Originally Posted by pauldovi
Vista offers enhanced security (ALSR, Firewall, UAC, PatchGuard, Defender), a more stable and efficient GUI (hardware rendered), better monitoring tools (Resource Monitor, Reliability and Performance Monitor, System Health Report), a much better updating program (more integrated into GUI and supports upgrading drivers and programs, much better driver support (all hardware worked without any 3rd party drivers, including full printer and scanner functionality - on 64 bit!), instant serch, much better reaction to programs not responding (most come back to life in less than 5 seeconds), nice backup tools (Complete PC Image), nice memory utilization in terms of loading commonly used programs, awesome problem and report solutions which actually tells you what is wrong with the PC and how to fix it (and it works), BitLocker, and probably a few more things.
Windows Vista is definately worth while. It cost around $200, which is dirt cheap as far as I am concerned.
XP task manager can monitor 25 different parameters (and I can close unresponsive programs instantly,) I never run Windows firewall because it interferes more than it helps, I run AdAware, which catches everything (although I haven't had spyware in a couple years,) updates are infrequent and not as needed in XP as it's quite polished by this point. I run with search indexing off anyway as it slows HDD access, I've heard nothing but trouble with drivers, especially on 64bit. And I use a Maxtor OneTouch for my backup anyway, and my next rig will likely run RAID-5.
Superfetch seemed like an interesting feature, if I had the RAM. Never heard about the problem/solution tools, although I've never had a persistent issue that wasn't pretty easily identifiable (except that one incident with faulty RAM, that stumped me for months.)
My planned next rig will be running 8GB of RAM, in which case I will likely get Vista x64 for it because the alternative would be buying XP64, and I'm not going to pay for basically the same operating system twice.
It's one of those things where it's merely the "logical next step" for a new 64bit system, but there's nothing special about it. If you already have XP and don't need 64bit, why should anyone jump to Vista?