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
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
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
1 GB of system memory
40 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space
Support for DirectX 9 graphics with:
128 MB of graphics memory (minimum)
Pixel Shader 2.0 in hardware
32 bits per pixel
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.
"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.
First, if you haven't
already, upgrade to Internet Explorer 7. Several new features such as
Tabs, and thumbnail views will set you free.
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!**.
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.
For that added piece of
mind, you can install the same product Microsoft One Care for a 90 day free
trial. Windows OneCare.