Quite a few people have asked me if the should upgrade to the latest version of Windows- Windows Vista.
Before I answer the question I should state my position on Microsoft. You will find an awful lot of rabid Microsoft haters out there who seem to see MS as the root of all evil and that all software should be open source and free. Another school of thought is that "no one got sacked for buying Microsoft" and you will find an awful lot of IT managers in this category.
I try not to fit in either camp, and would much rather take a pragmatic approach based on what works for me whether it is open source or not. My view of MS is that when faced with competition they can produce some of the best software out there, but when they don't have any competition they will sit back and not bother.
A prime example of this is Internet Explorer. Whilst MS were in the "Browser Wars" with Netscape they first produced a "me too" product, then continually developed and refined it till they produced a much better product than Netscape. Microsoft then sat back and relaxed for a few years as they dominated the browser "market" completely. Firefox then appears on the scene and starts to make inroads into that market. Lo and behold, Microsoft frantically rush to catch up with IE7.
The reason for this is simple economics, Microsoft don't charge for IE its only value is as a platform for MS to project its products into enterprises and homes. Investing money in a free product for no return would be tricky to explain to shareholders. MS are responsible to their shareholders at the ed of the day.
So, should you upgrade to Vista? My answer is an emphatic NO.
Vista is only an operating system. How much time do you actually spend doing useful work in the operating system? Not very much I reckon.
All most people use it for is starting their applications and occasionally organising their files. Most of your day is actually spent in the applications: your web browser, email, office, photo processing applications, etc,etc.
Improvements in the operating system aren't going to impact your productivity very much at all.
Upgrading the OS is usually a week or so of mucking about learning the new stuff followed by a week or two of going "oh is that it".
If your existing OS works fine why pay good money to upgrade it, when it will actually make very little difference to your life. Much better to invest that money in something useful like Raw Processing software, or a new lens, or beer, or fags.
If you buy a new PC and Vista comes on it that is fine, stick with it and learn of all the joys that Bill G and the guys have built in to this new wizzy version. I'm quite positive it is better in most respects. Just don’t bother to upgrade your existing machine..it won't enhance your life.