Planning For Windows Vista

As we've mentioned in previous issues, Microsoft plans to release Windows Vista, the successor to Windows XP, in early 2007. Why should small businesses care? Here are a few reasons.

New Features


Windows Vista includes the inherently more secure Internet Explorer 7, as well as other tools such as Windows Defender. Users (and the software they download or run) are prevented from modifying critical system settings or installing other software programs such as pests or malware. Users or system administrators can log in as an "administrator" user while installing new software or adjusting these settings.


Vista includes improved search tools that will index your documents, e-mail, and more. A "Search Folder" can be saved that will automatically update as new matching documents are created on the hard drive. Users can also search for programs within the Start menu by typing a partial program name.


Windows Meeting Space allows users to share their desktop with others for simple online conferencing.

Windows Aero

The new Windows shell, though visually striking, typically requires more advanced video hardware and plenty of memory. Typically an ITS CorporateClass computer purchased in the last 6-12 months or so will qualify as Windows Vista Premium Ready (see related article), possibly with some additional memory and a DVD drive. However, without the more advanced hardware Windows Vista will still run but will look more like Windows 2000's interface rather than the snazzy new Aero interface.


Windows Vista includes improved System Restore technology and a feature called Previous Versions, based on the Shadow Copy service introduced in Windows Server 2003. Previous Versions allows users to easily restore an older version of a file without resorting to tape or other backup media.

Speech Recognition

Windows Vista includes speech recognition for speaking commands or dictating a letter.


  • When planning to purchase a new PC, ensure it will meet or exceed the Vista Premium Ready qualifications (see related article).
  • Users with older computers (pre-2006) may want to consider purchasing a new computer rather than upgrading their current PC to Vista, especially anything above Vista Home Basic.
  • Users with Windows 2000, Windows Me, or Windows 98 should strongly consider upgrading for the improved security and support for future security fixes.
  • Ensure your existing hardware (printer, scanner, etc.) is compatible with Windows Vista before upgrading an existing PC. This may mean waiting a few months after Vista is officially released.
  • Ensure your existing software (especially older DOS-based software) is compatible with Windows Vista.

October 2006

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