Vim is an advanced text editor that seeks to provide the power of the de-facto Unix editor 'Vi', with a more complete feature set.
Vim is useful whether you're already using vi or using a different editor. Users of Vim 5 should consider upgrading to Vim 6, which is greatly enhanced since Vim 5.
Vim is a highly configurable text editor built to enable efficient text editing. It is an improved version of the vi editor distributed with most UNIX systems.
Vim is often called a "programmer's editor," and so useful for programming that many consider it an entire IDE. It's not just for programmers, though. Vim is perfect for all kinds of text editing, from composing email to editing configuration files.
Vim isn't an editor designed to hold its users' hands. It is a tool, the use of which must be learned.
Vim isn't a word processor. Although it can display text with various forms of highlighting and formatting, it isn't there to provide WYSIWYG editing of typeset documents. (It is great for editing TeX, though.)
A short summary of the improvements of Vim over vi is listed below. The
list shows that Vim is a thoroughly modern and feature-packed editor.
Standard features of modern editors are implemented, and there is an equal emphasis on general power-user features and features for programmers.