Like some on this forum, I was tenative about going to Vista on the new Acer Aspire 5520 I bought last Sunday, Dec 30, 2007. But I had look around for months to replace my P3 750Mhz 512 MB of RAM laptop. I looked at trying to stay with XP, going to a MACBook, or going back to Linux, but I had a very bad 10 month user experience on my home machine. I like Vista, especially now that the Acer has 4 GB of RAM in it. I just can't understand why only 3 GB shows in the "Welcome Window", thought I understand that is the Vista 32 bit's issue and possibly a BIOS issue. When it operated on 1 GB it could be slow depending on what I was doing, what started automatically, and what side bar items I tried to run. Once I started following other's advice about stopping the loading of unneeded programs, Acer's Empower Management is a memory hog and duplicates much of what you can set in Vista, it worked better. Yes, there was a learning curve, but not as bad as I expected. As well you have to be open to the differences. After a week of use, I am very comfortable using Vista. I am sure there are things that I have yet to discover in Vista that are second nature on my Home XP Pro desktop and work XP Pro laptop, but that's part of the "fun". Since I did the memory upgrade, the machine really flies compared to the other two computers mentioned. I haven't tried the Aero Desktop, though I saw it demonstrated at a educators technology confrence and I wasn't really impressed, though I can see the value. I haven't switched anything to the "Classic / XP" mode either, I like the new interface. As the network adminstrator, and a friend, at my school says, "The interface is very MAC OS ish". As to the whole freedom thing. Other than what came from ACER, at this point I have installed only Microsoft's One Note 2007 on this laptop. I am currently using Open Office for office productivity needs, and loaded Firefox to assist with web browsing. I am using the Microsoft Mail Client that comes with Vista and find it very close to Outlook. I was able to some what easily transfer my contacts from my desktop's Outlook into the Mail's contact list, with a little editing.If you are unsure, try to find either someone or a computer store that will allow to test drive Vista on a machine. That's what helped me decide to give it a try, plus a smokin' deal from STAPLEs on the Acer Aspire notebook, even after adding in the 4 GB upgrade.
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