;D

  3. [b]Jerome[/b]: I have a weird feeling that the service pack won’t be released this year. It seems like they want to do everything to force us XP users to go to Vista.

  4. get a computer pre-installed with Windows Vista and just use your downgrade rights and install Windows XP yourself. so in case in the future you wanted an upgrade, you are still licensed for it. make sure though you have the installer backed up or restore partition saved.

  5. I agree with your sentiments entirely. I wouldn’t upgrade to Vista on anything other than brand new hardware with lots and lots of memory and really good graphics hardware. I am reluctant to switch to Vista at all.

    I recently built two PCs with identical hardware one with Vista the other XP.
    The one with Vista was pretty fast but the one with XP was astonishingly fast.

    With all of the stuff I have running on my computers it takes days to re-install everything.

  6. Thanks for posting this – I really like this stuff but have never been able to ge the best registry tool

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