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Microsoft Windows Vista

Nov. 29, 2006

Microsoft is poised to launch the latest rendition of its Windows Operating System (OS) on November 30, 2006. Called Windows Vista, it follows on the heels of Windows XP, which has been Microsoft's flagship operating system for several years. Among the significant and most noticeable changes to the new OS:

- a completely revamped user interface

- Internet Explorer 7

- a new "sidebar" feature to give quick access to information and utilities

There are many other changes "behind the scenes" that are not as noticeable in day-to-day use, but it is touted to provide greater security, more stability and seamless user experience, with fewer crashes and "hangs".

ITS has been evaluating Vista for several months. While we look forward to using Vista on campus, there are significant challenges that must be resolved before we feel we can move forward. The most significant is the lack of a production version of our antivirus that is compatible with Vista. A new version is presently in beta and a production version should be released before the end of the year. Although we have been testing Vista over the past few months, we may not have covered every application in use on campus so there so no "guarantee" that every application will work properly.

We do anticipate installing new computers with Windows Vista sometime during the second quarter of 2007. Upgrades will not be encouraged for two reasons:

Authentication Process: Microsoft has not finalized the distribution process required for campus-wide implementation under our Microsoft Campus Agreement.

System Requirements: The minimum processor requirement is 1.0 GHz, which is met by the majority of computers on campus. In addition, Vista requires 512 MB of system memory at a minimum. Again, many PC's on campus meet this requirement, but only a small number. The most significant requirement, though, is the amount of video memory that is required to properly run Vista, which is a 128 MB video card. Up to this point, Baylor has been ordering PC's with built-in video, which does not meet this specification. The new Baylor standard configuration for computer purchase ordered from this point forward will exceed these requirements.

Due to licensing issues and distribution of media from Microsoft, the student and faculty/staff work-at-home versions of Vista will not be available in the Baylor Bookstore until April 2007.