Schrock Innovations Recommends You WAIT to Install Windows Vista

  • Comments: 3
  • Written on: January 31st, 2007

Windows Vista will be released today at 12:00 AM (or would that be tomorrow?) and while there will actually be people waiting in line at the box stores for its release, Schrock Innovations recommends you let the pioneers take the arrows on this one and wait until March to install the new operating system on you computer.

HP is sponsoring a Microsoft launch party tonight at many of the local box stores (two location in Lincoln and three in Omaha) to celebrate the release of Microsoft’s new computer operating system, Windows Vista. In all sincerity, I do not expect any major problems with Vista. With that said, I DO expect some compatibility problems that should slow down any serious computer user. Windows Vista has a few new tricks in its bag that could create some headaches for the business or serious home user who installs the new O/S on a primary computer.

Windows Vista has three big changes that some people have expressed concern over. The first is the new (and untested in the real world) networking structure contained in Vista. Windows has relied on the same base code for networking PCs since Windows 3.1 for Workgroups. Vista tosses this battle hardened technology out the window (no pun intended) entirely and replaces it with new and supposedly more secure code. While this new code may work perfectly, many network administrators are understandably nervous about pinning their careers as IT professionals on the new Vista code. Many people are holding their breath on this move.

Secondly, Windows Vista handles permissions entirely differently than Windows XP does. For example, in Windows XP being logged in as an administrator gives a user certain permissions that are universal to any actions undertaken while logged in as an administrator. For example, you can install a new program while logged in as an administrator and Windows XP grants that program global permission to do things.

In Windows Vista, programs must obtain permission levels based on the code within the program. Credentials must be requested by the program and granted by the Vista operating system based on the sensitivity of the activities undertaken by the program. This is designed to help prevent spyware and other nasty things from taking root in a system, but could also render programs that assumed they would have proper permissions obsolete when Vista rejects them as insecure (old versions of Norton Antivirus for example).

Lastly, Windows Vista is MUCH more sensitive to faulty memory than Windows XP is. Each time Windows XP boots, all Windows components are loaded to the same place in memory. This makes XP an easy mark for viruses like network worms and spyware infections. To combat this, Windows Vista successfully implements a new security technique that Microsoft failed to successfully integrate into Windows XP Service Pack 2 despite significant efforts.

Each time Vista boots, it loads its critical processes to different RAM memory addresses. The result is transparent to the user, but creates a much more secure computing environment. The drawback is that if your perfectly functional Windows XP computer has a stick of RAM with a slight flaw in a little-used portion of memory, upgrading to Windows Vista could make that flaw painfully obvious. Further, because critical processes are loaded into random memory locations, a problem that occurs for you one time may never occur in the service center for a repair technician.

Vista certainly uses more system resources than XP does, and it may take a few months for people to get used to the new look and terminology. While the technicians at Schrock Innovatios are already loading Vista on our personal and work computers, we do have one request: Keep your heads down for now until we sound the all clear.

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