Windows Vista, Aptly Named Because You Can Overlook It

 

Going back to my roots here, I am going to write about a subject that is near and dear to me.  Microsoft and their latest release.

 

Today is the long awaited release date of the new Microsoft operating system Windows Vista, the predecessor to the Microsoft Windows XP throne.  Let me start of by throwing down some credentials.  I am a MCSE - Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, MCSA - Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator - and former MCT - Microsoft Certified Trainer.  In 1997, I decided to hitch my wagon to Microsoft and got my first Windows Certification.  I have a bias toward being on the forgiving side to the market bullying, and security lapses that Microsoft seems to display.  A Microsoft Apologist some might say. 

 

With all the at said, here are my opinions on these new products.  Windows Vista - it's late.  And not just the kind of socially polite late.  It is showing up for a New Years Eve Windows Vista ScreenshotParty on Flag Day kind of late.  I first heard about Vista back in 2002 as an Operating System in development with the codename "Longhorn".  It was scheduled for release "sometime in 2005".  It was the $64,000 question, when is Vista going to be released?  While attending a Microsoft Conference last year, someone asked the speaker when Vista would be on store shelves.  He rattled off some figures on development costs and project man hours, and how it would be worth the wait.  He moved on to the next item, so I had to pipe up "you didn't answer that guys question.  When is Vista going to be released?"  He said "Microsoft does not discuss release dates for that product.  Visit www.microsoft.com/vista for the latest news".  Wow.

 

So now that we can all run out an buy Vista the only question is why should I?  I have been running a copy of Vista Beta 2 for several months now, and the only way I could answer that question is I have no idea.  Most of the changes appear to be mostly cosmetic, or going on behind the curtain  Cosmetic changes include the new Sidebar gadgets,  a thumbnailed task manager view and a general candy-like gloss to all the buttons and icons.  Improved security and integrated spyware/malware protection are behind the curtain.

 

For those who choose to upgrade to Vista, the short term will mean there are going to be tons of updates and patches, issues with compatibility of older programs, and God forbid you try to put it on a machine that isn't loaded with horsepower and video.  The hardware minimums are quite high -

 

1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
1 GB of system memory
40 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space
Support for DirectX 9 graphics with:
  WDDM Driver
  128 MB of graphics memory (minimum)
  Pixel Shader 2.0 in hardware
  32 bits per pixel
DVD-ROM drive
Internet access
 

Most users will have to spend some money to upgrade hardware to make Vista work.  It used to be pretty standard for a machine to have 256 megabytes of RAM.  You'll have to cough up for some memory and probably a video card if you want to take advantage of all of Vista Ultimate Edition.

 

As for me, I believe the best operating system for the average user is already available and has been for years: Windows XP Pro.  It has proven itself to be stable and reliable over the past few years.  You would do better to spend a little money and add RAM to your computer and keep Windows XP rather than rush out and buy Vista tommorow.  All in all, I am ready to say pass on Vista...for now.  Despite being in the oven for 5 years now, it may not be done cooking yet.

 

BONUS FEATURE>>

"So Dave" I hear people ask "I want Vista, but I don't really have that kind of coin right now what with losing my job, and all my spare cash tied up wagering on the Colts getting +6 from the Bears.  What can I do to spruce up my Windows XP"?
 

There are several things you can do to make your Current OS a little sexier.

  1. First, if you haven't already, upgrade to Internet Explorer 7.  Several new features such as Tabs, and thumbnail views will set you free.

  2. I want that glassy jolly candy sheen. CrystalXP.net has lots of free downloads to change the look and feel of your system.  You can even make it look like the Mac OS  **Gag!**.

  3. Replicate that Sidebar.  One of Vista's catchest features is the Sidebar that you can stick Gadgets to.  For instance, a weather gadget for the temp. and forcast, maybe a stock ticker and a sports headlines gadet to boot.  Google Desktop has a free sidebar program you can install and load up with all the annoying little gadget you want.  Download Google Desktop Here.

  4. For that added piece of mind, you can install the same product Microsoft One Care for a 90 day free trial.  Windows OneCare.

DOB 01/29/2007

 

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