Though Windows Vista brings significant change to the operating system market, solution providers need to know what counts when it comes to selling the platform. The CRN Test Center took a look at Vista Release Candidate 2 (RC2) and came up with the top five features that will help to fuel upgrades and sales.
Microsoft said Friday that it's on schedule to ship Windows Vista, which is slated to be released to volume license customers next month and become generally available in January.
Last week, Microsoft unveiled Vista Release Candidate 2, which stands to be the latest interim build before the product goes to manufacturing. So it's indeed safe to say that Vista is almost here.
But should the channel really care about Vista? Though Vista will bring much change to the operating system market, Windows XP has done an adequate job of fueling hardware sales and meeting the needs of the end user.
With that in mind, the CRN Test Center took a close-up look at Vista RC2 to come up with the top five features that VARs can highlight to drive upgrades and sales.
Microsoft has gone a long way to improve security with Vista. The product includes several technologies that better protect users from malware and other exploits.
The company has layered three tools that help to secure Vista from threats: Windows Defender; Windows Vista Firewall and the Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT). Basically, Defender protects against spyware, while the Vista Firewall keeps intruders at bay. MSRT cleans off any malware that may have slipped through the cracks.
Those security enhancements should help to make Vista more resilient against compromise. That said, solution providers still should offer antivirus solutions to supplement Vista's security.
2. HARDWARE SUPPORT
Vista includes thousands of hardware drivers on the installation media. That makes installs much easier and eliminates many of the manual setup tasks that installers would encounter with Windows XP.
Test Center engineers have thrown multiple hardware configurations at Vista, and RC2 has correctly identified and properly installed all of the hardware tested so far. What's more, if a driver isn'tt on the installation media for a particular piece of hardware, the installation process can automatically go on the Web and locate an appropriate driver.
Vista's new interface, especially Aero-Glass, offers users a cleaner view of the desktop. Users can quickly locate applications, find options and customize the desktop to their liking.
The ability to preview windows and quickly switch between tasks also brings productivity gains, and a new Windows Explorer offers a more unified look at the system. An improved start menu, too, avoids the clutter and cascading menus that were found in XP.
What's more, an integrated search capability eliminates the need for third-party search tools and can quickly locate documents, images and so on, based on content or metatag data.
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