So with Windows Vista out the door, its time to start evaluating new computer systems at home.  The picture today is not as clear as it was a few months ago.

  • Do I go with all laptops (which has been my plan for almost a year)?
  • Do I go with an upgrade to my existing desktop, new laptops for my wife & kids, and a UMPC for me?
  • Would an UMPC for each member of the family make sense, or only for those highly-mobile?

The trouble with it all is that our computing needs have changed, and software models have changed.  What is a useful computer for a person that only browses and gets email?  What about for my 10 year-old who really only uses the computer for some on line games?  How will it grow with her?  Do I need to get a uber-powerful unit for my 16 year-old who uses the Internet, games, and media heavily, or will a moderate system work?

Since Vista is around the corner, some of the usage scenarios I was thinking of are not as clear anymore.  The usefulness of on line services like GMail, Digg,, Zoho and more negate the need for a lot of expensive software upgrades.  This also changes what kind of system resources are needed to run the services we use on a daily basis.

The interesting part is that each one of us need a new computer.  We’ve been putting off upgrading until Vista was released, and some of the new hardware features supported by Vista were available.  So, yes, it is important for everyone to get a new system – one or two are so old and slow as to be useless at this point.

So, my question is – what are your upgrade plans now that Windows Vista has been released, and what functionality are you looking for in a new system?

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