by: Titus Hoskins
Vista is coming soon to a computer near you, are you ready? Unlike past editions of Microsoft Windows this new version seems to be generating a lot more pre-launch buzz. Maybe it has to do with all the new improved browsing and computer features that the Vista will supposedly deliver.
What is Vista?
Vista is the new version of Microsoft Windows, which will offer users a greatly improved browsing and computer experience mainly through more dynamic 'live' windows and faster presentation. It will offer a more robust security (direly needed!) and more business features in its corporate OS with encryption, Unix services, and virtual machine capabilities.
You will be able to use different graphical tools to more efficiently manage your information and applications on your desktop. If you read the information on the official Vista site, you may come away believing your desktop will never look or feel the same again. Vista Homepage: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/
There is one underlying reason why this may just be the case. According to the Longhorn Statement of last year, RSS will play a major role in these applications and in the OS itself. Longhorn is the name for the Microsoft Windows Server code. RSS stands for 'Really Simple Syndication' and Microsoft should be applauded for bringing RSS to the forefront. Many believe RSS will change the very nature of how we use the Internet and our computers.
Regardless of what it may contain, the new Windows Vista has many consumers delaying the purchase of their next PC or laptop until the new Windows arrives. Many were hoping for a pre-Christmas release but...
When Will Vista Arrive?
According to Microsoft's own official site on Vista, Windows Vista will be available in early 2007. However, Vista (as of Sept.22, 2006) is already in Beta testing with over 30,000 testers from around the globe. Read more about this at the Windows Vista Team Blog: http://blogs.technet.com/windowsvista/default.aspx
Vista will have TWO Interfaces
Vista Windows will have two interfaces, Basic and Aero. The Basic Interface will be similar to Windows XP and will run on most current PCs and Laptops. The Aero Interface is more advanced and you will need higher system requirements to take advantage of all the new features. (See Below)
Actually, Vista will have six versions in all. According to the Vista web site these versions will range for the very basic up to the highest performance level.
* Windows Vista Starter which runs only on 32-bit systems and will be so on new machines in India, Thailand and other emerging markets.
* Windows Vista Home Basic which is very comparable to XP Home which will not offer the high-end graphics and media features.
* Windows Vista Home Premium which will offer these graphics and media.
* Windows Vista Business which is similar to the current XP Professional.
* Windows Vista Enterprise will be only available to those customers with volume licenses - will offer Unix service, encryption and virtual machine capabilities.
* Windows Vista Ultimate will combine Vista Enterprise and Vista Home Premium which will give customers the highest version of Windows.
There will also be "N" versions of Vista Business and Vista Home Basic for the European market that will have Window Media Player removed. Microsoft is catering to all levels of the marketplace and its a prudent business move because many current PCs and laptops don't have the system requirements to take advantage of the highest version of Vista Aero.
Your System Requirements for Vista?
Your system requirements for the new Windows Vista will depend on which version of Vista you're buying. For the basic Vista you will need a modern processor (800MHz or more) with at least 512 MB of system memory. Your graphics processor should be DirectX 9 capable.
For the fully loaded Vista you will need a little more robust system with at least 1 GHz processor with 1 GB of system memory. This should be supported with DirectX 9 graphics with 128 MB of graphics memory. A premium graphics card like ATI or NVIDIA is recommended and you will need a 40 GB hard drive with 15 GB free space. In order to watch and record live TV you may have to add additional hardware.
Still not sure your current system will support Vista, just run the free Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor RC found here: http://www.microsoft.com/window...eadvisor/default.mspx
This program will tell you if your system can currently run Vista or if you will need to upgrade your computer.
What Noteworthy Features Will Vista Give You?
If we get over the improved features like better organizing of information, better security, and more reliability - what new features will the Vista deliver?
One that really jumps out - INSTANT SEARCH
Instead of using the slow cascading "All Programs", you can just type in a file name or task and you will find what you're looking for. The new instant start menu will be a lot quicker, saving you time.
This also jumps out - DYNAMIC WINDOWS
Perhaps, one of the major improvement will be in the appearance and use of the new desktop with transparent "glass-like" windows and animated windows on the taskbar. It will have live thumbnails on the taskbar, place your mouse over these and you will see the live contents without having to bring it up on your screen. You will also be able to create a three-dimensional stack of open windows on your desktop and you will have smoother performance in dynamic content or windows such as video.
And this one - SPEECH RECOGNITION
Speech Recognition will play a major role in the new Windows Vista which promises to feature all the latest Microsoft speech technologies with 'unparalleled voice recognition accuracy' supported with multiple languages and a more human-sounding synthesizer - step aside Stephen Hawkins!
Plus, you will be able to control your computer by using your voice. It will provide you with a list of smart choices, whether it's selecting a word or choosing an application. Mouseless and hands-free computing tasks - might be worth seeing.
And this - WATCH AND RECORD LIVE TV
You will be able to watch and record live TV with Vista. You may have to use additional hardware to access this feature. It is only a matter of time before the union of the Internet and full TV broadcasting services. Windows Vista may help in furthering this rather slow process. Integration, Integration Integration.
Also this - BETTER SECURITY AND ENCRYPTION
The new Window Vista offers improved security and has a few new encryption programs. There is something called the Windows BitLocker? Drive Encryption which help protect the sensitive data on your hard drive - especially important in our ever increasing mobile lifestyles and workforces. This program will encrypt your entire Windows system and protect your information in the case of a stolen or lost PC or laptop.
Then there is the Encrypting File System (EFS) which will protect user-level files and folders. This is important when two or more people share the same computer as in a company network. Companies will be able to use smart cards with EFS keys to allow employees or workers to access only the content that's appropriate for them to access. In addition, companies or users will be able to restrict use of USB keys and other removable storage devices, thus hampering the quick removal of data from your computer.
Wildcard - What role will RSS Play?
For interested techies and web watchers, the role RSS will play in the new Vista is an intriguing question. What about all those new RSS applications? The list extensions? What will it bring? Read more here http://blogs.msdn.com/rssteam/
Will RSS (via Vista) be given the means to finally turn the Internet into a Billion Channel Universe? Turning every web site into its own mini-broadcasting system sending out its content to all interested parties. Don't come to us, we will deliver. Changing static content into dynamic content. Furthermore, will speech recognition turn this dynamic content into a fully interactive hands-free browsing experience. Might give a whole new meaning to the expression 'Look Ma - no hands!'
All kidding aside, Windows Vista does offer some unique features that will change how we use our computers. It offers greater security and more integrated networking and applications. It does promise to make our desktop interaction more responsive and smoother with 'live' social bookmarks and windows. One can only hope Vista lives up to its name and gives us a whole new viewing experience.
Copyright (c) 2006 Titus Hoskins
About The Author
Titus Hoskins is a full-time online marketer who runs numerous web sites, including two sites on Internet Marketing. For the latest web marketing tools try: http://www.bizwaremagic.com.
He also runs an online Laptop Guide and has a keen interest in RSS and Computers. Go here for the latest gaming laptops: http://www.bizwaremagic.com/best_gaming_notebooks.htm.
2006 Titus Hoskins. This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.
This article was posted on October 18, 2006