Steer Clear of Windows Vista Basic

By Lance Ulanoff  |  Posted 2007-02-16 Print this article Print

Opinion: No one's computing needs will be fulfilled by this cut-rate version.

Windows Vista Home Basic could be the most pointless edition of Windows that Microsoft has ever released. Let me be clear: I like Windows Vista. I applaud it, in fact. Its the smartest, easiest-to-use Windows OS yet. Most of the Vista editions Microsoft is rolling out make good, clean sense—Business, Premium, even Ultimate, though that name does kind of box Microsoft in for future versions (could they ever top Ultimate?).

Home Basic, which drops Tablet PC and Windows Media Center integration along with the Aero interface enhancements, is another story. Heres how Microsoft described it:

"If you simply want to use your PC for tasks such as surfing the Internet, corresponding with friends and family using e-mail, or performing basic document creation and editing tasks, then Windows Vista Home Basic will deliver a safer, more reliable, and more productive computing environment."

Im sorry, but this simply perpetuates the myth that theres such a thing as simple computing needs. The "surfing the Internet" part is my favorite. Its as if Microsofts marketers havent been online since 2001. Surfing the Internet these days is about as far from basic as you can get. Web 2.0 has turned many key Web sites into virtual client applications. Yes, these are lighter than, say, true desktop apps, but nowhere near as light and simple as the rudimentary HTML-based pages we recall from the mid-1990s up until, say, 2002. Read the full story on Steer Clear of Windows Vista Basic Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.
Lance Ulanoff is Editor in Chief and VP of Content for PC Magazine Network, and brings with him over 20 years journalism experience, the last 16 of which he has spent in the computer technology publishing industry.

He began his career as a weekly newspaper reporter before joining a national trade publication, traveling the country covering product distribution and data processing issues. In 1991 he joined PC Magazine where he spent five years writing and managing feature stories and reviews, covering a wide range of topics, including books and diverse technologies such as graphics hardware and software, office applications, operating systems and, tech news. He left as a senior associate editor in 1996 to enter the online arena as online editor at HomePC magazine, a popular consumer computing publication. While there, Ulanoff launched, and and wrote about Web sites and Web-site building.

In 1998 he joined Windows Magazine as the senior editor for online, spearheading the popular magazine's Web site, which drew some 6 million page views per month. He also wrote numerous product reviews and features covering all aspects of the computing world. During his tenure, won the Computer Press Association's prestigious runner-up prize for Best Overall Website.

In August 1999, Ulanoff briefly left publishing to join as producer for the Computing and Consumer Electronics channels and then was promoted to the site's senior director for content. He returned to PC Magazine in November 2000 and relaunched in July 2001. The new was named runner-up for Best Web Sites at the American Business Media's Annual Neal Awards in March 2002 and won a Best Web Site Award from the ASBPE in 2004. Under his direction, regularly generated more than 25 million page views a month and reached nearly 5 million monthly unique visitors in 2005.

For the last year and a half, Ulanoff has served as Editor, Reviews, PC Magazine. In that role he has overseen all product and review coverage for PC Magazine and, as well as managed PC Labs. He also writes a popular weekly technology column for and his column also appears in PC Magazine.

Recognized as an expert in the technology arena, Lance makes frequent appearances on local, national and international news programs including New York's Eyewitness News, NewsChannel 4, CNN, CNN HN, CNBC, MSNBC, Good Morning America Weekend Edition, and BBC, as well as being a regular guest on FoxNews' Studio B with Shepard Smith. He has also offered commentary on National Public Radio and been interviewed by radio stations around the country. Lance has been an invited guest speaker at numerous technology conferences including Digital Life, RoboBusiness, RoboNexus, Business Foresight and Digital Media Wire's Games and Mobile Forum.

Lance also serves as co-host of PC Magazine's weekly podcast, PCMag Radio.


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