New Microsoft Vista Operating System: Some Considerations Remain
by Chris Lundin
In January 2007,after many years of development, Microsoft released its new operating system, Vista, to general distribution. See Microsoft's information on this new product.
IT Services staff and others on campus have used this software since before it was released. Many months after its release, a number of campus users are using Vista without problems. However, if you are considering either upgrading or purchasing a new computer with Vista pre-loaded, please note the following:
- Campus business applications have not yet been certified by our vendors to run under Vista. The staff in Administrative Systems are continuing to work with our vendors to get such applications as PeopleSoft and Oracle Financials certified. Users who are dependent on those applications, usually staff members, should not upgrade to Vista unless they have first validated that their critical applications work properly under Vista.
- Users need to make sure their system can handle the minimal requirements of the OS. In some cases, users may wish to wait until ordering a new computer to acquire Vista.
- Some vendors are still writing drivers for peripheral devices, so before upgrading make sure drivers exist for your various peripherals: printer, scanner, etc.
- Because of campus security concerns and issues with integration with our campus computing infrastructure, only certain versions of Vista are supported. The supported versions are Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Enterprise or Windows Vista Ultimate (without supporting Media Center for home use). Not supported, and not recommended for usage, are the "Home" versions of Vista.
- Vista brings with it the usual set of new features and new interfaces you'll both benefit from and have to get used to: the new OS offers significant changes in the user interface which will require user familiarization and a learning curve.
- In late August, Microsoft Corp. confirmed that the first service pack for Windows Vista will be out sometime in the first quarter of 2008, along with a third and final service pack for Windows XP. The first major update to Vista will contain a number of tweaks to speed up the operating system and fix reported reliability problems. Again, another possible reason to wait before installing Vista.
All Essential Stanford Software applications now work with Vista.
IT Services has put together a Vista Web page with pertinent information.
If you're interested in Vista, please discuss your specific situation with your local computing support staff.