In this issue:
Windows Vista Review
by Arie Slob
Hello Windows users,
As you probably know, Microsoft has released Windows Vista for its business clients, meaning that businesses that have a licensing deal with Microsoft can obtain the new operating system (OS). Microsoft will be releasing Windows Vista to consumers next month. I don't expect businesses to start deploying Windows Vista any time soon. There are several reasons for that. In the first place, businesses usually wait till the 1st Service Pack (SP1) of any OS has been released before they start deploying it. They want the 1st bugs to have been addressed. Right now Microsoft hasn't released a date for SP1 of Vista (typically it's around 6 months after 1st release). Another reason is training/familiarization costs. Imagine all the employees getting Windows Vista for the 1st time: they will spend a lot of time just investigating the new system & checking out its capabilities; better wait till they have upgraded their home PC and familiarized themselves with Vista in their own time.
Consumers can obtain Windows Vista in various ways, and although most people will get the new operating system when they buy a new PC, I suspect that a good number of you will be contemplating upgrading their Windows XP machines to Vista. To get the best experience, here's my recommendation:
Clean Install: Forget about upgrading, a clean install will give you the best performance possible. And yes, you can use an 'upgrade' edition of Vista to do a clean install.
Hardware requirements: Make sure you have at least a 2.4 GHz processor if you have a single-core CPU; 1.8 GHz if you have a dual-core CPU.
Since Vista only ships on DVD, you'll need to have a DVD drive.
As for memory, I'd say the absolute minimum is 1 GB, you'd be better off with 1.5 or 2 GB.
The more tricky part is the Video card. Microsoft's minimum requirements for a "Windows Vista Premium Ready PC" call for "Support for DirectX 9 graphics with a WDDM driver, 128 MB of graphics memory (minimum), Pixel Shader 2.0 and 32 bits per pixel". The "WDDM driver" (Windows Display Driver Model) is a critical requirement, the WWDM driver is needed for the Aero user experience. You can check on most graphic cards designers Web sites for their compatible models (NVIDEA, ATI). I would also suggest a minimum of 256 MB of RAM for your graphics card.
Some larger OEM retailers will offer you an "Express Upgrade" when you buy a new PC now, so that once Windows Vista will be released next month for consumers you can upgrade for no (or little) cost. Be aware that some are offering this upgrade on PC's with specifications that - while they do fall within Microsoft's minimum requirements - will not give you a decent experience. For more details on the Express Upgrade, check out Microsoft's Windows Vista Web site.
My advice: If you are in the market for a new PC, wait another month (or two) till the 'dust' on Vista's release has settled, and manufacturers will be offering new configurations that include Vista on some decent hardware specs.
For the first three parts of my Windows Vista Review, check out the HelpWithWindows Web site.
Microsoft Windows Security Bulletin Summary for December, 2006
The security update for December 2006 includes four fixes for Microsoft Windows, one for Internet Explorer and one for Outlook Express.
Severity Rating: Critical
Severity Rating: Important