Long Awaited Release of Windows Vista has Arrived
The consumer release of Vista and Microsoft's most recent Office software is slated for Jan. 30.
Microsoft originally targeted a 2005 release of the operating system, and then pushed the launch to early 2006 before announcing in March that Vista would again be delayed. Is it worth the wait, or is Vista just another Microsoft creation flawed with security issues and system crashes?
Indications are that Vista is Microsoft's most significant development and it deserves a try. Rest assured, millions will give it a try. A U.S. research firm called IDC estimates that in the first year of its release, Vista will be installed on more than 100 million computers worldwide.
Windows Vista comes in two editions for home users - Basic and Premium - and they are functionally similar to today's XP versions. The major differences are better protection from network hackers, and the look and feel of the system.
Vista Premium offers more dynamic features. It includes the multimedia features found in the Windows Media Center Edition, and it has an impressive graphic user interface (GUI) called Aero. The interface includes semi-transparent windows that move about the screen.
These GUI features require at least one gigahertz processor, a gigabyte of internal memory and a graphics adapter with at least 128 megabytes of video RAM. Intel's line of Core 2 Duo processors can handle the Vista load more efficiently than Pentium 4 and Celeron processors.
PC makers are currently marketing many machines as "Vista Capable" which means they have the computing power, storage and graphics capability to upgrade from Windows XP.
If you are uncertain if the PC can handle Vista Basic or Premium, Microsoft has a free program that can be downloaded that is called Upgrade Advisor at www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/getready. This program will indicate if a PC has enough horsepower for the Vista.
Vista's other impressive new features:
The Start menu has been redesigned to make finding programs easier. Branching windows are no longer used. A search engine is integrated at almost every turn.
Vista introduces a graphical gem called Flip 3D, which flips through open windows in 3D. It is similar to the ALT + TAB function but is much fancier.
Similar to widgets on the Mac OS X, Vista also has a Windows sidebar on the desktop, where the user can put gadgets that get information from the Web, such as weather updates, news and sports scores.
The security features might be the most impressive aspect of Windows Vista. The operating system comes packaged with Internet Explorer 7, which has an integrated phishing filter, better ActiveX control and more enhanced spyware and malware filtering.
The phishing filter is very important in this day and age when online scams are prevalent. Vista also makes it more difficult for malware to install itself onto your PC. Windows Firewall is much improved, and Vista will run with restricted privileges, which means that a re-entry of a password is required when you want to install new software.
Parents can also utilize Vista's security features to see what Web sites their children have visited, as well as restrict computer use and control the Web sites children can visit.
As far as compatible upgrade issues with the existing Windows XP system, it is probably best to not upgrade to Vista unless you are buying a new PC next year (where it will be preinstalled). You should definitely stick with XP if your PC is older than three years to avoid hemorrhaging your hardware.
Be cautious if you decide to upgrade from XP to Vista in a "Vista Capable" computer. Upgrading an operating system might not run smoothly, especially when the system is brand new like Vista. New software always has the possibility of having bugs and quirks that need to be ironed out.
Therefore, if you decide to buy a PC before the home versions of Vista are released Jan. 30, strongly consider using XP until you decide to purchase your next computer. If you decide to upgrade to Vista and you do not encounter any difficulties, enjoy the new GUI and security features Windows has to offer.
Related Tags: windows, operating system, vista, computer systems, os
Mike Colesante is a writer at Terian Solutions and can be reached at 713-482-6900.
Terian Solutions offers a full range of managed backup services. Secure Backup its disk to disk backup and restore system, automatically protects your data and vaults it offsite. Assuring your valuable data is always safe and secure. For more information about Terian Solutions' Secure Backup remote data protection service call 713-482-3600 or visit http://www.terian.com Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles
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