Re: Are Vistas worth buying over XP?
In my experience, for most single-core systems, i've found that Vista is not worth buying for XP, simply because it was not really optimized for single-core systems, which also usually include older RAM memory types with limited speed (such as PC133 or DDR, instead of DDR2 or DDR3). You would think it would naturally settle itself in a short time, but unfortunately, the large majority of computer users (even power users) are still running on single-core systems, and many of which with less than 2GB of RAM Memory (which has been proven necessary to run Vista reasonably).
Also, Vista's release was nearly two years ago, but not as many people have chosen it as their operating system as expected (the handover from XP to Vista has not been nearly as successful as the transition from 98/2000 to XP). Why is this? Because in the last 7 years, overall user experience has not changed significantly at all. To top that, getting computers to do most (if not all) tasks these days, is as low as it's ever been in the past 25 years. The functionalities that people used to pay thousands for in the 80s and 90s, can all be done with even the lowest-end computers available for purchase.
With this brought a new uniformity and standard to user interfaces and OS component organization, and because of that, there has not been much change in the Operating System world. A $4,000 system's operating system is not going to look or be any different than a modern $200 system, and the functionalities that most home and business users require on a daily basis will stay exactly the same.
With Windows XP becoming the standard over the past 7 years, for home users, power users, gamers, and commercial users, technological advancement was slow up until mid-to-late 2006, when dual-core processors and larger quantities of a newly-introduced, faster "DDR2" standard started to became the norm for manufacturers and retail stores. Unfortunately, most people didn't find (and still haven't found) much incentive for dual-core processing, which IS significantly more powerful and efficient than the standard single-core processing which reigned up until 2006, simply because there were not enough reasons to move forward other than compatibility issues.
It was hard for a standard user to find any value in the new functionalities which existed on Vista, and on top of that, Vista being made for dual-core systems, had problems with the older hardware (Which most people had), so early demand was extremely low, and the hardware manufacturers followed suit and did not put their drivers as top priority, so further incompatibility followed.
Now, most if not ALL systems sold in stores are now dual-core processing, and prices for dual-core systems have dropped dramatically as integrated circuit manufacturers have now put their focus on value, (and so we have developments like the "Pentium Dual Core" which is available for mighty cheap), so acceptance of Vista is increasing, but it was quite a slow start. Hopefully things will look better as functional drivers and functional hardware slowly bury the remains of Vista's utter failure of a start, and hopefully along with that, will do away with old inefficient technology.
(just my take)
So if XP works as fast as it possibly can already, with Pentium 4's and original Athlon 64s and Semprons, and they do everything that people need them to do, why switch over?