Part I: You’ll Be Migrating Sooner Or Later
In the last week, I had 2 separate conversations with real estate agents that concerned me. The first was with an agent who just ordered a beautiful Lenovo Thinkpad X61 Series Tablet, complete with Windows XP Tablet Edition installed.
The second conversation was with a real estate agent who had been using Windows Vista on his HP Pavilion laptop for the past several months. The agent asked me how difficult it would be to remove Vista and install Windows XP.
Why did both conversations concern me so much? It has to do with the idea of equipping new technology with an operating system that just celebrated its 7th birthday. In technology years (much like dogs years), that is ancient.
Windows XP versus Vista
While I am the first to admit that Windows Vista is not as amazing as it had originally been billed, it is a positive step forward in the evolution of operating systems.
Think back to 2001 for a minute. There was no such thing as spyware, worms or trojans. Few people had digital cameras and video cameras. A 10 gigabyte hard drive was a ton of storage space. Home networks with Wi-Fi and network-connected printers and hard drives were just starting to gain in popularity.
Windows XP was built for the technology needs of 2001. Simply put, Windows Vista can better handle the technologies and security threats of 2008. It is less prone to spyware infestation. Network and peripheral connections are simple to establish and maintain. Best of all, the hundreds of gigabytes of music, photos and videos that we have all collected are easy to manage.
Vista Endorsed By The National Association of Realtors
In light of the beating that Vista has taken over the past year, I must commend NAR for going against public opinion by endorsing the use of Windows Vista for real estate agents. With an “it’s here to stay, so make the best of it” sort of attitude, NAR embraced Vista at the recent Realtor convention in Las Vegas by offering the presentation, “What Can Windows Vista™ Do For Your Business” (purchase the audio file of this course).
John N. Frank takes a more cautious approach to recommending Windows Vista for real estate agents in his Realtor Magazine article Walk, Don’t Run, to Vista. Although Frank has reservations about the operating system, his article makes a compelling argument for including Vista in your next computer purchase.
One of the biggest concerns with migrating to Vista has been software compatibility. While your old software may not work on Vista, all current programs are compatible. Even real estate specific programs, such as Zipforms (Winforms), have released Vista compatible versions or patches.
Before moving to Vista, take an inventory of the software and peripherals (printers, scanners, etc.) that you use. Go to the manufacturers’ sites for each program and device to determine if they offer a Vista compatible patch or if you must purchase a newer version or model. This means that you must budget for software and peripheral expenses.
Vista Is For Your Next Computer, Not Your Current One
I could not close this post without touching on the subject of upgrading to Vista. As you can tell by this point, I am a fan of Vista. I have had a wonderful experience with the operating system since its release.
While I wholeheartedly recommend Vista for your next computer purchase, I don’t endorse upgrading your current computer to it. If your computer was built for Windows XP, stick with it. You will be very disappointed with Vista if you run it on a machine that doesn’t have enough power run it smoothly.
For those who have already made the jump to Windows Vista, Part II of this series will provide tips on improving your Vista experience.