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To VISTA or NOT to VISTA that is the question.

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To VISTA or NOT to VISTA that is the question.

rpatton
I am a MS professional and I must admit I am confused. When I am confused (after 20 years in the business) I am confident that my clients are as well and they are asking my opinion of VISTA. I have read most of the marketing materials and I have done some testing of the Pre-Release version.

For the record my Company does not install new-new OS's with out extensive testing and experience using them. It's just not good for our reputation to do so, and risk anomalies and client down time. But VISTA has been so long in the making I want to keep an open mind.

The recent PC mag test results and reviews are mixed and not as positive as I would have expected. Apparently MS choose to leave out some capabilities which were in the original design concept, not sure what these are though.

XP works great and runs with reliabialities up in the high 90's and supports everything most business customers need.

I was wondering how the Tech Republic community fees at this time.
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    Tony Hopkinson

    is to get our software running under vista. So were are currently starting to set up some boxes, see what problems we get both with our products and our development tools to make it.

    Know for a fact we'll get some on things like using the registry and system directories (old code base). Then there's no longer using MSDE ....

    The only reason we are doing it because we expect at some point our customers to get conned I mean persuaded into buying it at PC World or some such.

    Oh and we'll be starting doing this standalone, our IS department won't allow a vista box to be connected into our network at the moment as they can't support it.

    Investigate by all means, but if you don't have to implement it yet, don't.

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    w2ktechman

    on one system. But I try not to use it often, not because it fails, but because I am trying to avoid moving to or using Vista.

    But to MS, the system has given me little trouble other than re-learning how to use a computer the way I want to. The drivers for the current system I am using are all workign fine, no issues there. There are issues with many apps that I use, so, like I said, I avoid using this system when I can get away with it, so I go to the XP box.
    The main things to point out to people when they ask about it is

    You should wait for the service pack release to fix many bugs that may be found
    waiting will also allow more SW and Drivers to be developed and tested for the OS
    AND
    Expect to train employees how to use it. Although most features that they will use are not affected, some are. Also, the IT staff will need some time to review it well and learn how to troubleshoot it properly.

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    rpatton

    That has always been my practice, but i thought MS had really teseted the heck out of this one.

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    tanimn

    An old tried and true mantra with microsoft operating systems: If it's not the second service pack (whether it's SR2, SP1A, etc...), it's not time to upgrade.
    Besides giving Microsoft time to fix the bugs in the origional release, and stabilize all the bugs that crop up with the first service pack; it gives the driver and app developers time to get their stuff running right.
    How many times have YOU installed Microsoft's latest and greatest, only to find out that your favorite whatever doesn't work right anymore?

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    rpatton

    Keep in mind that each and every one of MS even numbered products have required an up grade, or was it the odd numbers! I can?t remember now, getting old I guess.

    You are right though there are some manufacturers who still have a problem with drivers, was that AT_ that said they were making a universal video driver that would read info from the board and then modify the driver on the fly to be compatible with both your system and OS. I think the Nvidia has been the only one that has been successful, and I have never installed an AT_ board that worked right out of the box with out ?please up date your driver? messages. I guess that?s one of the good things about Intel, they do test things, in 98% of the cases it works and if fails they will fix it. Audio, well there is Creative and then everyone else, I guess. Applications, wow I shutter to think what my Adobe production suite will do with VISTA.

    And the list goes on and on, I guess that?s why they still need us, chickens in the barn yard!

    ****

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    robear

    Tanimn gives the best advise -- and in a language we can all truly understand!

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    dawgit

    Where did you get ahold of a Vista Business in any verison? I haven't seen it at all over here. (They're talking end-of-the-month, maybe) That is the question, will it perform in a business enviorment. It's still a big unkown. (along with the "Why" question.) -d

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    w2ktechman

    I had to download it to test with from an Intranet site, pre-configured of course.

    Didnt I mention in the past several times that the company that I work for are MS bitches???

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    dawgit

    That's not fair.!.
    (geeeze some people get all the toys... X-( )

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    w2ktechman

    and test it, and play with it.
    Just like the 43 computers that I am responsible for. but I dont use most of them I recently had a couple of new servers shipped to me, and they are still boxed up since my position does not allow me to build servers. But, I was thinking of making an after hours gaming system (I dont turn down HW). Hmmm. a test ver. of Vista Server running games......

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    B-)

    dawgit

    Why NOT? Now, that would be really testing the system.

    edited to try to get a $illy grin right, I give up -d

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    rpatton

    The MS bash to introduce VISTA, Office 2007 and Exchange 2007.

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    sjh_vt

    These are very worthwile subscription services that have had Vista RTM available almost as soon as it went Gold. Technet is geared towards support & MSDN is geared towards developers.

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    dawgit

    But, that is not the problem that I have. I can sit here and read about how it should work in a Lab, (M$'s) and how one could maybe tweek it, but until the actual product is here, on a machine, it can't be tested, or run. The rest is Science Fiction. For M$ to compete, even with it's own OS, (XP-Pro, for example) it must show up on race day. -d

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    sjh_vt

    Anyone can subscribe to either of these services. I realize that won't help you much now, but if your company had a subscription to either of these, you could have been testing the RTM version for almost 2 months by now.

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    dawgit

    I am my company. but what you say is there where you are is simply not here. Worse than that is no one can say when it will be. All the geeweezes that are being showboated over there in the US are not going to help us out at all. The where, then is maybe not the right question. Where can one get a hold of the Vista that is equilvalent to XP-Pro, Vista Enterprise? or even Vista Ultimate? and not the Home Edition either, it will be useless to us. I don't want the toy version, the real thing. It simply isn't here. Does that explain it better? -d

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    rpatton

    Goto Microsoft.com, partners and sign up for teh action pack. These are full versions of the software with NFR licenses. Cost about $400.00 for the year with up dates, and a whole boat load of otehr software.

    Here is teh link:
    http://www.microsoft.com/australia/partner/actionpack/default.aspx

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    rpatton

    Cost $400, but comes with a lot of goodies including VISTA, Office 2007, Exchange 2007, etc.

    GOTO MIcrosoft.com

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    jmgarvin

    Non-technial:
    I can tell you user training will be a nightmare. Even with the "classic" view Vista will be very different to your average user. Also, your average user will be lost because small things have changes. My Documents is gone and it is replaced with their user name. The start menu interface (in aero glass) shoved shutdown into obscurity and you only put your PC into standby with the "off" button.

    Just tons of little things that will add up and make the job of working a helpdesk a real pain.

    Technical:
    I have noticed issues in getting it to properly connect to AD. Also, the new network stack is faster, but word on the street is there are some interesting holes in the new stack, so expect security issues pretty soon. Also because Vista does both IPv6 and IPv4, expect a LOT of network traffic when you are setting up clients as well as in the morning when everyone fires up. I hope you don't have much in the way of legacy hardware. Drivers in Vista are ok, but it depends on the vendor and the hardware as to how well the driver works. I popped Vista Business (release) on a 2.8ghz, 1gb RAM, 128mb ATI X900 video card and scored a 2.7 out of 5. My machine is pretty beefy, but it is sluggish with Aero Glass. I installed the ATI driver and everything went pear shaped...

    As for code base and such. If you are using .Net 1.1, most stuff will have issues. .Net 2.0 does ok, but be prepared for some code changes and the way the APIs work in Vista.

    Will Vista be picked up on release? No. I think it will sell like the Zune...average to below average sales with nothing to write home about from the average user. I don't see many businesses picking up Vista before SP1 and I really don't see Vista being an easy migration.

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    CG IT

    Many mfgs will tell you that they aren't going to release Vista drivers until Vista is release. Many of the old equipment that is still in use will either not work or require new drivers that the mfg might or might not create.

    I advise my customers to wait.

    Going to Vista might require the purchase the new printers, scanners, faxes, modems, that business use which are older if mfgs don't create drivers that will work with Vista.

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    rpatton

    Most of my customer are lawyers and like most people they don't like spending money if it's not required.

    I had a difficult time getting them off Windows 98 and on to XP, but most spent the money because they ware so frustratedd with 98's problems.

    Those were the good days, new machines, faster printers, new server, and all those software upgradess. Hmm... how often can we go to that well?

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    rpatton

    After a grueling week of intense Vista RTM testing, I still can't get Vista stable on my primary computer yet even though I've swapped out all the bad memory. This same PC has worked with and continues to work with Windows XP just fine. Even with the good memory in the computer, it locks up every hour or two and forces me to hard shut the system to reboot. Apparently I'm not the only one with stability issues since reader DAC-Tech who's a Systems Engineer with a big company was having issues with his brand new ASUS based motherboard.

    I've informed Microsoft almost a week ago of this along with all the other nagging issues I list below and I have not heard back from them. If Microsoft wants to clarify anything in this blog they're always welcome to do so and I'll put their responses on this blog. My other server that I built out of scrap parts laying around is stable but there are still too many issues for me to want to use Vista. The way it stands now, I can't or won't use Vista on any of my computers full time until these serious issues have been fixed. Here is a list of grievances that I tested on my stable Vista system and some of these bugs were pointed out in my RC2 review.

    DVD playback in Windows Medial Player or Media Center will only play in interlaced mode making it VERY ugly.
    If I replace the MPEG-2 DVD codec with K-Lite Cinepack codec, the interlacing issue goes away but it conflicts with Media Player's translucent controls and delivers low frame rates with slow screen paints that are especially noticeable when the entire screen on the video moves. Windows Media Player Classic will work smoothly though it forces Aero to shut down temporarily and it can only play one file at a time making in impractical for full DVD movie playback. I'm not sure if the slow playback has something to do with the inability of an old codec to paint an Aero 3D screen efficiently or not but I wouldn't have this problem if the built-in Microsoft DVD codec would de-interlace the video properly.
    Media Player screws up captured 1080i HDV playback by playing it in a tiny window until you click on the movie to force it to play back at 50% size. While that's not a problem with a mouse, not sure how you would deal with this on an HTPC. Not everyone will know they're suppose to click on the movie to make it play back at 50% size.
    1080i full screen playback in general is a problem even with content captured digitally from OTA Over-the-air HDTV broadcasts. The exact same hardware (NVIDIA GeForce 6200 or ATI 9600 Pro with a Pentium 4 2.4 GHz with hyperthreading) that works fine in Windows XP on HD playback at full screen but NOT in Windows Vista. Even though this isn't Microsoft software, it doesn't change the fact that I can't use this server as an HTPC for my living room big screen HDTV.
    Media Center crashes when library browsing some folders which is totally unacceptable. This might be caused with a bad interaction with the DivX and XVID CODECs from the K-Lite mega pack, but it doesn't change the fact that I still need to be able to play those videos.
    Media Center can't play DVD folder rips on the Hard Disk Drive which makes it worthless for DVD library playback. I can't believe this isn't supported. What's the point of having an online DVD library? [UPDATE 5:21 PM - The explaination I was given was that there are DRM implications in playing back ripped DVDs. I guess this means Media Center is crippled to the point of being useless until I can find a hack to play ripped DVDs. I own the DVDs, I just don't want to have to swap disks. This is like not being able to play ripped MP3s of CDs you own. Last time I checked Zune lets you play MP3s.]
    Movie Maker HDV preview is shifted downwards until you toggle widescreen preview. Minor bug but I mentioned something about this in my RC2 review.
    Movie Maker only lets you retrieve entire HDV tape, not selections like the old Movie Maker in Windows XP. These last two issues I warned about in my RC2 review and they've not been fixed yet.
    The "open with" feature is gone. When I use to right click on a data file, you can click "open with" and choose a new program to open the file or pick something on the list of applications you've used before. That list of recent applications for opening data files is gone which is very frustrating.
    Power save settings are hidden in a deep mess. Tweaking the settings don't always stick. Default hybrid sleep mode (explanation here) is very annoying if system crashes because on the next reboot, it takes minutes to reload a gigabyte from hard drive and it stays that way until you shut down properly shut down Vista. I had to struggle with the UI to turn off this feature and change the power button in the start button to off mode and to get my settings to stick. The fact that my main PC is crashing didn't help the situation, but it would be nice if MS could ask if you want to boot normally instead of trying to recover the previous state. For most desktops, going from 150 watts idle to 145 watts in sleep mode just doesn't make any sense. I have yet to find a Desktop PC that can go in to sleep state level 3 which only uses a few watts of power.
    Minor changes in hardware will sometimes prevent Vista from booting up. So much for the great driver independent imaging model I'd been hearing about though I haven't tested Vista deployment tools yet. I had read that Vista was suppose to be able to adapt to different hardware but maybe I just haven't found that feature yet.
    IE7 embedded Windows Media Video playback won't support anamorphic video and forces the video to play in 4:3 mode as oppose to widescreen 16:9 mode. I had complained about this to Microsoft two months ago under Vista RC2. Example here.
    While I've read from Jim Allchin that audio features have improved and Polycom is telling me about the new multiple Mic feature that allows you to pin point voice out of a noisy room, some things seem to be missing that shouldn't be missing. Windows XP allowed you to set separate Audio and Voice input/output preferences. That means voice applications like Skype will use one set of speakers and microphone while games will spit out sound from a different sound card. That feature is now gone and you only get to set one set of record and playback preferences. Maybe this is less confusing for beginner users but it's an unacceptable dumbing down of Vista. [UPDATE 5:21 PM - Vista adds the ability to set sound levels per application. But the ability to have two audio profiles where hardware is defined is gone. I'm trying to clarify if this means that applications in Vista can also have a custom hardware profile or not.]
    That's all I can think of now though I'm sure there were other grievances.
    [UPDATE 5:21 PM - Forgot to mention that web-based media players like Flash used in YouTube or certain news sites has poor frame rate performance even on really good hardware. If I right click somewhere on the flash box the video will pause for a split second. Any heavy IO activity on the hard drive will also cause the video to skip. Video card is the ATI x800 unlocked to x850.]
    Does this mean I don't like Vista? No there are still security features like IE7 Protected Mode and UAC which beats having to log out and back in to do any administrative tasks. I really want to make Vista work but these types of serious bugs simply means that Vista RTM isn't ready yet. At this point in time I'm going to give up on using Vista as my primary operating system and wait for fixes on at least most of these problems to go away.

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    Tachyon

    Why doesn't George?

    If you read my post in the 'Trashing Internet Explorer 7...' discussion, I pointed out that there are real IT professionals, and there are lazy posers with letters after their names.

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    AndyMcK

    We've no plans to move to Vista. I've had a look at the OS and it looks nice. Personally, I'd like to have it running on my desktop.

    However, there's no compelling reason for us to leave XP to go to Vista. The performance, according to reviews, is very similar between the two. There's nothing seriously *wrong* with XP that is pushing us away. Add to that the fact that Vista's recommended minimum RAM spec is 512Mb - we've have to upgrade some older PCs - and you find a reason not to.

    We'll probably look at it more after SP1 and when we're beginning to replace some of the hardware we currently run but not sooner.

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    Jaqui

    no to vista, I'll not be buying it. ever.

    but then, I'm 100% open source operating system.
    and only rarely make use of 2 proprietary software apps. I usually use open source apps as well.

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    Zen37

    I've been in the business for more than 12 years and most companies i know, including the one i work for, still uses Windows 2000. We are scheduled to go to XP in 2007. It's always been like that for as long as i can remember.

    I'm curious to know who the heck is actually thinking of moving to Vista already? With all due respect to anyone thinking of migrating, i am just puzzled at the idea of going to that OS so fast. Does anyone know of any company actually in the process of preparing for Vista? I read an article that said that sales of Vista was going better than expected, who buys that stuff? Am i clueless or off the track here?

    Do any of you have customers actually asking about the OS already?

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    CG IT

    was on a laptop upgrade project for AT&T about a year and a half ago and that was from W2K [some 98s] to XP.

    I know most defense contractors and Nasa contractors use CSC for their IT. I also know they are on a 3 year cycle for new stuff [wife works at Boeing]. Yep she gets a new comp every 3 years whether she wants or needs one or not.

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    CG IT

    double post

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    rpatton

    What MS calls house account have professional sals staff that pushes the latest. The DELL's and GATEWAYS buy it to bundle with their PC's, this represents millions of units.

    The American public always wants the latest and greatest, weatehr its worth it or not!

    There are your big numbers.

    ****

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    Zen37

    ....well, they also have a direct line to Microsoft support. If i had a direct line to Microsoft support, and a good financial incentive to switch, i guess i would do it too.

    I fully understand that a software company would look at it from the start to deal with compatibility issues. But i was thinking more along the line of the other "big companies that have nothing to do with IT" kind of places. The airlines, the banks, the big auto makers, insurance companies, etc, etc, etc.

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    rpatton

    Banking clients still uses 2000 and office 2000 and says they will not move.

    The problem is when MS says no more support, that means not service packs, updates, or technical support. That causes some reconsideration, what to you think?

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    Zen37

    ...I wouldn't say "i won't move" or "budge". But the "no support" will make me look at the next step, not the latest and greatest yet not tested or run through it's paces step.

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    Tony Hopkinson

    If you write software for the windows market and you want to be ahead of the game, then making your software Vista compatible is not a choice, because some of your customers will use it.

    Working on that at the moment, one of the things we are trying to discover is do we have to shift our development boxes over to do it efficiently. Not to mention if we do shift them over will that cause problems with customers that don't imitate lemmings.

    Been here before haven't we?

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    rpatton

    I also have SW apps running at customer locations, as to the affect on them, well I'm not sure. The ones running DOS apps will have a very real problem.

    One good thing is that MS has always been sensitive to backward compatability.

    ****

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    Tony Hopkinson

    so, unless you want to run your app as administrator (which of course you shouldn't there are a lot of things you can't do any more that were 'OK' in the good old days.

    I'd be the first to admit apps shouldn't write user data to HKLM and rely on files being in windows system, but a lot of legacy apps do.

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    briant11

    New system of computer interface:

    Language configuration
    Network configuration
    Hard drive architecture
    High resolution digital image output

    All in ONE package,
    I'm not marketing for Bill Gates,
    I've seen VISTA and she's gonna go to high places !!

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    rpatton

    The issue here is when to jump on the band wagon not weather!

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    Tony Hopkinson

    but to get to a high place, you start in a low one.

    This discussion is should we climb the mountain with it, or wait 'til it reaches the summit and then parachute in with a flask of tea and some butties.

    Given the risk of storms, fatigue, cost, mischance and homicidal art collectors, I vote for option two.

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    rpatton

    I like letting some one else do the climbing, carrying their bottle of Oxygen, and once they scale the peak, they can stand resolutely and say ?I am the pioneer? while we look on in admiration and then load service pack 1 and drink a toast to the hero from the comfort of our local pub.

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    rpatton

    We have been captives of MS windwoes for so long and it is so well marketed is would be impossible to switch clients, even for FREE!

    Windows is a part of the "establishment". Way back, I did assy code, which I was told will always be around, Hmm... then along came compilers, and COBOL, So much for JSR, MEM, STO, etc.

    ****

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    Jaqui

    when told to upgrade the systems, switch to a non ms os.
    you are "just following orders"
    and you get the benefits of software that is written for multiuser environments on every level.

    making sure that the report is seen by the decision makers in any company / government office is the best way to get the idea planted that using ms is not the only answer.
    [ because of activex, using ms windows is a violation of privacy protection laws, and security of the systems laws ]

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    marionx

    Great link Jaqui. Appreciate you leaving it. Very interesting read. I wish more of the user communities kept up with things of this nature or perhaps 'big business'. Microsoft has it's place but it shouldn't be the monopoly "norm".

    Wonder if businesses have gotten past the (misleading) marketing hype Microsoft put out about costing more to use alternatives..

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    Jaqui

    I figured it was a well written report, from the viewpoint of Government usage of computers, which is about the same as Fortune 500 business use.

    I doubt any business has taken the hint, here in North America at least, and won't until the Governments here switch to a non MS solution.

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    lasersteel

    For those that haven't spotted Microsoft's expansionary push in the "Update Now" arena it might present some challenges to site admins who let users drive the system rather than management. This is irrespective of whether you stay with XP or move to Vista see http://www.pcprofile.com/Update_Now_Managing_Clouds_and_Moving_Goalposts.pdf

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    cherylr

    Seems to me that changing to Vista now may be another headache like upgrading to SP2 for XP was. I waited forever for all the bugs to be worked out of that one, and still Service Pack 2 for XP crashed my system so badly when I finally installed it that I even had to utilize the services of Microsoft to remove it completely from my computer. I never did reinstall it. This past spring I purchased 2 new computers instead, and went 64 bit. I have NO intention of attempting Vista on my computers. The only way I will add it, is if I buy a new computer that already has it on it, and I don't need to worry about any other hardware, software or networking to go along with it. Microsoft should have made baby steps with this new OS. It has taken them far too many years to have worked the bugs out of Vista, and yet they are still having problems with it. When will they learn?

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    rpatton

    It's interesting that you had problems with XP SP2, my experience was good. It whent in, fixed some problems and we have been moving along just fine since then.

    As to VISTA i will wait for SP1.

    ****

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    Tony Hopkinson

    is to get our software running under vista. So were are currently starting to set up some boxes, see what problems we get both with our products and our development tools to make it.

    Know for a fact we'll get some on things like using the registry and system directories (old code base). Then there's no longer using MSDE ....

    The only reason we are doing it because we expect at some point our customers to get conned I mean persuaded into buying it at PC World or some such.

    Oh and we'll be starting doing this standalone, our IS department won't allow a vista box to be connected into our network at the moment as they can't support it.

    Investigate by all means, but if you don't have to implement it yet, don't.

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    w2ktechman

    on one system. But I try not to use it often, not because it fails, but because I am trying to avoid moving to or using Vista.

    But to MS, the system has given me little trouble other than re-learning how to use a computer the way I want to. The drivers for the current system I am using are all workign fine, no issues there. There are issues with many apps that I use, so, like I said, I avoid using this system when I can get away with it, so I go to the XP box.
    The main things to point out to people when they ask about it is

    You should wait for the service pack release to fix many bugs that may be found
    waiting will also allow more SW and Drivers to be developed and tested for the OS
    AND
    Expect to train employees how to use it. Although most features that they will use are not affected, some are. Also, the IT staff will need some time to review it well and learn how to troubleshoot it properly.

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    rpatton

    That has always been my practice, but i thought MS had really teseted the heck out of this one.

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    tanimn

    An old tried and true mantra with microsoft operating systems: If it's not the second service pack (whether it's SR2, SP1A, etc...), it's not time to upgrade.
    Besides giving Microsoft time to fix the bugs in the origional release, and stabilize all the bugs that crop up with the first service pack; it gives the driver and app developers time to get their stuff running right.
    How many times have YOU installed Microsoft's latest and greatest, only to find out that your favorite whatever doesn't work right anymore?

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    rpatton

    Keep in mind that each and every one of MS even numbered products have required an up grade, or was it the odd numbers! I can?t remember now, getting old I guess.

    You are right though there are some manufacturers who still have a problem with drivers, was that AT_ that said they were making a universal video driver that would read info from the board and then modify the driver on the fly to be compatible with both your system and OS. I think the Nvidia has been the only one that has been successful, and I have never installed an AT_ board that worked right out of the box with out ?please up date your driver? messages. I guess that?s one of the good things about Intel, they do test things, in 98% of the cases it works and if fails they will fix it. Audio, well there is Creative and then everyone else, I guess. Applications, wow I shutter to think what my Adobe production suite will do with VISTA.

    And the list goes on and on, I guess that?s why they still need us, chickens in the barn yard!

    ****

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    robear

    Tanimn gives the best advise -- and in a language we can all truly understand!

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    dawgit

    Where did you get ahold of a Vista Business in any verison? I haven't seen it at all over here. (They're talking end-of-the-month, maybe) That is the question, will it perform in a business enviorment. It's still a big unkown. (along with the "Why" question.) -d

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    w2ktechman

    I had to download it to test with from an Intranet site, pre-configured of course.

    Didnt I mention in the past several times that the company that I work for are MS bitches???

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    dawgit

    That's not fair.!.
    (geeeze some people get all the toys... X-( )

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    w2ktechman

    and test it, and play with it.
    Just like the 43 computers that I am responsible for. but I dont use most of them I recently had a couple of new servers shipped to me, and they are still boxed up since my position does not allow me to build servers. But, I was thinking of making an after hours gaming system (I dont turn down HW). Hmmm. a test ver. of Vista Server running games......

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    B-)

    dawgit

    Why NOT? Now, that would be really testing the system.

    edited to try to get a $illy grin right, I give up -d

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    rpatton

    The MS bash to introduce VISTA, Office 2007 and Exchange 2007.

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    sjh_vt

    These are very worthwile subscription services that have had Vista RTM available almost as soon as it went Gold. Technet is geared towards support & MSDN is geared towards developers.

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    dawgit

    But, that is not the problem that I have. I can sit here and read about how it should work in a Lab, (M$'s) and how one could maybe tweek it, but until the actual product is here, on a machine, it can't be tested, or run. The rest is Science Fiction. For M$ to compete, even with it's own OS, (XP-Pro, for example) it must show up on race day. -d

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    sjh_vt

    Anyone can subscribe to either of these services. I realize that won't help you much now, but if your company had a subscription to either of these, you could have been testing the RTM version for almost 2 months by now.

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    dawgit

    I am my company. but what you say is there where you are is simply not here. Worse than that is no one can say when it will be. All the geeweezes that are being showboated over there in the US are not going to help us out at all. The where, then is maybe not the right question. Where can one get a hold of the Vista that is equilvalent to XP-Pro, Vista Enterprise? or even Vista Ultimate? and not the Home Edition either, it will be useless to us. I don't want the toy version, the real thing. It simply isn't here. Does that explain it better? -d

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    rpatton

    Goto Microsoft.com, partners and sign up for teh action pack. These are full versions of the software with NFR licenses. Cost about $400.00 for the year with up dates, and a whole boat load of otehr software.

    Here is teh link:
    http://www.microsoft.com/australia/partner/actionpack/default.aspx

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    rpatton

    Cost $400, but comes with a lot of goodies including VISTA, Office 2007, Exchange 2007, etc.

    GOTO MIcrosoft.com

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    jmgarvin

    Non-technial:
    I can tell you user training will be a nightmare. Even with the "classic" view Vista will be very different to your average user. Also, your average user will be lost because small things have changes. My Documents is gone and it is replaced with their user name. The start menu interface (in aero glass) shoved shutdown into obscurity and you only put your PC into standby with the "off" button.

    Just tons of little things that will add up and make the job of working a helpdesk a real pain.

    Technical:
    I have noticed issues in getting it to properly connect to AD. Also, the new network stack is faster, but word on the street is there are some interesting holes in the new stack, so expect security issues pretty soon. Also because Vista does both IPv6 and IPv4, expect a LOT of network traffic when you are setting up clients as well as in the morning when everyone fires up. I hope you don't have much in the way of legacy hardware. Drivers in Vista are ok, but it depends on the vendor and the hardware as to how well the driver works. I popped Vista Business (release) on a 2.8ghz, 1gb RAM, 128mb ATI X900 video card and scored a 2.7 out of 5. My machine is pretty beefy, but it is sluggish with Aero Glass. I installed the ATI driver and everything went pear shaped...

    As for code base and such. If you are using .Net 1.1, most stuff will have issues. .Net 2.0 does ok, but be prepared for some code changes and the way the APIs work in Vista.

    Will Vista be picked up on release? No. I think it will sell like the Zune...average to below average sales with nothing to write home about from the average user. I don't see many businesses picking up Vista before SP1 and I really don't see Vista being an easy migration.

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    CG IT

    Many mfgs will tell you that they aren't going to release Vista drivers until Vista is release. Many of the old equipment that is still in use will either not work or require new drivers that the mfg might or might not create.

    I advise my customers to wait.

    Going to Vista might require the purchase the new printers, scanners, faxes, modems, that business use which are older if mfgs don't create drivers that will work with Vista.

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    rpatton

    Most of my customer are lawyers and like most people they don't like spending money if it's not required.

    I had a difficult time getting them off Windows 98 and on to XP, but most spent the money because they ware so frustratedd with 98's problems.

    Those were the good days, new machines, faster printers, new server, and all those software upgradess. Hmm... how often can we go to that well?

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    rpatton

    After a grueling week of intense Vista RTM testing, I still can't get Vista stable on my primary computer yet even though I've swapped out all the bad memory. This same PC has worked with and continues to work with Windows XP just fine. Even with the good memory in the computer, it locks up every hour or two and forces me to hard shut the system to reboot. Apparently I'm not the only one with stability issues since reader DAC-Tech who's a Systems Engineer with a big company was having issues with his brand new ASUS based motherboard.

    I've informed Microsoft almost a week ago of this along with all the other nagging issues I list below and I have not heard back from them. If Microsoft wants to clarify anything in this blog they're always welcome to do so and I'll put their responses on this blog. My other server that I built out of scrap parts laying around is stable but there are still too many issues for me to want to use Vista. The way it stands now, I can't or won't use Vista on any of my computers full time until these serious issues have been fixed. Here is a list of grievances that I tested on my stable Vista system and some of these bugs were pointed out in my RC2 review.

    DVD playback in Windows Medial Player or Media Center will only play in interlaced mode making it VERY ugly.
    If I replace the MPEG-2 DVD codec with K-Lite Cinepack codec, the interlacing issue goes away but it conflicts with Media Player's translucent controls and delivers low frame rates with slow screen paints that are especially noticeable when the entire screen on the video moves. Windows Media Player Classic will work smoothly though it forces Aero to shut down temporarily and it can only play one file at a time making in impractical for full DVD movie playback. I'm not sure if the slow playback has something to do with the inability of an old codec to paint an Aero 3D screen efficiently or not but I wouldn't have this problem if the built-in Microsoft DVD codec would de-interlace the video properly.
    Media Player screws up captured 1080i HDV playback by playing it in a tiny window until you click on the movie to force it to play back at 50% size. While that's not a problem with a mouse, not sure how you would deal with this on an HTPC. Not everyone will know they're suppose to click on the movie to make it play back at 50% size.
    1080i full screen playback in general is a problem even with content captured digitally from OTA Over-the-air HDTV broadcasts. The exact same hardware (NVIDIA GeForce 6200 or ATI 9600 Pro with a Pentium 4 2.4 GHz with hyperthreading) that works fine in Windows XP on HD playback at full screen but NOT in Windows Vista. Even though this isn't Microsoft software, it doesn't change the fact that I can't use this server as an HTPC for my living room big screen HDTV.
    Media Center crashes when library browsing some folders which is totally unacceptable. This might be caused with a bad interaction with the DivX and XVID CODECs from the K-Lite mega pack, but it doesn't change the fact that I still need to be able to play those videos.
    Media Center can't play DVD folder rips on the Hard Disk Drive which makes it worthless for DVD library playback. I can't believe this isn't supported. What's the point of having an online DVD library? [UPDATE 5:21 PM - The explaination I was given was that there are DRM implications in playing back ripped DVDs. I guess this means Media Center is crippled to the point of being useless until I can find a hack to play ripped DVDs. I own the DVDs, I just don't want to have to swap disks. This is like not being able to play ripped MP3s of CDs you own. Last time I checked Zune lets you play MP3s.]
    Movie Maker HDV preview is shifted downwards until you toggle widescreen preview. Minor bug but I mentioned something about this in my RC2 review.
    Movie Maker only lets you retrieve entire HDV tape, not selections like the old Movie Maker in Windows XP. These last two issues I warned about in my RC2 review and they've not been fixed yet.
    The "open with" feature is gone. When I use to right click on a data file, you can click "open with" and choose a new program to open the file or pick something on the list of applications you've used before. That list of recent applications for opening data files is gone which is very frustrating.
    Power save settings are hidden in a deep mess. Tweaking the settings don't always stick. Default hybrid sleep mode (explanation here) is very annoying if system crashes because on the next reboot, it takes minutes to reload a gigabyte from hard drive and it stays that way until you shut down properly shut down Vista. I had to struggle with the UI to turn off this feature and change the power button in the start button to off mode and to get my settings to stick. The fact that my main PC is crashing didn't help the situation, but it would be nice if MS could ask if you want to boot normally instead of trying to recover the previous state. For most desktops, going from 150 watts idle to 145 watts in sleep mode just doesn't make any sense. I have yet to find a Desktop PC that can go in to sleep state level 3 which only uses a few watts of power.
    Minor changes in hardware will sometimes prevent Vista from booting up. So much for the great driver independent imaging model I'd been hearing about though I haven't tested Vista deployment tools yet. I had read that Vista was suppose to be able to adapt to different hardware but maybe I just haven't found that feature yet.
    IE7 embedded Windows Media Video playback won't support anamorphic video and forces the video to play in 4:3 mode as oppose to widescreen 16:9 mode. I had complained about this to Microsoft two months ago under Vista RC2. Example here.
    While I've read from Jim Allchin that audio features have improved and Polycom is telling me about the new multiple Mic feature that allows you to pin point voice out of a noisy room, some things seem to be missing that shouldn't be missing. Windows XP allowed you to set separate Audio and Voice input/output preferences. That means voice applications like Skype will use one set of speakers and microphone while games will spit out sound from a different sound card. That feature is now gone and you only get to set one set of record and playback preferences. Maybe this is less confusing for beginner users but it's an unacceptable dumbing down of Vista. [UPDATE 5:21 PM - Vista adds the ability to set sound levels per application. But the ability to have two audio profiles where hardware is defined is gone. I'm trying to clarify if this means that applications in Vista can also have a custom hardware profile or not.]
    That's all I can think of now though I'm sure there were other grievances.
    [UPDATE 5:21 PM - Forgot to mention that web-based media players like Flash used in YouTube or certain news sites has poor frame rate performance even on really good hardware. If I right click somewhere on the flash box the video will pause for a split second. Any heavy IO activity on the hard drive will also cause the video to skip. Video card is the ATI x800 unlocked to x850.]
    Does this mean I don't like Vista? No there are still security features like IE7 Protected Mode and UAC which beats having to log out and back in to do any administrative tasks. I really want to make Vista work but these types of serious bugs simply means that Vista RTM isn't ready yet. At this point in time I'm going to give up on using Vista as my primary operating system and wait for fixes on at least most of these problems to go away.

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    Tachyon

    Why doesn't George?

    If you read my post in the 'Trashing Internet Explorer 7...' discussion, I pointed out that there are real IT professionals, and there are lazy posers with letters after their names.

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    AndyMcK

    We've no plans to move to Vista. I've had a look at the OS and it looks nice. Personally, I'd like to have it running on my desktop.

    However, there's no compelling reason for us to leave XP to go to Vista. The performance, according to reviews, is very similar between the two. There's nothing seriously *wrong* with XP that is pushing us away. Add to that the fact that Vista's recommended minimum RAM spec is 512Mb - we've have to upgrade some older PCs - and you find a reason not to.

    We'll probably look at it more after SP1 and when we're beginning to replace some of the hardware we currently run but not sooner.

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    Jaqui

    no to vista, I'll not be buying it. ever.

    but then, I'm 100% open source operating system.
    and only rarely make use of 2 proprietary software apps. I usually use open source apps as well.

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    Zen37

    I've been in the business for more than 12 years and most companies i know, including the one i work for, still uses Windows 2000. We are scheduled to go to XP in 2007. It's always been like that for as long as i can remember.

    I'm curious to know who the heck is actually thinking of moving to Vista already? With all due respect to anyone thinking of migrating, i am just puzzled at the idea of going to that OS so fast. Does anyone know of any company actually in the process of preparing for Vista? I read an article that said that sales of Vista was going better than expected, who buys that stuff? Am i clueless or off the track here?

    Do any of you have customers actually asking about the OS already?

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    CG IT

    was on a laptop upgrade project for AT&T about a year and a half ago and that was from W2K [some 98s] to XP.

    I know most defense contractors and Nasa contractors use CSC for their IT. I also know they are on a 3 year cycle for new stuff [wife works at Boeing]. Yep she gets a new comp every 3 years whether she wants or needs one or not.

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    CG IT

    double post

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    rpatton

    What MS calls house account have professional sals staff that pushes the latest. The DELL's and GATEWAYS buy it to bundle with their PC's, this represents millions of units.

    The American public always wants the latest and greatest, weatehr its worth it or not!

    There are your big numbers.

    ****

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    Zen37

    ....well, they also have a direct line to Microsoft support. If i had a direct line to Microsoft support, and a good financial incentive to switch, i guess i would do it too.

    I fully understand that a software company would look at it from the start to deal with compatibility issues. But i was thinking more along the line of the other "big companies that have nothing to do with IT" kind of places. The airlines, the banks, the big auto makers, insurance companies, etc, etc, etc.

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    rpatton

    Banking clients still uses 2000 and office 2000 and says they will not move.

    The problem is when MS says no more support, that means not service packs, updates, or technical support. That causes some reconsideration, what to you think?

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    Zen37

    ...I wouldn't say "i won't move" or "budge". But the "no support" will make me look at the next step, not the latest and greatest yet not tested or run through it's paces step.

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    Tony Hopkinson

    If you write software for the windows market and you want to be ahead of the game, then making your software Vista compatible is not a choice, because some of your customers will use it.

    Working on that at the moment, one of the things we are trying to discover is do we have to shift our development boxes over to do it efficiently. Not to mention if we do shift them over will that cause problems with customers that don't imitate lemmings.

    Been here before haven't we?

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    rpatton

    I also have SW apps running at customer locations, as to the affect on them, well I'm not sure. The ones running DOS apps will have a very real problem.

    One good thing is that MS has always been sensitive to backward compatability.

    ****

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    Tony Hopkinson

    so, unless you want to run your app as administrator (which of course you shouldn't there are a lot of things you can't do any more that were 'OK' in the good old days.

    I'd be the first to admit apps shouldn't write user data to HKLM and rely on files being in windows system, but a lot of legacy apps do.

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    briant11

    New system of computer interface:

    Language configuration
    Network configuration
    Hard drive architecture
    High resolution digital image output

    All in ONE package,
    I'm not marketing for Bill Gates,
    I've seen VISTA and she's gonna go to high places !!

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    rpatton

    The issue here is when to jump on the band wagon not weather!

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    Tony Hopkinson

    but to get to a high place, you start in a low one.

    This discussion is should we climb the mountain with it, or wait 'til it reaches the summit and then parachute in with a flask of tea and some butties.

    Given the risk of storms, fatigue, cost, mischance and homicidal art collectors, I vote for option two.

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    rpatton

    I like letting some one else do the climbing, carrying their bottle of Oxygen, and once they scale the peak, they can stand resolutely and say ?I am the pioneer? while we look on in admiration and then load service pack 1 and drink a toast to the hero from the comfort of our local pub.

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    rpatton

    We have been captives of MS windwoes for so long and it is so well marketed is would be impossible to switch clients, even for FREE!

    Windows is a part of the "establishment". Way back, I did assy code, which I was told will always be around, Hmm... then along came compilers, and COBOL, So much for JSR, MEM, STO, etc.

    ****

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    Jaqui

    when told to upgrade the systems, switch to a non ms os.
    you are "just following orders"
    and you get the benefits of software that is written for multiuser environments on every level.

    making sure that the report is seen by the decision makers in any company / government office is the best way to get the idea planted that using ms is not the only answer.
    [ because of activex, using ms windows is a violation of privacy protection laws, and security of the systems laws ]

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    marionx

    Great link Jaqui. Appreciate you leaving it. Very interesting read. I wish more of the user communities kept up with things of this nature or perhaps 'big business'. Microsoft has it's place but it shouldn't be the monopoly "norm".

    Wonder if businesses have gotten past the (misleading) marketing hype Microsoft put out about costing more to use alternatives..

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    Jaqui

    I figured it was a well written report, from the viewpoint of Government usage of computers, which is about the same as Fortune 500 business use.

    I doubt any business has taken the hint, here in North America at least, and won't until the Governments here switch to a non MS solution.

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    lasersteel

    For those that haven't spotted Microsoft's expansionary push in the "Update Now" arena it might present some challenges to site admins who let users drive the system rather than management. This is irrespective of whether you stay with XP or move to Vista see http://www.pcprofile.com/Update_Now_Managing_Clouds_and_Moving_Goalposts.pdf

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    cherylr

    Seems to me that changing to Vista now may be another headache like upgrading to SP2 for XP was. I waited forever for all the bugs to be worked out of that one, and still Service Pack 2 for XP crashed my system so badly when I finally installed it that I even had to utilize the services of Microsoft to remove it completely from my computer. I never did reinstall it. This past spring I purchased 2 new computers instead, and went 64 bit. I have NO intention of attempting Vista on my computers. The only way I will add it, is if I buy a new computer that already has it on it, and I don't need to worry about any other hardware, software or networking to go along with it. Microsoft should have made baby steps with this new OS. It has taken them far too many years to have worked the bugs out of Vista, and yet they are still having problems with it. When will they learn?

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    rpatton

    It's interesting that you had problems with XP SP2, my experience was good. It whent in, fixed some problems and we have been moving along just fine since then.

    As to VISTA i will wait for SP1.

    ****