Tech Ed: The top ten reasons why you should deploy Vista

A sobering show of hands doesn't dampen Microsoft's enthusiasm for the OS

It was easy to see why Microsoft picked this as one of the kick-off sessions at Tech Ed ‘07. Based on a show of hands, Computerworld counted less than ten people (out of an audience of around 600) who indicated they had been involved in a serious Vista deployment, that is something more than installing the OS on a home machine.

This must have been a sobering result for Microsoft, particularly as an earlier show of hands had revealed six or seven people whose organisations were still running Windows NT 4. But the session presenters, Microsoft solutions specialist Deannah Templeton, and Kyle Rosenthal, a consultant at Spider Consulting, managed to keep the mood upbeat.

Here, in reverse order are their top ten reasons why New Zealand organisations should take the plunge and upgrade to Vista:

10) Vista delivers everything you love about XP and so much more

Including a Restart Manager that will save users’ data when their laptops are rebooted after an automatic software update, the XPS universal printer format, the snipping tool and, er, so much more.

9) Mobility

Including a Mobility Centre, a powerful set of mobile tools that can be summoned up with a single shortcut keystroke. The tools include an “I’m making a presentation” mode, which suppresses all alerts, incoming emails and IMs.

8) Networking set-up

Remember how networking has been easy to set up in Windows, ever since 98? Well now it really is, apparently.

7) Integration with Windows 2008

Integration with other forthcoming Microsoft products, which will require Vista to run in their full glory.

6) Usability

A redesigned Start Menu (again), and sidebar Gadgets. Don’t laugh, there are some quite useful gadgets around now, apparently.

5) Group policies

Now we are getting to the meat. Group policies can be used to prevent users from plugging USB sticks, or restricting these devices to read-only access. You can even allow Zunes to plugged in but not iPods for example. Sysadmins will have a lot of fun with this.

4) Bitlocker

This encryption system will protect the data on laptops or servers in not so secure locations.

3) Search

Remember how you could search — contents of files as well as names — on Windows XP? Well apparently now you really, really can.

2) Users sign on as users

You no longer need to give users system administrator privileges simply to allow them to change the time and date on their machines — with Vista everyone signs on as a user, and gets elevated privileges if and when they need them.

The audience’s suggestions for the number one reason to deploy Vista included: “It’s secure”, “It looks nice,” and “Because Bill Gates is now the world’s second richest man.”

But the official number one reason was:

1)Vista is simple to deploy and manage

Deployment tools are available at the outset this time, and you can deploy multiple variants of Vista for different hardware types, all in one disk image. As for those old applications, which until now have been insisting on NT4, you can now fool them that Vista is the OS they have been waiting for.

It almost makes an organisation-wide hardware upgrade worth the effort, doesn’t it?

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