Windows Vista and Office 2007
Technology with Integrity
By Tim Torian, Torian Group, Inc.
Windows Vista and office 2007 will be released to manufacturing this month (October), and be available for purchase through volume license by the end of the month. They are scheduled for retail release in January, and may appear in OEM computers sooner. My recommendation is to stick with Windows XP pro for now on your office computers. There are a lot of programs that don’t work with Vista, including older versions of Quickbooks. If you do purchase Vista, plan on spending some time testing your applications and upgrading where needed. Vista comes with Internet Explorer 7, which also needs to be tested for compatibility with your business needs. Many research and vendor sites still don’t support IE7.
You can download Vista Release Candidate 1 here: http://download.windowsvista.com/preview/rc1/en/download.htm
New features are described here: www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/features/default.mspx
News is coming out daily, and everyone has an opinion. Here are some reviews:
Hardware to run Vista should include a minimum of 1GB ram, and a good quality (ATI or NVidia are good) 256 MB Video card. I suggest a dual core 3 GHz or better CPU. If you are purchasing a new computer, get it with these requirements in mind, so you can upgrade later. Most vendors are advertising using a “Windows Vista compatible” logo.
Enterprise customers using Vista will need to manage licenses differently - using a licensing server. Find out more here: www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2024735,00.asp
Microsoft Office 2007 will be available for XP or Vista. Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint use a radically different user interface called the ribbon. There are some new products: “Communicator” for live collaboration, and “Groove” – a SharePoint web editing tool. The office suite stores documents in a new format using XML. Outlook has new anti-spam and anti-phishing features, much better search, and support for voicemail (When used with Exchange 2007). Enhanced security, backward compatibility, native export to .pdf, and new collaboration features also look good. It looks like a compelling upgrade once the bugs are worked out.
Microsoft Site, including download: www.microsoft.com/office/preview/default.mspx
Microsoft Office Live is Microsoft’s domain hosting service, including Email, Web site, and tools to integrate with MS Office 2007. It is currently free during testing, and will be about $30/Month: http://officelive.microsoft.com
Internet Explorer 7 is due out Oct 18. Clients using web based research or membership tools, or custom web based software should check for compatibility before upgrading. IE7 will become an automatic update as part of windows update – probably the 2nd Tuesday of November, when critical updates are released. This means if you have automatic updates enabled, your computer will be automatically updated to IE7. To prevent this, you need to install an IE7 update blocker, here: www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=4516A6F7-5D44-482B-9DBD-869B4A90159C&displaylang=en
More info: www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/ie7/automaticupdates/default.mspx
It’s a busy time for new Microsoft products. They come with compelling features, and a new set of problems. Evaluate the benefits to your business before you buy.
Tim Torian teaches computer networking at the College of Sequoias, and has owned and managed several businesses. He is president of Torian Group, Inc. which provides a full range of Technology Consulting services to local business, including computer services, networking, and custom software development. They can be reached at (559) 733-1940 or on the web at http://www.toriangroup.com