Windows optimize

Will 2008 be Vista's year?


2007 saw new OS releases from both Microsoft and Apple. The long-awaited Windows Vista finally made it to retail at the end of January, and despite the snazzy new look and its mildly improved security, Vista has failed to take hold. Very few retail customers have purposefully gone out and bought Vista and the majority of businesses are outright avoiding it due to poor performance, bugs, and hardware/software incompatibility. Most licenses sold were actually preinstalled on new computers and many businesses then ‘downgraded' those machines to XP.Apple's October release of Mac OS 10.5 ‘Leopard' has also turned out to be quite a disappointment. Most of the new features are rather unimpressive. Time Machine does what many free backup applications will do; multiple desktops have been around for ages under Linux so there's no real innovation there -- just some ‘borrowing' of ideas and a bit of dressing up. Boot camp is fully supported under Leopard, but I had been running the beta with no problems, so it didn't really feel like something new.

Virtualisation has been big with the massively successful IPO of Mare raising awareness across the board. Many businesses have been waking up to what it could do for them. The continued innovation around virtualisation has meant that rather than simply reducing the physical footprint of services; businesses can also realise other benefits such as continuity, availability, security, and manageability.

Here in the UK, mobile broadband saw its first real push. Although business uses have been able to use standard 3G Internet services for a little while now, towards the end of 2007, the introduction of HSDPA at an affordable price has put mobile broadband within reach of the average consumer. I recently reviewed Three's mobile broadband package, which can cost as little as £10 per month. The majority of new mobile handsets are now 3G ready and actually have a HDSPA modems built in.

What will happen in 2008?

Windows Vista

One year on Windows Vista is due its first service pack! Windows Vista SP1 is due to be released during Q1 2008 and claims to offer massive improvements in reliability, compatibility, and performance. File copy operations are said to have been accelerated, 802.11n networking supported, and network browsing performance improved. I'm currently running Vista Ultimate on my iMac using Bootcamp. The iMac has an 802.11n wireless adapter built-in and while running Vista, I often have problems with the sound jumping or jittering. If I disable the 802.11n adapter and use an 802.11g USB dongle, this jitter disappears so I can't wait to see whether SP1 will fix this or not. Will the release of SP1 persuade reluctant businesses to start rolling out Vista? I have my doubts.

Windows Server 2008

Also arriving in Q1 2008 (February 27th the last time I checked) is Microsoft Windows Server 2008. Based on the Windows Vista code base in the same way that Windows Server 2003 is based on Windows XP, Windows Server 2008 will automatically inherit many of Vista's new and improved features and include some interesting ones of its own:

  • Read-only Domain Controller mode available for increased security
  • Self-healing NTFS and improved hot-patching to reduce the need for reboots
  • Hyper-V virtualisation built-in to x64 version
  • Windows System Resource Manager controls resources available to processes and users based on business priorities

It'll be very interesting to see what the take-up rate is like for Windows Server 2008 this year. Although most businesses would normally wait for the first service pack release before even considering migration to a new operating system; Windows Server 2008 will already include the improvements deployed in Windows Vista SP1. Will that be enough to persuade people it's safe to upgrade?

Virtualisation

For a variety of reasons, I think virtualisation is going to see massive growth. Not only because of Windows Server 2008's inbuilt virtualisation platform -- Hyper-V (which won't be ready on launch but will ship out later), but because there are many benefits to virtualisation which are only just being realised by businesses. Reduced cooling and power requirements combined with increased utilisation of hardware assets, faster deployment of new services, increased resilience, and more manageability can please both techies and management alike. Many still seem wary of virtualisation, but I think as more and more business start to understand the technology and see what it can do for them-trust will be gained.

Mobile broadband

Now that it's finally become affordable and usable, I can't see much holding HSDPA back over the coming year. While the connection speed is generally much lower than the Wi-Fi/fixed broadband combo that most people will have at home, it's not too bad when compared with your average Wi-Fi hotspot. For a regular user, it's definitely more convenient than a Wi-Fi hotspot, as HSDPA can be used pretty much anywhere, and it's also more cost-effective assuming you don't use it to download huge payloads of data. There are other prospects for mobile Internet, WiMAX being the first to come to mind; however, there are currently issues with it and many are concerned that interference from 802.11a networks will create a substantial problem for 802.16x (WiMAX).

All in all I think 2008 is going to be an interesting year for technology, and I'm specifically interested to see what develops in mobile networking. What are your forecasts for 2008? Will the combination of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista SP1 win over businesses?

16 comments
LarryBoy2
LarryBoy2

As I've posted elsewhere, you can help convince MS to keep XP available. MS needs to keep XP available until they either fix Vista and make it worthwhile to upgrade, or the next version of Windows is released which will hopefully not have the problems Vista has. Follow this link to help convince MS: http://www.infoworld.com/article/08/01/14/02FE-why-save-xp_1.html

Justin Fielding
Justin Fielding

I've signed up to that; I've been using Vista on and off for a year now but I'm still much happier using XP.

robmitchell
robmitchell

Microsoft still hasn't figured-out that most users do NOT want more blotware added to the Windows O/S. Thus Vista = ME 2008. By the way, does anyone know how to permanently remove the following: IE7, MS mail, MS Center, MS Calendar, MS Contacts, Movie Maker, Media Center, DVD Maker, Media Player, Photo Gallery, and .NET. Rob Mitchell San Antonio, Texas, USA

Peconet Tietokoneet-217038187993258194678069903632
Peconet Tietokoneet-217038187993258194678069903632

About removing Microsoft products involving "IE7, MS mail, MS Center, MS Calendar, MS Contacts, Movie Maker, Media Center, DVD Maker, Media Player, Photo Gallery, and .NET", you can stop them or if you like to test it there is an option in "computer management" (of which is in the "Administrative Tools" section) to "remove" them, i have not tested this yet but i will over the weekend on my other computer. I will post this on "TechRepublic".. Thank you for the list.

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

the OS slipstream/automation/slimming service makes a Vlite for vista now. I have no guarantees as to the stability of a slimmed down vista. http://www.vlite.net/ I would test it in a vm of course, just to see if the iso you mad eis even viable, let alone stable, before attempting to install.

zlitocook
zlitocook

Hard drive to compleatly remove the malware Microsoft and install any of the compleatly free O/S with it's own office programs. And there is no problems with how to activate your install, you just keep going. And ooofice is compaptabe with MS.

armstrongb
armstrongb

I have a Vista Ultimate box. I have a couple of XP Pro boxes. I have a Mandriva Linux box. I like them all but the Vista OS comes in 3rd place right now. I can't run some of the apps on XP and Vista that I can run on Linux and vice versa. There is nothing today that I can run on Vista that can not run on XP. So there is no compelling reason to move to a Vista box to run an application for work or pleasure. After all, that's what we want to do, run apps, play some games, check out the web etc and who cares really about the OS? If your apps run and you get your job done then arguing about the OS is like arguing about how many angels can dance on the tip of a pencil, interesting maybe but it does nothing to improve my productivity. Perhaps one day there will be an application that I need for my work that only runs on Vista. In such a scenario, a Vista box is a great idea. Until that day arrives, Vista is just a marketing exercise with no upside to my productivity.

carlsf
carlsf

My company (10 seats) and support for up to 50 other users will NEVER go the VISTA ior Office 2008 way. These are both BLOAT ware and offer NO productivity gains over XP PRO SP2 and Office 2003 PRO. In fact the downside is greater hardware requirements ($$$) and training of users ($$$) we will continue to use XP and Office 2003 untill MS stops support. Meanwhile we are evaluating LINUX and online Office products (ZOHO)these are looking good and a alternative to MS.

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

My users love the new office. I, as well as many others seem to be more productive with it. Evryone dislikes it for the first week, but it becomes second nature after that. Going back to Open Office, office 03 or Correl leaves me feeling dissapointed or missing the overall look and feel of Office 08. We have 1000+ users total and about %35 are running 08. Very few complaints...except for a few from those workers that complain about ANY change. Everyone who received it was given the option to roll back to 03, maybe less than 5 people rolled back. If you present them the new product and bash it for it being the newest thing and being "too different" or any negativity, the users won't like it. I simply upgraded them and asked their opinion. Now I have some Linux guys or the occasional Apple fanatic on staff who constantly whine about being forced to use Microsoft products in general, but I'll never be able to keep them happy. No Microsoft product will ever be good enough for those and they all tell me how they could do my job better, which gets highly annoying. Lol, I want to tell them to get a job in IT and quit your whining. But the guy inside me that likes not getting written up gives in and I politely act surprised when they point me to a few things they know, and I just ask them to "email me that link and I'll run it by management!"

Peconet Tietokoneet-217038187993258194678069903632
Peconet Tietokoneet-217038187993258194678069903632

The big advantage that Vista has that Xp has difficulty with and that is the repair option. In Vista it is very easy, in Xp it is harder so Vista in my eyes wins but in otherways Xp is still King.

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

what exactly are you refering to? I have limited experience with Vista, and this is the first mention I have had of a repair option.

Will_B
Will_B

The Vista Machine Premimum machine is down for the count. Software stopped working including and not limited to AVG anti-virus, Windows installer, Windows Defender. The Vista software is soo crappy that I needed to find a MicroSoft drivers, to get a MicroSoft Optical 1000 mouse to work. Vista won't even reconize, a MicroSoft mouse, how pathetic is that, did I mention it took Vista 20 minutes to install the drivers for the MicroSoft mouse (OMG). I don't have the luxury of restoring this machine, as even with the disks, the options are greyed out. So, I have this powerhouse machine with the crappiest OS I have ever seen, worked with. Spent 1 month on this machine trying to fix all the stupid Vista problems (and windows patches stopped 1 year ago). All software is bought and legal. I have all but given up on Vista, and will stick to XP which works. Even bought a new machine and specificially purchased a copy of XP, to scrub Vista from the Machine. Yet that machine is still there, and haunting as nothing in the Vista OS wants to work. And repairing or restoring the Vista Machine has been a complete nightmare, not even in the ball park of Easy.

ashipps
ashipps

I wanted a powerful PC so I built an ASUS Gamer PC with Intel Quad-6600, 6GB Ram, and 8800 Video card. It took 3-weeks to install Vista-64 Ultimate, after 3-reinstalls. I had to reduce memory to 2GB, and remove all accessory cards and extra hard drives to get Vista-64 to install without blue screens. In the process I completely lost track of all the numerous patches that I installed to get the machine running. I was hoping to decommission my old PCs running XP and windows-2000 (no such luck). I still use my XP notebook and Win-2000 desktop when Vista crashes on specific Excel-2007 functions and for printing when Vista gives me error messages about disabled macros. I have been looking for a good video editing program for Vista, but have not found one that I can trust will fully function correctly. So far I have not found many major applications that are absolutely Vista-32 or 64 compliant. Most Non-Microsoft manufactures are still recommending XP. Vista and Office-2007 are Microsoft experiments, they haven't provided any new features to increase my productivity.

tsidio
tsidio

I have a Vista Business 64 install that I have as a dual boot. I use it when I have some free time to play or need to work on some video files. It is great for processing video files quickly. Recently, I had some "issues" and I could not boot into either XP or Vista. After resolving the boot issues, I found that the Vista 64 installation was crippled. The only program that will run is my Spybot. All other programs generate an error message that the windows installer won't run or is not installed or they do not respond at all. Vista itself is really screwy. some files work, others don't. My IE 7 doesn't work and will not allow me to chane the default home page to anything other than a default Microsoft page, etc. Anyway, I loaded the Vista Business 64 disk and rebooted. I chose repair and was suprised by the list of options presented to me. There was no option to repair files. The system restore option said it was not available and I do not have a full backup to restore. Testing the memory was not appropriate so I am back where I started, a crippled Vista 64 installation and no idea how to repair it. Also, I tried the re-install route (like I have done many times with XP over the years, but the upgrade option is grayed out leaving the only option a clean install. This is not my primary Windows installation, so I can do a clean intall, but I shouldn't have too. If this were my primary system I would really be upset. Anyone else have this problem? Anyone else have this problem?

Peconet Tietokoneet-217038187993258194678069903632
Peconet Tietokoneet-217038187993258194678069903632

If for some reason your computer gives you the "BSOD" (blue sreen of death) or does nor boot correctly then all you do is re-boot your computer with the Vista sick in the cd/dvd drive and when you see the sreen with "Install", look to your screen to the bottom left, you will see the "repair" option, click on this and just follow the on screen instructions, the disc will load up the missing files. You can give it a test, but backup any important files first, just in case. I forced my computer to do the "BSOD" by loading a file that i tried to inforce on to the "MBR", it did not like it so up come the blue screen. I did this to try out the "repair" option. I am always testing the Vista software to see what happens then i write it all down to keep as reference. Please post back if you have anymore problems or questions.