HelpWithWindows Newsletter Volume 9, Number 22
November 11, 2006

In this issue:

Windows Vista Released to Manufacturing

by Arie Slob

Hello Windows users,

Windows Vista Last Wednesday, November 8th, Microsoft declared build 6000.16386 as Microsoft Windows Vista. This finally brings a close to the five year development cycle - the longest development period in Windows history.

Microsoft says Windows Vista is its most heavily tested operating system ever, with deep investments made to ensure greater security, reliability and usability.

Microsoft is hosting a series of events around the world on November 30 to officially recognize business availability of the 2007 Microsoft Office system, Exchange Server 2007 and Windows Vista. They also announced that the worldwide general availability launch is January 30, 2007.

I will post a review of the RTM build of Windows Vista later this month on the HelpWithWindows.com Web site.

Windows Vista: Which Edition Should You Get?

Windows Vista With the release of Windows Vista, Microsoft is offering users a choice of six product versions, not counting the 'special' versions for the European Union and Korea (the so-called N and K editions).

Below I will give a breakdown on the most important differences between the versions.

First, let's list the versions and their estimated retail pricing as announced by Microsoft last September.

Product Availability Full price Upgrade price
Windows Vista Starter Available only in selected countries with a new PC purchase. Only product edition which doesn't ship in a 64-bit version (besides the 32-bit version). n/a n/a
Windows Vista Home Basic Available at retail. Compares to Windows XP Home. $199.00 $99.95
Windows Vista Home Premium Available at retail. Compares to Windows XP Media Center Edition. $239.00 $159.00
Windows Vista Business Available at retail. Compares to Windows XP Professional. $299.00 $199.00
Windows Vista Enterprise Available for Volume License customers only. Compares to Windows XP Professional. n/a n/a
Windows Vista Ultimate Available at retail. $399.00 $259.00


EXTRA edition

Although I published a newsletter last week, and the next newsletter wasn't scheduled for another week, I thought the Release To Manufacturing (finally!) of Windows Vista warranted a newsletter publication this week.

I will resume the normal bi-weekly schedule, so the next newsletter will be published on November 25th.

Microsoft Office Outlook Connector

With Outlook Connector, you can use Microsoft Office Outlook 2002(XP), 2003 or 2007 to access and manage your Windows Live Mail or Office Live Mail accounts, including e-mail messages, calendar, tasks, notes, and contacts.

Supported OS: Windows 2000 Service Pack 3; Windows Vista; Windows XP

Download [3.65 MB]
Other Languages

Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs Trial Version

Play as the versatile Iroquois in the Age of Empires III trial version.

Supported OS: Windows XP

Download [516 MB]

Latest Microsoft & Windows News from around the Internet

There will be N (EU) editions of Windows Vista Home Basic and Windows Vista Business available. I don't have any information on the availability of the K (Korean) editions, presumably they will follow the N editions.

Differences between versions

In the table below I list the differences between the various Windows Vista Edittions. I've left the Stater, N and K edittions out of this overview.

Feature Home Basic Home Premium Business Enterprise Ultimate
Windows Aero UI ("Glass")
Windows Flip 3D
Live Taskbar Thumbnails
Maximum RAM (64-bit version)
32-bit version Max 4 GB for all editions
8 GB 16 GB 128+ GB 128+ GB 128+ GB
Physical processor support
Unlimited core's are supported on all editions
1 1 2 2 2
Parental Controls
BitLocker Full Drive Encryption
Encrypting File System (EFS)
Scheduled backup
Real-time backup and recovery available on all editions
System image backup and recovery
Windows ShadowCopy
Simultaneous SMB peer network connections 5 10 10 10 10
Remote Desktop Client only Client only
Join domain
PC-to-PC Synchronize
IIS Web Server
Offline files and folder support
Network Projector support
Windows Media Center
Windows Movie Maker Limited
Windows Movie Maker HD
Windows DVD Maker
Windows Mobility Center Partial Partial
Tablet PC functionality
Touch screen support
Windows SideShow (secondary display support)
Windows Fax and Scan
Support for multiple user interface languages
(36 languages total) available
Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications
Virtual PC Express
Windows Anytime Upgade To Home Premium or Ultimate To Ultimate To Ultimate

So which version?

Most users will have the ability to choose between Home Basic, Home Premium, Business and Ultimate (since the Enterprise version will only be available for Volume License customers). If the above feature list didn't make it clear enough yet, I will spell it out: Home Basic is useless and you should never consider it!

So that leaves Home Premium, Business and Ultimate to choose from. The choice between Home Premium and Business corresponds roughly with the choice today between Windows XP Home and XP Professional.

The Ultimate edition combines the features found in the Home and Business editions of Vista and will have a number of additional features/applications which aren't known yet at this point. I suggest you get Ultimate only if you don't mind paying the extra $$ it costs, otherwise stick with either Home Premium or Business.


As always, I do not recommend upgrading from a previous Windows version. You should consider your new OS an excellent excuse to wipe your hard drive & start from fresh. This will get rid of a lot of junk you'll have picked up over time, and also has the least chance of problems.

This doesn't mean that you can't purchase an upgrade version: You will just need to insert the previous Windows media as proof of your eligibility.

Windows 95/98/Me and NT user do not qualify for upgrade pricing, so you'll have to pay full price for Windows Vista, and an in-place upgrade is not supported.

Windows 2000 and Windows XP Professional x64 are eligible for upgrade pricing, but can't do an in-place upgrade, they have to perform a full install instead. All other Windows XP users can choose between an in-place upgrade and a clean install.

Windows XP Home Edition can be used to do an in-place upgrade to all versions available through retail, while Windows XP Professional can only be upgraded (in-place) to Vista Business or Vista Ultimate. Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE) can be upgraded to Vista Home Premium or Vista Ultimate, while Windows XP Tablet PC Edition can only be upgrade to Vista Business or Vista Ultimate.

Please note I've talked about the possibilities for in-place upgrading, for example, you can still buy a Vista Business upgrade when you currently have Windows XP MCE. You'll then have to do a clean (full) install instead of the possible in-place upgrade.

Windows Anytime Upgrade

Since all Vista product editions ship on the same install DVD, Microsoft will offer new upgrade options from some versions. Called Windows Anytime Upgrade, this is just a way in which Microsoft allows you to purchase a new product key which will unlock the additional features. According to preliminary information these upgrades should be slightly cheaper than buying the boxed copy of the upgrade version of your choice.

Windows Anytime Upgrade should be available after January 2007.

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