Windows

Experiment with Windows Vista for FREE


If you're one of those folks who has decided to stay away from Windows Vista due to either cost or fear of the unknown, here's your chance to experiment with Windows Vista for FREE! That's both risk-free and free of charge!

In this edition of the Windows Vista Report, I'll show you two ways that you can experiment with Windows Vista without having to purchase and install the operating system.

Windows Vista Test Drive

The first place you that can experiment with Windows Vista for free is the Windows Vista Test Drive site. This site, which is powered by Microsoft Virtual Labs and hosted by Exsilio Consulting, will allow you to take a spin with Windows Vista right from within your Web browser. The only requirements are Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher, the most current version of JavaScript, a broadband Internet connection, 1024 x 768 screen resolution, and a small ActiveX control. With this simple set of requirements, you'll be able to connect to the site and either follow along with a set of guided exercises or just dive in and begin exploring the OS for yourself.

When you connect to the site, you'll have the option of exploring Vista from a small business perspective with Windows Vista Business Edition or an enterprise perspective with Windows Vista Enterprise Edition. Once you choose, you'll be prompted to sign in by entering just an e-mail address if you choose the small business perspective, or by filling in a more detailed form, if you choose the enterprise perspective. A system check will then determine your version of Internet Explorer and JavaScript and then prompt you to install the Virtual Server VRMC Advanced Control ActiveX control.

You'll then navigate through a simple menu system and select an area or feature of interest. You can choose to view a video describing the feature or you can take a test drive. A set of instructions will guide you to the feature or you just explore at will. You can even check out the new Solitaire, if you want.

Download a virtual machine

Microsoft has created a 30-day evaluation VHD (Virtual Hard Drive) containing Windows Vista Enterprise Edition that you can download and load into either Microsoft Virtual PC or Microsoft Virtual Server. If you don't have either of these, you can download both from the Microsoft Download Center. Just use the search term Virtual to find either of them.

Besides a Microsoft Virtual product, both of which are free as well, you'll need to have at least 10 GB of free hard disk space and at least 2 GB of RAM. You also have to have a very fast Internet connection or a bit of time on your hands as the Vista Enterprise VHD is comprised of three very large files -- two 700-MB files and one 160-MB file.

You can find the 30-day evaluation VHD on the Microsoft Download Center. Just use the search term Vista VHD. Of course in order to download it, you must register with your Windows Live ID/Hotmail account information. Then download all three files: Vista.part1.exe, Vista.part2.rar, and Vista.part3.rar.

Once you have Microsoft Virtual product installed and all three files downloaded, you can extract and load the VHD. To begin, make sure that you have all three files in the same folder. Then, double-click the executable file, and it will begin extracting and combining all three files to make the VHD file.

You can then load the VHD file into your Microsoft Virtual product and launch Vista Enterprise. For example, to load the VHD file in Virtual PC, just launch the console, click New to load the New Virtual Machine Wizard, and choose the Add An Existing Virtual Machine option. Then, locate and open the Vista.vmc file.

It's important to keep in mind that when you first boot the Vista Enterprise virtual machine, it will need to complete the installation process. This process can take as long as 30 minutes, during which you'll be prompted to enter your country and time-zone information and create a user name and password.

Will you take this opportunity?

If you haven't yet experimented with Windows Vista, do you think that you will take advantage of one of these free options? If you have used one of these free options, what did you think? Was it a valuable experience?

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

113 comments
bentheli
bentheli

Does Microsoft performance nobble their older OS's through windows update ??? Becuase my XP runs like a bucket after putting on updates

thomasnruth
thomasnruth

Vista is garbage. I have tried it and it sucks. I'll stick with my XP Pro, and wait until 2009 for Vienna to be released.

Richard Kirk
Richard Kirk

Only if you are on American side of Pond - dumb a$$ M$

dynophreak
dynophreak

It's good to see Microsoft trying to be more interactive, but I think it might be a little too late. I have been working with Windows products since 1995. However, since they never really seemed to put a good, reliable product out on the market (e.g.: Windows, Internet Explorer, Outlook) I moved to Mac. It seems that if Microsoft wanted to truly show those of us who have chosen to do business elsewhere how great their new system is, they would offer this Free program for Mac, Linux and so on. Not that I would move back to them anyways. I am happy having a system not plagued by dll errors.

jlongino
jlongino

No thanks! Why would I go to all that trouble? I have four computers at home and three of them probably can't run Vista. Those computers work fine with XP. The fourth is my laptop which also came with XP installed. Why would I want to try it? For a snazzier interface? Because I have nothing better to do than throw away several hundred dollars? Thousands if I want to trash my older computers? Because I want my new dual core, 2GB RAM, 100GB HD to run slower than under XP? Get real. When my computers die off I'll replace them with new ones running whatever MS OS du jour that comes on them.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

Just get a copy of the DVD and install without a serial number. It gives your 14 days of usage. When it's up, you can install again. [become an "expert" at installing Vista at the same time!]

ohair
ohair

Come on, testing Vista through a web browser? I'm sure the response is going to be s-l-o-w. I guess they're hoping we will consider Vista a real speed-demon when we actually load it on our computers and compare it to this Active-X, Java & IE mashup. Microsoft had a grip on my machine long enough. I gave MS up after Windows 2000 (although I have used XP at work).

rbacle
rbacle

Wonder what Microsoft will be tracking if a person decides to try Vista out. The full version of Vista is a very instrusive OS, giving Microsoft access to everything on your computer where if they decide to, they can shut down any program you are running. Why would I want an OS like that?

daniel.a.moore
daniel.a.moore

It's just an operating system. It makes the programs that you are *really* interested in using run. Who cares what it looks like? Why trail run it, it's just an os.

pravin176p
pravin176p

why should i waste my bandwidth for this?

viruser
viruser

Still not convinced!! Waiting for Leopard OSX for comparison!!

jimmyreed4tech
jimmyreed4tech

Does running in the virtual drive hinder the new graphic interface in any way?

richard.wilson
richard.wilson

Yet another round of Vista and Microsoft bashing. Ahh...it's so refreshing. It doesn't get old at all. Let's get real. Sure Vista has some problems. I'll be the first to admit I wasn't very happy with it when I first started playing with it. But then again, I can't think of a single OS that has come out that has been bug free. Does anyone remember XP's first days? How about Windows 98? And YES even the mighty MAC OS X has problems, although you never hear about them due to the overwhelming hatred for Windows. Here's the thing though. In my Vista experience (i now own a ThinkPad T60p with Vista Ultimate installed) I have had problems, but instead of banging my head on the keyboard, screaming at my monitor, and raising my fist in the air cursing Gates' name, I calmly and collectively fixed my problems. Sure, some of them took some time, and of course, some of them required outside help, but they got fixed, and I am a much better Vista troubleshooter now than before. I am happy to say my Vista Ultimate runs beautifully. (yes, even my Cisco Vista VPN) The truth of the matter is this: Vista isn't going away, Microsoft isn't going away, no matter how much you hate them. Instead of whining and moaning about every little problem Vista has, learn from them. Learn to troubleshoot and fix them. I appluad those who at least try Vista and try to learn it before totally trashing it on their favorite blogs. Is Vista perfect? No, of course not. Are the problems with Vista unfixable? No again. Think of it this way, if every piece of software worked perfectly, if every scrap of hardware ran flawlessly, we ALL in the IT industry would be out of jobs! If you have chosen to be in the IT field as your career, then eventually you are going to have to fix stuff. If everytime something broke or didn't work right, we waved our hands and said "this is junk, this is crap", we would never get anywhere. Personally, I welcome the challenge. Bring on Server '08! P.S. I'm sure I'll get burned for this post, but this is honestly how I feel so....FLAME ON!

Shaun.G
Shaun.G

I think I agree... When I got my current pc, two years ago, with Win XP, I had 512Mb ram... and it was going great... but now... the svchost (seven instances of it running) eat up much memory, IE 6 and then IE 7 (which I do not use now) uses 75K as does Opera... and can increase, at the same time so does M$ provided services increase. I am using nothing different now to what I used when I first got my pc, but find I need to increase my ram.

tonyfriendly
tonyfriendly

My job is to provide technical support to computer users. Microsofts O/S problems provides me a good living. Vista does not really impress me that much for the day to day use, but I will need to learn how to support it and continue to make a good living.

Shaun.G
Shaun.G

That is the reason I went to XP and no other

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Maybe for the same reason you wasted your bandwidth asking your question?

DownRightTired
DownRightTired

Apps like this and better have been around for awhile. WindowBlinds, Object Dock, etc (wincustomize.com). I was looking forward to a new OS not re-coded 3rd party software.

Fil0403
Fil0403

You have the best of both worlds? Are you sure you have things like User Account Control, Protected Mode in Internet Explorer 7 and Address Space Layout Randomization (you know, that little insignificant feature in Vista that avoided Vista users' PCs of being compromised in terms of security, like XP machines were), Einstein?

UserDeletedByRequest
UserDeletedByRequest

well whats the point in making it look like vista i can't understand why you can't you xp as it is. There is nothing wrong with it

Shaun.G
Shaun.G

Of course, as this video points, they are not the same... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QT6YO30GhmQ I find this video rather amusing... and I am sure you will too... and will be left with the same conclusion as I was... Vista is a rip off of OS X no different from when the M$ first started out...ripping off Macs...

smyth
smyth

Something about your argument rings true, and the MSFT apologists have picked up on that, but I wonder if they will still agree with the same argument from another perspective: Yet another round of Linux and Open Source bashing. Ahh...it's so refreshing. It doesn't get old at all. Let's get real. Sure Linux has some problems. I'll be the first to admit I wasn't very happy with it when I first started playing with it. But then again, I can't think of a single OS that has come out that has been bug free. And YES even the mighty MAC OS X has problems, although you never hear about them due to the fact that they are relatively few in number compared the overwhelming number of problems which serve as the source of hatred for Windows. Here's the thing though. In my Linux experience (i now own several pieces of hardware, from modern laptops to discarded desktops with many different distros of Linux installed) I have had problems, but instead of banging my head on the keyboard, screaming at my monitor, and raising my fist in the air cursing Linus' name, I calmly and collectedly fixed my problems. Sure, some of them took some time, and of course, some of them required outside help, but they got fixed, and I am a much better computer troubleshooter now than before. I am happy to say my Ubuntus and Slackwares run beautifully. (Yes, even my Dell Laptop "media" buttons) The truth of the matter is this: Linux isn't going away, Open Source isn't going away, no matter how much you hate them. Instead of whining and moaning about every little problem Linux has, learn from them. Learn to troubleshoot and fix them. I applaud those who at least try Linux and try to learn it before totally trashing it on their favorite blogs. Is Linux perfect? No, of course not. Are the problems with Linux unfixable? No again. Think of it this way, if every piece of software worked perfectly, if every scrap of hardware ran flawlessly, we ALL in the IT industry would be out of jobs! If you have chosen to be in the IT field as your career, then eventually you are going to have to fix stuff. If every time something broke or didn't work right, we waved our hands and said "this is junk, this is crap", we would never get anywhere. Personally, I welcome the challenge. Bring on ! P.S. I'm sure I'll get burned alive at the stake for this post, but this is honestly how I feel so.... LET THE FLAMES RISE HIGHER AND HIGHER!

paul.desjardins
paul.desjardins

for that intelligent post. I myself have been tired of listening to people whine. I don't understand why they do. Either do what you (Richard) have mentioned and be mature about the situation, or keep using XP and shut up. Another thing I tell people when they start whining about it is, "DO BETTER"! If you don't like it and have all this commentary about it, then write a new OS that can do better... no, you can't? Well then be quiet. Thanks Richard. Well put.

g_bigham
g_bigham

Oh my god, an intelligent post! Completely reasonable and it makes sense too.

dijcks
dijcks

I read somewhere that the Vista software will somehow create 19 dollars (in income for computer related companies) per dollar spent on the software itself, this in upgrades of complimentary software and hardware. For instance, I bought a computer with Vista on it (pretty much forced into it). I have QuickBooks 2006 Pro, which I purchased (as an upgrade) 6 months ago for 140 dollars. Just recently, Intuit told me it will NOT run properly on Vista. Now, Who's at fault? Me right? Because I bought a computer with Software that doesn't work yet. At the very LEAST>>>>>>> Computer manufacturers should partition their new computer hard drives and send out a product with BOTH Vista and XP operating systems on them. This way, I can CHOOSE which poison I want, and maybe while Microsoft is working out the bugs, I can at least use a fairly stable operating system meanwhile. BUT NO, it's about the money. MIcrosoft got mine for VISTA, and not Intuit wants another 140 bucks for QuickBooks 2007, which they claim works under VISTA. The consumer pays the price while the Computer industry as a whole profits. Let me say that I have NO problem with the profit side of things. But who is going to pay me for the HOURS and HOURS of research and head scratching I have done trying to get my WIFI to work, and simple printer drivers to work, etc. Hell, even office 2007 is incompatible with VISTA. If Microsoft can't even write software to work how can anyone else?

jason
jason

I am in total aggrance with what Richard said. I have been running Vista in my own small business environment with a domain since it was first released. Since I had 6 legal copies I decided the best way to make the leap was just to do it! I installed and run Vista fine on a Dell GX 260 with a simple P4 and 1 GB of ram just to prove you don?t have to have a ?screamer? machine, in addition to a HT P4 and an old Compaq laptop they run fine! Why is everyone so unable/willing to cope with change? This is a great opportunity to learn something new. Things are only going to change more, so the sooner we as professionals and just except what is sometimes shoved down our throats the better we will all be. Nothing is ever going to be perfect so just learn how to run with it and better yourselves. The hardest thing I have had to deal with so far with Vista is the darn UAC that if you disable it (always admin mode) you can't install a network print driver... big deal! Enable it restart, install printer, re-enable, and restart. Has no one had to restart XP to make it work? Not even Linux is exempt from a restart now and then! Vista may be short lived but can we as pros just disregard this OS and not support it?

Shaun.G
Shaun.G

That is a good answer.

mdbobbo
mdbobbo

Vista (trial) LOL, on dial up at 16600 baud rate you've got to be kidding even with freedownload manger. LOL besides, what does the better of world famous artists use these day - eRrr... MAC ? No really thats all I want to be and what software program would I need to run with that where's the 16 million colour version of "Matisse in Grey" hiding these days .. Another artistic sigh, melodey withheld due to size limitation. And what OS do I need to go with that. ( does it come with extra fryes? ( hMmmmm mac)

Fil0403
Fil0403

Some people seem to like that. And yeah, there's nothing wrong with XP, as long as you don't give a damn about security and the same way there's always nothing wrong with Microsoft Product X once Microsoft Product X 2 is released.

Shaun.G
Shaun.G

I dont think its a hatred of windows, rather that it is a constant frustration of the inadaquacies and shortfallings and not meeting the set expectations... I think that if M$ did what it said it would do (which I do not think it ever has) then I do believe that the response to M$ would be more favourable. I may be wrong, but I do believe that NT 3.51 was there most stable version of the OS... but I dont know... so if someone could enlighten me on this, I would much appreciate it.

Another Canadian
Another Canadian

Hi I am a new when it come to Linux but the other weeks I have installed Unbuntu with Wubi directly in XP and it is now a virtual disk that permit dual boot and it even part of Add Remove Program in the Control Panel that is very nice feature. So if one of your customer is very hupset offer XP dual boot with Unbuntu available at CNET Download. I love XP and I now love Unbuntu ;). Thank you for your post.

Shaun.G
Shaun.G

...since you are the programmer... and I am not, then it is up to you then to write it... as I am the end user, I expect what I buy to work... if I buy a washing machine, and it fails to release the softener, or it fails to empty after a wash, I would complain, as its not fit for purpose... its called consumer law... further, if I bought a car and the brakes did not work, or the oil filter kept falling off... I would complain too... it does not mean I should build a new washing machine, nor should I build a new car... that is what the washing machine and car manufacturers are there for! Similarly with Operating Systems... it is not my job to write them... but it is the job of M$ or whomever... and when they issue a sample of the OS with certain features that are not there in final release, at least in UK it is in contravention of the law, and if it does not do what they say, it is not fit for purpose, and does not meet the description, thus in contravention of consumer act and the sale of goods act. So, as a consumer, I am reliant upon the skill and expertise of M$ and they are failing! I have the right to give my complaints, and legally entitled to do it too as M$ have failed, not me as the consumer!

Lantoc
Lantoc

I'm tired of people bashing Vista with no evidence or experience beyond hearsay. As for the compatibility issues, I've found that 99% of the ones that I have encountered can be fixed with a simple check of the 'Run in compatibility mode' or the 'Run as Admin' boxes. Does no one try these? And Office '07 not working with Vista? Can I get a source or some experience on that that one... I've been running it sense 2 days after its release and seen a total of zero problems there. (I wrote this post in Word ?07 under Vista Ultimate.) I'd like to see the origin of your belief that it doesn't work.

Shaun.G
Shaun.G

Thank you very much for that, it is appreciated. MS Windows outlawed - sounds like a good idea to me... especially vista! I dont know about the kid getting let off - will have to do a search on it and try get some information on it, thank you.

Dano NH
Dano NH

This is one: http://www.spamlaws.com/federal/can-spam.shtml and the anti-malware was a federal bill in the US in 2004, not sure if it is law now: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d108:HR02929:@@@L&summ2=m& At the US state level, I know California has a similar law (which has been ridiculed for its suspected outlawing of MS Windows). I have read about a similar law in the UK, the Police and Justice Bill of 2006 (recently receiving Royal Assent in Nov 2006), and of course the Computer Misuse Act of 1990... But really, now. You are still faced with proving it, which is typically more expensive than it's worth and difficult at best. Didn't some kid in the UK get denial of service charges against him dropped because he used email as a vector and his crashing the server at his previous employer's company did not involve any inappropriate access or malware placed on the server? I think the argument that got him off was something like "an email server is designed to handle email". I guess the lawyers need the business as much as the criminals...

Shaun.G
Shaun.G

What are the full titles, please, and could you put a link to them so I could read them please?

Dano NH
Dano NH

In the US we have anti-spam and anti-malware laws (admittedly difficult to enforce)...but one cannot say the person opening a questionable email, from an apparent family member or not, is not responsible for their actions at all. That's like saying that someone can sue a vehicle manufacturer by claiming that they got into an accident because their vehicle did not stop in time. If the risks of using email, the Internet, operating systems, or even cake-eating are not those one is willing to accept then they shouldn't engage in it. Period.

Shaun.G
Shaun.G

If the user is unaware of the email with the tempting line as it appears to be from a family member... are they still at fault? I think not... Its like saying that I go into a shop, and buy a lovely looking cake and get it home and taste it, and its not what I thought, even though it says its a cream cake, its not the type of cream I like...and if its off a supermarket's shelf, then there is usually no one to verify the type of cream it is... hence we have consumer law and other laaw to protect us in these situations... and the manufacturer owes the ultimate user (that is the one who actually uses the product) a duty of care, and if that duty is breached but it not doing what it is purported to do, then the manufacturer is at fault, in this case M$!

Dano NH
Dano NH

between security and convenience. Many of the security vulnerabilities in XP AND Vista can be disabled by turning off unneeded services. The USER is responsible for their actions as well, and if you want to follow a link to a malicious download on some website, or open that email that tempts you by its curious subject line, then you deserve what you get. Saying Windows is in(un)secure is like saying that cars are unsafe- 99% of the time it's not the car that is unsafe, it's the DRIVER using the car!

Shaun.G
Shaun.G

When you wrote "t crash without no reason, no explanation when I pay a video file coming directly from iTunes store, but in that case I can't blame my PC with Vista Home Premium..." I understood you to have purchased some new software for Vista. I sincerely apologise.

Another Canadian
Another Canadian

I said iTouch not iTunes not and the video does not crash on my Home Premium from iTunes but the video from like Global news will crash my iTouch BTW iTouch= new iPod.

Shaun.G
Shaun.G

iTouch crashed on a pc running vista premium... and so it cannot be the OS. If it was NOT for the OS in the first instance, iTouch would not run. In order to run it needs to make rpc calls. If those rpc calls fail, then in all likelihood, iTouch will crash. Did you try running iTouch on a mac? If so, did it crash? There seems to be no mention of that... and was the same setup tested on unix based OS like linux, free base etc? How often did you try to run a video file? Was it only one video file or several? Did you try various other video files? I would hazard to guess that it has not. Therefore, I would say that the claim it is not vista premium, is without basis, and that further analysis needs to be carried out before claiming it is not the OS, or indeed, to blame the OS. When a product is sold it needs to match the description and be fit for purpose, if it does not then, that product has been misrepresented. It is easy to say "go to court" but unless there are sufficient finances to meet that challenge, it is waste of time as access to justice is not an inexpensive alternative.

Another Canadian
Another Canadian

It crash without no reason, no explanation when I pay a video file coming directly from iTunes store, but in that case I can't blame my PC with Vista Home Premium because the problem reside in my iTouch itself and seriously I can't expect same software to work very together if they are been built to do the same job and designed to be the alone at the time one the OS. Having been in that case I would have go to their knowledge base and I am sure you will have find the necessary information to make your problems go away and btw I am not a programmer like the other but I am what you call a power user and resource person when it come to built and repair PC and make Office product work in my Office and at home. In fact I told my kids if you don't want any problems don't get in the Apple games or PC game get your self and game station and don't comeback asking me for all the answer later before you did a thorough search in the knowledge base of the vendor and did some goggling also on the net to see if that problem does not exist and has not been already resolved. Even my Mother of 76 years old fix her computer that I built for her and she is not afraid of "AMD" even less now of MS, she know that there always a solution somewhere and yes sometime the only solution offer by the commercial vendor are buy and buy more on this you are right Sir or Mam. Anyway I would be frustrated maybe like you but if I look in the commercial world and want Power DVD to work flawless I have to buy the new version or hope that the patch will do the trick or shed more dollars and I know I can't mix old and new one of the same software on the same OS, so what difference is that with Microsoft and their old product and the new one? I think if you want a no problem product spend twice the money and get an Apple, and if you want a free product go Linux because they are very good also but be aware that when you go new it is expected that the old sometime won't work with the new. Anyway you are entitled to complaint that it is all Microsoft fault but in the end you will find they are all the same because they are here for making money and you, as the customer you must fight anyone that sell their product when it does not work and Microsoft is no worst then the other because in the end all they want is my money including Apple because they are not different of each other, even the Commercial branch of Linux. Like a now famous sentence; show me the money. Court and open letter in a newspaper also exist to resolve your matter, and yes if you have been misrepresented or lie about the expected result for your good. It is your duty as consumer to make your right respected, but to refer to your earlier comment; no it is not luck when you do a clean install to have Vista Working perfectly and Office and the for the last iPod that I bought to my daughter her PC won't even boot and, it won't go further than the video card boot screen info and stop there because of a stupid tiny "MP3" player, solution and remove the offender and it work fine so in that case it is the motherboard or the iPod but not MS fault, but because I have no time and money to lost on a stupid "MP3" player when it come to $49.00 dollars spending for a 1Gb "MP3" player I said "MP3" player because iPod did not invent the "MP3" player they just stole the idea from someone else like all the commercial enterprise do if they can get away with it. Anyway if your right is not respected the better bureau is there also yes? Have a good day sincerely American English Honor = Honour in Canadian or UK in case I get the spelling slap and I know the structure of sentences could be better but hey I am born French Canadian speaking citizen and proud to be.

dijcks
dijcks

My point exactly. Many want to blame software makers for the problem, when they have to somehow rewrite code to thier products to work with yet another operating system.

Raymond Danner
Raymond Danner

This is not good; there are third-party developers not following the APIs, yes, but there are indeed flaws in the way Windows itself acts, therefore, both Microsoft AND third-party developers should be ashamed of themselves and repent of their sins (and never commit them again). Real life experience I have all the time: Windows Search (on Windows XP MCE2005 (which is an extended version of WinXP Pro, incidentally)) crashes explorer.exe ALL THE TIME, which prevents you from seeing the search results. This argues that Microsoft itself can't write XP-certified code that actually works. In extreme cases, I've had the OS BSoD on me during a Windows Search use. This is clearly unacceptable. That being said, I've seen situations where programs were written properly (mIRC being one), yet Windows itself forbade them from writing critical configuration data simply because the user wasn't in Admin mode. Again, this is supposedly fixed in Vista, but until I see it actually corrected, I will not believe it. Even Microsoft has admitted that the Registry hive is a SPoF (Single Point of Failure), but all they have done since W95 is make the Registry more complex, not eliminated it altogether. Fact is, it is better and simpler (in the long run) to have each program tracking its own configuration files without interference from the OS. Yes, it makes a lot of small files, but it is simply more reliable. Mac OSX doesn't use a Registry, yet has many advanced features that Vista copied. Hmm. Yet more Microsoft "me too"? Yep. Innovation? Nope. Microsoft needs to get a life and start innovating, not stealing code or ideas from everyone else, then calling them their own.

Shaun.G
Shaun.G

TechRepublic seems that you too have spent "an inordinate amount of time" reading them in order to write what you have written... and as you do not know when or where the comments were written from, your comment is unfounded, unwanted, and unnecessary! It is a public forum for people to air their views... that is the idea behind forums. Perhaps you should practice what you preach or shut up.

Shaun.G
Shaun.G

My pc came with PhoenixWare Recovery... I have had to use this a few times... but it never recovers in the same way... I always have to do it about 3 or 4 times before everything works as it ought.

Shaun.G
Shaun.G

More by good luck than good management I would hazard to guess :))

Shaun.G
Shaun.G

When M$WORD corrrupts a WORD document - please do not tell me its third party drivers!

techrepublic
techrepublic

No disrespect intended dijcks but with the amount of time you have spent defending your "claims", grinding your axe, and woefully painfull petulent whining you could have fixed 100 Vista computers. To bad techrepublic doesn't show hour time posted. I suspect you spend an inordinate amount of time whining on other peoples dime. Grow up or get out of the IT business.

KeithAu001
KeithAu001

I had the beta version of Office for a while, and when i went into Outlook 2003 it wouldnt work for that very same reason. I to looked on the net for a solution and it told me to do the same thing.. rename the file but that didnt work. I ended up calling MS and requested a solution, all I had to do was go in and add/remove programs and remove office 2007, i did have to reinstall 2003 again but it worked.

blarman
blarman

So I just got a brand new Toshiba Tecra laptop with Windows Vista Business (now here's a REAL gripe - why do they even MAKE any versions that don't do real networking in today's world? HELLO, MICROSOFT!?!?) and it came pre-installed with a trial-version of Office 2007. I tried for 5 hours to uninstall Office 2007 and reinstall Office 2003 and kept getting this annoying error trying to use Outlook about the MAPI32.dll. I looked up the error on Technet and followed the instructions about renaming the mapi32.dll so I could re-install Office 2003, only to find out Vista wouldn't LET me rename the file. AND I WAS LOGGED IN AS ADMIN! After calling Microsoft, it turns out that after installing Office 2007, you can't "uninstall" and downgrade to even the next version down without major headaches. I was on hold with MS Tech Support for an hour only to find out I was screwed and that I was going to have to shell out $450 for Office 2007 and deal with all of the new file format incompatability issues. Though you can install a utility that allows you to view Office 2007 docs on prior versions, I have no domain and would have to completely rely on my users to do this. So I can vouch personally for the fact that Office 2007 causes major upgrade headaches on Vista that Microsoft SHOULD have taken care of.

Firewalker96
Firewalker96

From the end user perspective (although it also drives me crazy sometimes), when a poorly written program starts up in Vista, if you see the Consent UI come up asking "Are you sure?" it means the program is asking for administrative access. If it's a program like QuickBooks where all you want to do is write a check, then it's a badly written program and not the OS. Hopefully end users are complaining to the third party developer (like Intuit) as well as Microsoft because then the third party will hopefully fix their program. Back to your original question though, Vista enforces security guidelines better because it helps the end user see the security faults (like the UAC consent prompts) whereas XP let the programs run (including malware) without the end user seeing what was happening until too late. Again, hopefully the end user complains to the third party developer as well as Microsoft. It also enforces the programming guidelines better because if a programmer doesn't follow the guidelines, the program may not even work under Vista, where it may still have worked under XP because of all the backward compatibility built into XP. But backward compatibility often means security "in-compatibility". Regular programs should be able to run fine under a standard user account. Administrative accounts should only be used when doing "administrative stuff" on your computer (and yes Microsoft messed up some of their programs as well). So in Vista, even when you are logged in as an administrator, your user account still gets two logon tokens, an "administrative token" and a "standard user token". Your administrative account runs under the "standard user token" by default unless the program is written to know the difference. You may still get the Consent UI, but thats more to make sure it isn't malware trying to run the program as opposed to you trying to run a program.

DownRightTired
DownRightTired

I havnt heard anyone take this position yet. How does Vista enforce guidelines better than XP?

dband
dband

I've got a freshly-installed (on a formatted drive) Vista Ultimate 64-bit version (retail, not upgrade) running on my AMD X2 4200 system flawlessly and quickly. I added MS Office 2007 Suite and it installed, activated and runs flawlessly. I haven't noticed any crashes or bugs to speak of. But I do not attempt to run older versions of the software from the same OS installation.

Firewalker96
Firewalker96

I hate it when people blame Microsoft for all their problems. It's not Microsoft's fault. I've been working in the IT industry since the '80s. The first computer I worked on was an Apple II that didn't have a hard drive and everything ran off a floppy disk. I've worked on both Mac's and Windows since then. Back in the early '90s, Microsoft held a conference with developers giving them the API's and guidelines on how to write code to work in Windows. The fact that third party programmers didn't follow the guidelines (and still don't) and wrote programs that aren't compatible isn't Microsoft's fault. Even now, QuickBook's wrote a crappy program that requires a person to be an administrator on their computer to write a check. Why do you need to be an administrator to write a simple check in a program? That's not Microsoft's fault, that's a third party software makers fault for not writing good code. Everyone blames Microsoft because of the security holes in the OS. Well most of the security holes in the operating system are because Microsoft has tried to make their OS backward compatible so that all the crappy third party software still works. When Windows crashes, more often than not, the OS crashed because of a third party driver that wasn't written correctly. When end users complain to me that Word or some application crashed their system I have to tell them it wasn't Word. A program running in User Mode can't make Windows bluescreen. Only a program running in Kernal Mode can and that's usually because of a poorly written third party driver that's made the system unstable. With Vista they changed the rules and are forcing all the crappy third party application writers to build their software properly and follow the programming guidelines correctly. I think it's about time. To your comment that "software should just work". Well if third party application writers wrote code properly, that wouldn't be a problem. On the Apple platform, because Apple tightly controls their operating system and the drivers (and the third party application developers actually pay attention to the programming guidelines), you don't hear about the same kind of problems with applications. Well Microsoft is starting to hold application developers to the fire and getting them to write proper code. Again, it's about time.

ralph.champion
ralph.champion

Office 2007 not working with an older version of office is not a suprise to me. I have had problems with running two version of office on the same computer in the past. While it allows you to install them, one will work fine. When you try to use the other version it acts like you are installing it again. Then when you switch back it has to go through an install again. On top of that it tends to have several crashes for the different office apps. This is not an OS issue but an Office issue.

Lantoc
Lantoc

Rereading what I wrote I probably was not clear in my post. (Chock it up to being sick and having almost no sleep lately. No excuse, but true, and I apologize.) Everything above the question about Office '07 in Vista was not aimed at you. I know that there are MANY problems associated with Vista over XP. I had, as of yet however, not heard of any problems with Office '07. I was curious as to any problems you had encountered or heard of. I simply wanted enumeration on the one claim. It was not that I didn't believe you, but I wanted to read about it. Thank you for explaining your problem with it. It?s a bit sad to say but, of course, I?m not surprised in the least. One SHOULD be able to have the ?older? versions of the software installed with no problems. Again, I apologize for any confusion.

dijcks
dijcks

First of all, hearsay would suggest someone "told" me of the problems I wrote about. I realize you are a "student" , so I suggest you first learn to fully read and understand the post you are replying to. Re read my post... I wrote it from personal experience. I have a new Sony Laptop with Vista Business, and Office 2007. I had a ton of trouble activating and using the features of the software because I have an earlier verson of Office installed as well. Apparently, it didn't "like" the potential pirated copy of office I had installed alongside. Microsoft is making it virtually impossible to flawlessly use older software with their "new" OS. And with "older" I mean software less than a year old. And yes, in a related post, I did read about other issues with the Office software and vista. This on another tech related site. There are other "power users" who bring these problems to light. Back to my original sentiment. SIMPLY... the point is, the software should just work. XP is now "antiquated" and could easily be loaded onto new computers alongside of the new VISTA software. That way, people who have relatively new software don't have to run out and pay good money to get the "latest" version of "Vista ready" software. Another problem I have is getting the components to recognize my ancilary monitors. I have to shut down the computer and the plug in the external monitor, before I can use it. XP? Just plug it in. Never had a problem with ANY computer and external display at any time with XP. Vista? forget it. Again software that doesn't work right.\ Lucky fo rme , I am NO Tth eonly one to have problems. Again the software maker has made its money at the expense of paying end user. In essence, they force the first purchasers of the software to be "beta testers". What do we get but days and weeks of wasted time trying to make everything work as "promised".