For a long time now, I've prided myself (and occasionally pained myself) on being an early adopter, at least in a number of product categories. So it was long overdue for me to upgrade at least one of my PCs to the Microsoft Windows Vista operating system. I'd been frankly a bit intimidated up until now by my own past experience with Op Sys upgrades, and no doubt the Apple Commercials haven't helped that mindset. And, more germain to my chosen industry, all the discussion of Vista printing issues over at the LaserJet Blog made me leery as well.
I'd considered buying a new machine with Vista pre-installed that could serve as a testbed, but that seemed a bit impractical and yes, even cowardly. So, earlier this week I took the plunge with my everyday working laptop, via an upgrade software package I received from HP (NYSE HPQ) as a purchaser of an XP Laptop during a pre-Vista window (last Fall). It was a lengthy process, with the biggest chunk of time creating the old XP recovery disks (12 CDs with numerous failures) before the actual Vista install. And so far so good! I like the look and feel, and even little things like the utilities for power management and wireless access have improved usability.
One thing that helped my experience be so smooth? Though billed as an "upgrade", the software DVD I received allowed the equivalent of a brand new installation, thus avoiding the bloat of the pre-loaded "craplets" that has been much discussed in the Apple commericals and also by Walt Mossberg in his Personal Technology column. Of course, as this is not an upgrade, all the applications previously installed are gone. But my missing apps weren't a big deal -- I installed my MS Office Suite, but then realized my dependence on Google's (NASDAQ GOOG) applications suite really helps in not being so client-bound as I think I am.
And (drum roll please)... how about the printing? Both my HP Color LaserJet 2550 and my HP LaserJet 1320 came up fully plug-and-play, and printed my initial test pages beautifully. As that other and much older commerical used to say, "no runs, no drips, no errors"...oh wait, I can't quite remember but maybe they were talking about inkjets?
And as further reinforcement of any potential cognitive dissonance (aka buyer's remorse), this morning, at TheStreet.com, Jonathan Blum writes about his experiences, very much in the same vein as mine, concluding it's "worth a weekend" to upgrade to Vista.
In the end, I'm please, and relieved!