Microsoft itself has a list comparing Windows XP to Vista:
Find, fix, and share photos: Organize, edit, and share your favorite photos with family and friends using Windows Photo Gallery.
Er...okay. How is that any different than any number of 3rd party programs out there that do the same thing?
Find almost anything: Find documents, e-mail, photos, and more in a snap through Instant Search.
Do you really need to constantly search for files? Really? I might do this about once a month...even then, the Search function in XP is fine. Regular users probably store everything in their My Documents folder anyways...how hard is that to search?
Turn any room into a media room: Manage and enjoy digital photos, music, TV shows, and movies in your living room with Windows Media Center.
Well...XP has this already, but how many people out there actually do this? I know of maybe two, and I believe they both use the XBox to do that, not their PCs.
Play the way you want: Easily install, organize, and play games using Windows Game Explorer.
Interesting, I must admit. Overkill though.
Make movie magic: Retain high-definition quality as you capture, edit, and publish movies from a video camcorder with Windows Movie Maker. NOTE: the HD part only works with the Premium editions.
Now, really...this is a main selling feature? The ability to make a fucking movie. Come on. Buy a Mac if you want to do that. Jesus.
There are other comparisons, mostly in the security area and things like Parental Controls. But is the cost worth all of this?
Upgrade Costs are as follows:
Home Basic is $129, Home Premium is $179, the Ultimate is $299
To purchase the full version:
Home Basic is $259, Home Premium is $299, and the Ultimate is $499!
Many of the features they tout aren't even available on the Home Basic edition. In fact, most of their security and backup features are only available on the over-priced Ultimate version.
This is insane, given the fact that you will have to shell out more bucks for Vista-compatible hardware (many older devices are NOT compatible), the cost of "upgrading" to Vista makes the whole process worthless. Why bother? You would end up with a slower PC with more "hidden" controls (i.e. difficult to figure out how to change settings...MS wants you to run things THEIR way, not YOUR way).
Too many idiots have already gone to Vista. They should have their heads examined.