10 Reasons to upgrade to Windows Vista Part 1

1. Power Saving

Power saving is becoming an increasing important aspect of computing. Recent efforts to switch off equipment when not in use could save the University over 4500 pounds per year in ISS alone.

With Windows Vista power savings can be increased further.

Windows Vista is Microsoft’s most energy-efficient operating system to date. With features including Immediate responsiveness to Sleep or Resume, per machine settings, Hybrid Sleep and management by group policy.

For a full guide to Windows Vista Energy Conservation follow see this white paper.

2. It’s here, it works and it’s the future!

As of 6 months ago Microsoft had sold 180 million licenses for Windows Vista with more than 10 million a month being sold since then. The OS has now been released for 18 months and is now the standard for all new machines.

Staff and Students who have purchased machines in this period and those who buy in the future will be using Vista as their service providers and support staff we must be able to support it.

The recent beta of Windows 7 shows that the next version of Windows will be the same as Windows Vista in every way which matters (see my earlier post).

3. Security.

  • UAC: User Account Control allows Administrators to quickly elevate their privileges in order to make system changes so no need to logoff and login again with your admin account.
  • ASLR and NX support. Stops attackers predicting hardware memory addresses.
  • Heap buffer over-run detection. Protection from this favourite area of exploits.
  • Windows Service hardening reduces the chance of exploits such as blaster, slammer, sasser…
  • Windows Defender gives built-in spyware, malware detection. No need for third party products.
  • Windows Firewall now has inbound and outbound protection plus many other advances over XP.
  • CompletePC backup backs up everything on a PC, including the Operating System and applications.
  • BitLocker is a new drive encryption technology introduced with the Vista operating system. With BitLocker enabled, all files on PC or laptop hard disk drives are automatically encrypted helping to prevent information from being read by others if a computer is lost, stolen or sold.
  • A new Kernel supports many security and performance improvements.
  • Internet Explorer runs with lower privileges than a standard user (not possible in Windows XP).

4. Search

A new tool in Windows Vista called Instant Search helps ensure that you’re never more than a few keystrokes from whatever you’re looking for. Search boxes are available almost everywhere in Windows Vista. Just type a file name, a property, or even text contained within a file, and Instant Search will return pinpointed results and when used with Outlook 2007 this can include your emails.

5. Accessibility

The new Ease of Access Centre in Windows Vista centralised place to locate accessibility settings and programs including On-screen Keyboard, Magnifier, Narrator, Keyboard shortcuts, Visual Notifications and Captions and one of the more powerful speech recognition systems available.

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About James

I am an Infrastructure Systems Administrator in the Infrastructure Systems Group (ISG) within ISS. We are responsible for a number of the core services which support the IT Infrastructure of the University including Active Directory, Exchange, DNS, Central Filestore, VMware and SQL. I hold number of current Microsoft Certifications and am also a Symantec Certified Specialist (Netbackup) http://twitter.com/JamesAPocock

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