Windows Vista full review

Has any OS been so maligned and so praised during a painfully long development cycle as Windows Vista? The march to Vista's launch has sometimes seemed longer than the Hundred Years War. UPDATE: UPDATE: Windows Vista SP1 - the final, definitive review

Now that Microsoft's new system is at hand, the debate can begin. Is it a look into the future of OSes or the last, dying gasp of an old way of computing? Should you upgrade your system to meet its considerable hardware needs? Is it anything other than Mac OS X Lite?

Some may complain that Vista isn't as revolutionary as it should be after five years. But you don't judge an OS by the amount of time developers have put into it. You judge it by how useful and how pleasurable it is to work with – and in these respects, Windows Vista is a clear winner. It's beautiful, has greatly improved security features, offers superb networking capabilities and, maybe most of all, it's fun to use.

There are so many new features in Vista that it's hard to take them all in at once. To help you, we've broken down the key aspects into four key categories, all of which bring significant improvements.

Aero interface

Click here for PC Advisor's review of Vista's new Aero interface, which revolutionises your view into Windows.

Security Center

Click here for PC Advisor's review of Vista's new Security Center, which attempts to put protection at the heart of the operating system for the first time.

Windows Search

Click here for PC Advisor's review of Vista's search tool, Microsoft's best-ever attempt at helping you find files using a Windows tool.