If you have a home-based business, you probably have a computer in the picture somewhere. By now, Microsoft Vista has been on the market for more than year and it’s already had its first service pack. I had been putting off purchasing a new PC for my home-based business due to what I’d heard about Microsoft Vista (most of which has not been very favorable). But it finally was time for the old PC to go away and for me to usher in a new notebook computer with Vista. Here are some ‘take aways’ from my experience for anyone else who has been putting off the Vista based PC.
Printer Compatibility Issues – Don’t assume your recent model printer will work with Vista. In my case, I had two recent model printers (one HP LaserJet and one Epson CX Multifunction) and neither would install on Vista. It’s worth noting that in both cases, the manufacturer had Vista drivers on their website for download – however they didn’t work. This forced me to buy a new printer that I had not previously planned for.
Software Compatibility Issues – Have a look at Microsoft’s Vista compatibility page. Check to see if your software is listed. There are two levels of ‘compatibility’: Certified for Windows Vista and Works with Windows Vista. In my case, my version of QuickBooks needed upgrading, also adding to the cost of this computer. Also check your Microsoft Office applications. If you’re using anything prior to Office 2003, you will probably have to upgrade.
Other Device Compatibility – What about those other devices? Things like external hard drives, thumb drives, and digital cameras. Don’t forget to check those out. In my case, all worked here but I have heard from some people who had to buy new cameras because their old one wasn’t compatible.
Thanks for the Memory – In short: Load up on memory! 4 gigabytes of memory is a good number for both Vista desktops and notebooks. A lot of Vista PCs are being sold with 2 gigabytes of memory. To those of us who remember the days when memory was counted in megabytes, 2 gigs might seem like a huge amount of memory. But for Vista with its large memory footprint, it is not and 3 gigs is more like the minimum.
Consider a Mac – I’m going to beat you Mac folks to the punch here. Mac notebooks typically run $500 to $800 higher than comparable PC notebooks in terms of price tag. But if you consider the extra purchases you may have to make to get your stuff to work with Vista, this cost is somewhat mitigated. If I had to do it over again, I would have given more consideration to moving over to a Mac.
Anyway, with a computer that cost more than I budgeted for, I am now happily on my way. What about you? Do you have Vista upgrade experiences (pleasant or unpleasant) to share?