Installation: if you have to install Vista from scratch or re-image a machine, it is vastly better than Windows XP. No searching for floppy drives to load special drivers, no black screens because of the wrong graphics driver (if its the right driver but done badly, NIVIDIA comes to mind, itll still black screen though). In short, as long as the guys doing the drivers did their job, you get a really good experience. If they didnt, youll still have issues (but SP1 has less of them).
Windows Mobile is vastly improved, syncs are seamless now and, if you are connected to Exchange, you probably are mostly doing wireless sync anyway. However, I find you need to sync physically every once in awhile to clear out your deleted items on the mobile device (assuming you want to be able to go back and undelete) and that is much better. Granted it is also better to sync music and movies, but I know most of you folks would never think of doing that on your business phone, so I probably shouldnt even mention it.
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I know a lot has been said about security, but Norton 360 works incredibly well on Vista. And, if you use Bitlocker, this thing is likely as good as your third party solution (assuming you have one), and improvements in SP1 will allow you to protect additional drives as well. Passwords are better protected and, as mentioned above, it is more resilient to more existing viruses. SP1 addresses a number of the network performance problems that existed in the first product and even the initial drop of Vista was better with network discovery.
This is a lot of verbiage to say, in essence, that personally I think Vista is better than XP and we know that, for the hardware coming to market late this year and next, XP is going to increasingly have problems with getting the full value out of new hardware. I think it is time to begin evaluating so you can become comfortable with allowing Vista in on the new hardware that you buy.
Old OS New Hardware
I spend a lot of time with the OEMs and one of the things that drives up their (and yours) support costs is the practice of putting an Old OS on new hardware.
One of the reasons for a new OS is to sync the operating system with the new hardware coming out. We have new chipsets, subsystems, and features coming from all the major technology suppliers, which will go into the new desktop and laptops we are likely to be deploying to replace whats wearing out. If we deploy this new hardware with XP we will have to do an infield upgrade at some point likely to simply address the virus problems and increasingly unreliability that is almost certain to result. In place upgrades can be very ugly and it is vastly better to get the new hardware with the new OS in terms of both stability and vendor support.
You may want to consider a tool like the Mojopac to assist in this (kind of a light virtual machine) but, however you do it, you should at least consider that the practice of an old OS on new hardware is one that we likely should have given up at the turn of the decade.