Finally released in February 2007, the long awaited new operating system from Microsoft is a little different to use for those migrating or upgrading from Windows XP or even Windows 9x versions.
It is based on the Server 2003 operating system rather than the XP code base. It is officially Windows NT 6.0.
Windows Vista will be preinstalled on most new computers from now on. If you are planning a new purchase, it would be worth waiting until then to get Vista.
If you are buying a new computer check which version is included in the price. There are significant differences between Home Basic and Home Premium and Ultimate. You may be disappointed if you only have Home Basic, when you were expecting features that are only included in Ultimate.
Unlike previous editions of Windows, Vista has been released with many different options and pricing levels.
You need to select the edition that will be the best for you in what you do. You don't necessarily need Ultimate to achieve the main upgrades and features. Check what is and isn't included before you pay top dollars.
It's always been best to do a clean installation of a new operating system. An upgrade to an existing version of Windows doesn't always work well. A lot of junk can be leftover and will be difficult to clean up. There is sometimes residual problems that are hard to solve.
This is not contrary to Microsoft's EULA and you are not doing anything illegal by using this installation method. Microsoft have acknowledged that this is an acceptable installation method.
Many currently used hardware and software products are either not fully compatible with Vista or won't work with Vista. Microsoft have produced a Vista Upgrade Advisor which will check your current installation and let you know if you have products that aren't compatible with Vista. Check this before you buy.
For some help in which software, old and new, is compatible with Vista there is a lot of information with further links on this page. Most developers are releasing products that are Vista compatible. This is only a guide.
A lot has been said about the improvements that Microsoft have made to the security underlying the Vista operating system. There are several and most of them aren't visible. Some are quite visible, but there are some surprises too.
Internet Explorer is now operating a step or two away from the main guts, instead of being part of the main shell. It's in a sort sandbox. This will slow down the drive-by stealth type infections that have plagued IE6 and IE7 on Windows XP. It won't stop you doing something silly.
UAC - User Access Control will get a lot of bad press from users moving from XP. It appears when you want to do something like install a new program, say ccleaner. You just click “Continue”. It should also appear if something you didn't ask to do tries to start and give you opportunity to stop it.
By default, the user you create on installation has administrator privileges. You need to add a new user that has standard rights, otherwise you are in the same position that XP has been in for years.
At the moment, the black hats are busily cracking Vista anti-piracy and the DRM on multimedia. That's worth money to them. They are already making money from compromised XP/2000 machines so there's no hurry to start looking for holes in Vista. Don't get too excited about this being bullet-proof protection. Commonsense is needed for the use of any operating system.
So, you are going to ask, “Why do I need to have Antivirus and Antispyware software?”. Yes you will need antivirus software. Not because Vista is easily compromised by viruses at the moment, but because other Windows users can be infected by your viruses if you don't do something about them.
Vista has a built in firewall. By default it is not setup to do two way monitoring. If you would prefer two way monitoring there is a procedure for configuring it.
You need to do this through the Local Security Policy Snapin and it's not for beginners. In fact, it is a most unfriendly procedure altogether. Open Control Panel, click on Administrative Tools, then on Local Security Policy. Under Local Security Policy there is an item called “Windows Firewall with Advanced Security”. Click on that and the Firewall configuration screen will open. If you are familiar with firewalls like Zone Alarm or Kerio, the Windows Firewall configuration is completely unintelligible. If you have some depth in Windows networking experience you may not find it too daunting.
I would recommend waiting for a real third party firewall to come along rather than attempt to configure this one. There is a real chance of making a serious error that could be difficult to troubleshoot until there is more user knowledge out there in cyberspace.
Due to recent erratic performance by Zone Alarm, I'm not recommending this one, but Zone Alarm have released a Vista Compatible Firewall. Release date 7 April 2007.
Microsoft Vista A review showing the main aspects of Vista and compare with Microsoft XP.
Vista Frequently Asked Questions - The Windows Vista Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section contains some of the more popular tips/tweaks.
To open the Run Box - Windows key + R
Place the Run Box Back on the Start Menu:
1. Right click the Start button
2. Left Click Properties
3. Click Customize button beside the Start Menu selection
4. Scroll down and check the checkbox on Run Command
5. Click OK and OK
To open Windows Explorer - Windows Key + E
To get the Aero 3D Experience - Windows Key + Tab (Performance depends on the version of Vista and your hardware)
Restore an accidently deleted Recycle Bin icon from the desktop, right click the desktop > personalize > left pane, click Change desktop Icons > tick Recycle Bin > OK and its done, the Recycle Bin appears back on the desktop.
First disable Defender, start Defender or right click the Defender icon in the system tray, and choose exit.
Second remove Defender from start up:
Click Windows Start button, Type MSCONFIG in the Start Search box and Press the Enter.
Click Startup tab, Scroll down and UnCheck Windows Defender Startup Item. Click OK to Save config change. No need to reboot, Click Exit without restart.
Additional Information (on next boot):
Windows Vista monitors the use of MSCONFIG. After you reboot and login, Vista will prompt you with a box explaining that you recently made a change and explaining how to back-out the changes if desired.
Check box Don’t show this message or start System Configuration when Windows starts and Click OK.
Third Click Windows Start button, type cmd and press enter to bring up the command line. then type “msiexec /uninstall windowsdefender.msi /quiet /log uninstall.log” without the ” ” or copy and paste it, and then press enter.
Done, that should be it, no more Defender.