Windows Vista is here tomorrow! What version are you going buy?

Windows Vista finally launches tomorrow after many delays. One thing I have to say is I am both happy and upset with the way the versions are being sold by Microsoft. This will lead to a lot of confusion for the general computing public.

Should you buy Windows Vista? I have been advising clients conditionally yes. If you have the hardware that can run it or are willing to upgrade it then yes. Most of the changes to Vista other than the new interface are below the surface of the OS. Security and stability are improved. For the first couple of months there will be some issues as I have faced on my laptop that need to be resolved with some applications. But vendors and software publishers will soon be releasing product updates to fix compatibilty issues. I have been waiting for a couple of months now with vendors telling me there will be patches after general availability.

Versions be offered are Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise (only available to volume licensing clients) and Ultimate. Here is a brief look at the versions.

Home basic is the equivalent of Windows XP home except there are a few changes to it. It does not feature the new Aero Glass interface but includes search and the security upgrades. If you don’t have a video card that supports the interface and are not willing to upgrade but you want the features this is the way to go. As well if you bought a new PC between Oct 26th with XP Home this is the version that you will receive via the express upgrade program.

Home Premium -  This is the version we are recommending to people that have powerful enough hardware. Home premium would line up against XP Media Center Edition. This is the express upgrade equivalent for MCE machines. It does feature the Aero interface as well as comes with Media Center, DVD Maker and all of the media center components. There is some limited support for laptops as well. Media Center can be set up to connect to a TV display and play music, pictures and video.

Business – This version is the equivalent of XP Pro. It has the glass interface in addition to better laptop support and better backup support for machines. It does not have the Media components found in Home Premium.

Enterprise – Again same as business but includes virtualization (Virtual PC Express) and more compatibility as well as business related features, such as TPM (Trusted Platform Module)d support and Bitlocker (Drive encryption). This is available through volume licensing so contact us if you are interested.

Ultimate. Well this is exactly what is stated and the version I have been runningon my own laptop for the last month or so and I tested previously. It features all the components of every version in one package. This can be obtained via Express Upgrade at a price. One feature with this is the fact that while it has the Media Center Components it can be joined to a corporate domain which was a shortfall and a request of Media Center 2005.

In addition there are also 64 bit version of every version.

One unique thing is that if you do purchase the upgrade media and want to install a differnet version, you can call microsoft and purchase a new product key to upgrade your edition from the DVD. Every version of Vista is available on the Upgrade DVD.

You can see a Microsoft chart detailing the editions, learn more about the features of Vista, learn more about Express Upgrades or run the upgrade advisor from the Microsoft Web Site at


Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like to get your PC Vista ready!

2 of my favorite features with Vista is the Instant Search and the Flip 3D interface!


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