In the biggest IT story so far of the new year, Microsoft launches their new operating system Windows Vista on 30th January 2007.
There is plenty being written in the media about what impact Vista will make to consumers. Is it better than XP? Will it make the same seismic jump forward that Windows95 did compared to Windows 3.11? Like all new software released by Microsoft there will be a lot of commentary and reviews about its strengths and weaknesses. In reading through the marketing material released by Microsoft it seems that the following features were heavily focussed on during the development lifecycle.
User Experience: The new desktop will allow a 3rd dimension to make it easier to tab between the various document windows that you have open. Rather than being forced to tab along the bottom of your desktops task bar Vista will provide a view of all the windows that you have open at once, allowing more efficient selection of the one that you are after.
Security: Over the last couple of years Bill Gates as decreed that Microsoft renew its attention to security with their software. Security applies in two contexts. Firstly security refers to keeping your files safe and secure on a multi user machine, and then it also refers to making sure you are safe and secure when you are connected to the Internet.
Vista promises a new and improved feature called User Account Control, for allowing not only who has accounts on a shared machine but closer and more effective control at what programs and applications they are allowed to use and install when logged in.
The new tools included in Vista to increase protection when on the Internet include:
Windows Defender: spyware protection
Malicious Software Removal Tool: this will complete a virus like scan from time to time
XP users will be familiar with Windows Updates and Security Centre which alert you when a new update or patch is required to be downloaded and run to keep loop holes covered within the operating system.
For a full breakdown of what Microsoft is promising Vista security features can and will do for you click here.
There is an extensive list of other interesting new and exciting features that will come with Microsoft Vista. The link through to Microsoft's Vista website is right here. It's well worth a look as depending on if you are a home user or a business user, there are different versions of the software to choose from. Also, for the first time Microsoft is allowing downloading of the install files straight of the Internet. No more need to run to Harvey Norman for your software box and CD.
The last tip that we have about Vista is that it requires some serious hard disk, memory and video card capacity to see it run at full capacity. Microsoft lists that a 800Mhz machine with 512Mb of memory and 15GB of hard drive is the minimum necessary to get Vista running with basic user experience. Yet in December, Microsoft caused quite a stir by sending out free laptops to bloggers who are at the top of their game and have extensive readership. This marketing ploy worked as it created quite a buzz. It's interesting to compare the minimum requirements listed above compared to that of the laptops which they sent out. The machines that they sent were Acer Ferrari 5000 notebooks which have a twin core 2Gig Mhz processor, 2Gb of memory and a minimum of 80Gb hard drive. The full specs of the snazzy looking Acer Ferrari 5000 machines is available from Acer right here.
So there you have it. Vista is upon us. We will keep a close eye on it's roll out and the reviews that come out and will be sure to post updates as necessary.