VISUAL NEWSLETTER – JAN 2007                         




Microsoft launched Windows Vista on January 30th a little ahead of earlier expectations. What we have to expect is still to be determined as there are more questions than answers at the present time. We hope to have a new Windows Vista Business Edition based computer within a week to test and evaluate. From there we should be able to answer some of the following questions:


Will Vista run Libra and other older programs?


This is a highly debated topic of particular interest to the many companies that depend on Dos based programs to run various aspects of their business.


The same questions came up when Windows XP was released and in spite of the fact that I was told that it wouldn’t run Dos, it turned out to be quite Dos friendly. In fact about 80 percent of our Libra clients currently run Libra on Windows XP.


Of equal interest is the fate of older Windows Based Programs. When Windows 2000 and XP were released, many older Windows programs no longer worked. Microsoft has a vested interest in pushing customers into newer versions of their products such as MS-Office. They may take this opportunity to stop running older versions like Office 97 in the hope that customers will run out and buy newer versions of the software. While this did happen in the past other customers decided to standardize on older Operating Systems to avoid the compatibility complications in the first place.


The last time around this resulted in stalled sales of new systems for a short time until most of the technical compatibility issues were resolved.


Will Windows Vista work with Novell Servers?


Many clients still use Novell 3.x File Servers due to their simplicity and reliability. As Microsoft conquered the server marketplace, more on brand name than abilities, Novell’s market share fell. Recently, Windows Server 2003 has begun to gain  respect as a good basic file server. Hence we wonder if they will risk dropping built in Novell support in hopes of further promoting Microsoft Products.




Windows XP originally shipped in two versions: Home & Professional Edition. Later they added the Media Centre Edition. They have now increased the options to 4 versions:


Version                Upgrade     Full Price


Home Basic        $129.99     $259.99


Home Premium  $179.99     $299.99


Business             $249.99     $379.99


Ultimate               $299.99     $499.99


The above prices are to purchase the software to upgrade an existing computer. In many cases you would be advised to just buy a new computer with Vista preloaded as upgrade costs are a little steep.


Home Premium and Ultimate Edition offer the features of the previous Media Centre Edition.


Home Premium, Business and Ultimate Editions offer the new ‘Aero’ desktop interface providing you have enough processing power to drive it.


To run the basic interface you would still want to have at least 1gb of Ram, 100gb or larger hard drive, a 64mb video card and a DVD player/writer.


To run the Aero interface 2gb of Ram and a 256mb video card are the recommended configuration.


Business and Ultimate Editions have advanced hardware failure guards and enhanced connectivity features for advanced networking.


The Ultimate edition has a Windows Bit Blocker feature to protect your data in case of theft. It may also almost eliminate the possibility of retrieving data from a slightly damaged hard drive so  backup carefully before activating this feature.


We should know a lot more about this new platform by the end of February and will keep you posted. Until then it’s a case of Buyer Beware!