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With all the recent announcements and information surrounding Windows Vista, I thought the below information would be valuable to you and your teams.

 

We believe that Windows Vista will deliver great value to schools and businesses by seamlessly connecting people to information, enabling increased mobile and remote productivity, significantly reducing deployment and support costs, and providing a more secure and compliant desktop platform.

 

General Information:

 

Windows Vista Versions: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/versions/default.mspx

There has been confusion around the Windows Vista Versions available and where each fit in the market space, and on you network.  To that extent there are 5 versions of Windows Vista being released in the US, however some may not be applicable to your environment:

 

Business Versions:

Windows Vista Business – the operating system designed for organizations of all sizes. Windows Vista Business will help keep PCs running smoothly and more securely and will provide dramatic new infrastructure improvements that will enable IT staff to spend less time focused on day-to-day maintenance of PCs and more time on adding strategic value to the organization. These are some of the specific features of Windows Vista Business:

·         A new user interface, named Windows Aero™, is designed to deliver the most productive, highest-performing desktop experience possible.

·         Windows Vista Business makes it easier than ever to manage huge volumes of business documents by integrating search throughout the operating system and providing new ways to organize files.

·         Windows Tablet PC technology is built in to Windows Vista Business, along with improved deployment and management capabilities.

 

Windows Vista Enterprise – (Available only to customers who have PCs covered by Microsoft Software Assurance or a Campus or School Agreement) In addition to all the features available in Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Enterprise is designed to provide higher levels of data protection using hardware-based encryption technology, improve application compatibility and will enable organizations to standardize on a single deployment image with the inclusion of all Windows user-interface languages. The following features are exclusive to Windows Vista Enterprise.

·         Windows BitLocker™ Drive Encryption helps prevent sensitive data and intellectual property from falling into the wrong hands if a computer is lost or stolen.

·         Virtual PC Express is one of several built-in tools that improve application compatibility with previous versions of Microsoft operating systems. Virtual PC Express enables a legacy application to run unchanged on a legacy Windows operating system in a virtual environment on top of Windows Vista Enterprise.

·         Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications enables users to run UNIX applications unchanged on a Windows Vista Enterprise-based PC.

 Consumer Versions:

Windows Vista Home Basic – People with basic computing needs. For consumers who want to simply use the PC to browse the Internet, correspond with friends and family through e-mail or perform basic document creation and editing tasks, Windows Vista Home Basic will deliver a safer, more reliable and more productive computing environment.

 

Windows Vista Home Premium – Designed for consumers who use mobile or desktop PC functionality more effectively while enabling the enjoyment of new, exciting digital entertainment experiences. Windows Vista Home Premium improves every aspect of digital entertainment experiences, including photos, video, TV, movies, music and games. Windows Vista Home Premium includes everything in Windows Vista Home Basic, along with additional features and enhancements such as the following:

·         The new user interface Windows Aero is in this edition of Windows Vista.

·         Windows Media Center - turn the PC into an all-in-one home entertainment center. Consumers can use Media Center to record and watch TV shows and access new kinds of online entertainment content. It also provides the ability to connect Windows Vista Home Premium to Xbox 360™, extending the Media Center experience to multiple rooms.

·         Windows Tablet PC technology,

·         Integrated DVD burning and authoring allows users to seamlessly burn personal videos photos and files to video or data DVDs, and easily create professional-looking DVDs from home movies that can be shared with family and friends.

 

Windows Vista Ultimate – The edition of Windows Vista that has it all. It brings together all the entertainment features, mobility features and business-oriented features available in Windows Vista.  The consumer features are not manageable via GPO, and Windows Vista Ultimate will not be deployable via Volume Licensing Keys.  However, this version can join a domain and use GPO to manage the business features.

 

Internet Explorer 7 Beta2 Preview: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/ie7/default.mspx

An Updated Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Preview was released on March 20th 2006 which continues to include advancements in security and browsing experience for end users, functionality and compatibility for developers, and manageability for corporate network administrators. Beta 2 Preview is intended to enable developers, Web developers and IT pros to begin to test the new browser for compatibility with their applications and Web sites.

 

Windows Vista Release Roadmap Information - http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2006/mar06/03-21WindowsVistaDeliveryPR.mspx

Microsoft is on schedule to complete the Windows Vista product this year, with business availability in November 2006 via the Volume Licensing Channels.  The broad consumer availability will be in January 2007.  If you are looking to purchase new PCs between now and the end of the year, please work with your OEM on Windows Vista capable systems.

 

Upcoming Webcasts:

 

Windows Vista Webcasts and events: http://www.microsoft.com/events/series/technetvista.mspx

Get the tools and information you need to prepare for Windows Vista, Microsoft’s new desktop operating system. Tune in and see how Windows Vista advancements in security and reliability, along with its operational efficiencies, give you and your users confidence in your organization's PCs. During these free webcasts, we introduce you to key Windows Vista product features and explore deployment, security, management, and productivity. Live webcasts also include a question and answer session. View one webcast, view a few, or view them all – the information will help you prepare for Windows Vista.

 

TechNet Webcast: Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Windows Vista for the Enterprise (Level 200)
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
9:30 A.M.–10:30 A.M. Pacific Time

 

TechNet Webcast: Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Windows Vista for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (Level 200)
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
11:30 A.M.–12:30 P.M. Pacific Time

 

TechNet Webcast: Security in Windows Vista (Level 300)
Monday, April 17, 2006
11:00 A.M.–12:00 P.M. Pacific Time

 

TechNet Webcast: Windows Vista Deployment Overview (Level 200)
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
11:30 A.M.–12:30 P.M. Pacific Time

 

TechNet Webcast: Windows Vista Management (Level 200)
Monday, April 24, 2006
9:30 A.M.–11:00 A.M. Pacific Time

 

TechNet Webcast: Windows Vista Productivity (Level 300)
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
11:30 A.M.–12:30 P.M. Pacific Time

 

For Developers:

Windows Workflow Foundation - http://msdn.microsoft.com/winfx/reference/workflow/default.aspx

Windows Workflow Foundation is the programming model, engine and tools for quickly building workflow enabled applications on Windows. It consists of a WinFX namespace, an in-process workflow engine, and designers for Visual Studio 2005. Windows Workflow Foundation is available (currently in beta) for both client and server versions of Windows. Windows Workflow Foundation includes support for both system workflow and human workflow across a wide range of scenarios.

 

Windows Vista Developer Forums - http://forums.microsoft.com/msdn/default.aspx?forumgroupid=24&siteid=1

 

Windows Vista Developer Story - http://msdn.microsoft.com/windowsvista/downloads/developerstory/default.aspx

The Microsoft Windows Vista Developer Story includes content for developers, and other technology experts and managers, interested in an in-depth exploration of some of the new and extended features in Windows Vista.

 

For IT Pros:

 

Pre-Registration for Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange 12 Public Beta - http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/beta/preregister.mspx

Lead evaluations for new technologies and understand their impact on your IT environment and their potential for your company by pre-registering here. You will be the first to be notified when the Windows Vista, Office "12," and Exchange "12" public beta releases become available. Additionally, you will receive updates and information regularly through the Microsoft TechNet Flash newsletter, from the time you pre-register until the launch of the product.

 

Windows PE 2.0 for Windows Vista Overview - http://www.microsoft.com/technet/windowsvista/deploy/winpe.mspx

Windows PE 2.0 is the core deployment foundation for Windows Vista. It is designed to make large-scale, customized deployments of the new Windows Vista operating system notably easier. When Windows Vista launches, Windows PE 2.0 will be available to all Windows Vista corporate customers. [Windows PE for Windows XP will remain exclusive to customers who have a Microsoft Software Assurance (SA) agreement.] Windows PE enables users to inject drivers, configure Windows Vista offline, provide recovery solutions as well as diagnose and troubleshoot system problems.

 

User Account Control - http://www.microsoft.com/technet/windowsvista/security/uacppr.mspx

The main goal of User Account Control is to reduce the exposure and attack surface of the operating system by requiring that all users run in standard user mode and by limiting administrator-level access to authorized processes. This limitation minimizes the ability for users to make changes that could destabilize their computers or inadvertently expose the network to viruses through undetected malware that has infected their computer.

 

Application Compatibility - http://www.microsoft.com/technet/windowsvista/appcompat/default.mspx

Application compatibility is one the most important challenges faced by organizations when deploying new operating systems. At Microsoft, it's very important we provide the information and resources you need to identify and resolve application compatibility challenges. With the release of Windows Vista, Microsoft has the tools and resources to reduce the time, cost, and complexity of addressing application compatibility

Comments

  •  The Microsoft Higher Education blog has an excellent overview of Vista editions, a list of key...


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