Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Vista Faces an Uphill Battle with Businesses

Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system appears to be losing traction with businesses. Fears of an uncertain economy are one factor, but there’s also a more fundamental reason: Many businesses still don’t see the need.

Consumers tend to buy new operating systems when they buy new computers. For businesses, however, moving to a new operating system is a strategic decision that takes into account much more: factors such as cost, the time it takes to train employees, and whether the new operating system is compatible with the hardware and software the businesses already use.

When Microsoft released Vista last year, businesses greeted it enthusiastically. While few businesses ever install a new system during its first year on the market, a 2007 Sanford C. Bernstein survey of corporate tech leaders found that 31% anticipated installing Vista by the end of 2008; 68% anticipated installing it by the end of 2010.

But over the last year, many businesses decided to delay moving to Vista — some, indefinitely. According to a new Bernstein survey, only 8% of tech leaders now anticipate installing Vista by the end of 2008. And only 26% say they’ll install it by the end of 2010.

What happened? Businesses just don’t see the value. Vista only runs on powerful computers, so installing the operating system often also requires buying a new PC, something businesses want to put off with tightening budgets.

The situation for Delaware’s state government is fairly typical. The tech department there recently decided to delay moving to Vista and instead installed XP, an older version of Windows, on about 40 new computers. The state didn’t want to train employees how to use Vista, and some of the software the state uses may not work with Vista, says Rob Revels, a tech official there. There’s no compelling reason to upgrade, he says.

Microsoft Vice President Mike Nash says that many businesses are making their decisions based on outdated impressions of Vista. “There’s a lot of misinformation out there that we’re trying to correct,” he says. Part of the problem for Microsoft: The company focused on security and manageability when it designed Vista, which, while important, are tough to market.

Still, not everyone is wary of Vista. The U.S. Air Force, for example, intends to buy 150,000 computers over the next several months that will run Vista. Kenneth B. Heitkamp, a tech director for the Air Force, says security is a top priority for his service. Additionally, he anticipates that buying PCs with Vista already installed and some of Vista’s energy and time-saving improvements will help the Air Force save more that $25 million in energy and management costs each year.

Yet even Heitkamp understands why Vista’s benefits aren’t generating more buzz. “You’ll never hear a consumer talk about security and manageability,” he says.

source: The Wall Street Journal

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

June 2008 Cumulative Update for Media Center for Windows Vista

A new cumulative update package for Windows Vista Media Center has been released this week. This update is called the June 2008 Cumulative Update for Media Center for Windows Vista and is also known as KB950126. It is available for download in x86 and x64 versions. It can be installed on systems running the original version of Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate Editions and the SP1 version of Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate Editions.

The June 2008 Cumulative Update includes the following fixes:

* All of the fixes previously included in the February 2008 Cumulative Update

* Improvements to the TV recording experience on systems that use analog tuners, do not have a set-top box and do not have any digital tuners installed.

* Blank screen that can occur when you switch between full-screen mode and windowed mode while playing a video.

* Empty removable media devices may be displayed in galleries (this issue was introduced in Windows Vista SP1 and only affects those systems).

* Client ID may not be set correctly if you use the Express setup option when launching Windows Vista Media Center.

* Memory leak in extender sessions.

* Updated frequency table for China.

* Channel names in Simplified Chinese are shown as unrecognizable characters.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

5 Effective Steps To Make Your Vista Fly !

As usual, every generation of new Windows Operating System will consume far more resources than before, but this also means more features and greater user experience! It applies to Vista as well. In this article I will show you 5 very effective steps to speed up Vista, I can almost feel your Vista taking off! (Just kidding)

Without further delay, let's talk about the first step:
**Add more RAM - More memory means more resources to hold programs and services without accessing your hard disk. 4 GB is recommended, but you are limited to 3.2 GB to 3.6 GB RAM that actually available from a 4 GB memory machine. This is the limitation of 32 bits Vista ( x86), if you want more RAM support, you will have to upgrade to 64 bits ( x64).

Let's say you have a limited budget, and you want more speed, then the second step can help you:
**Use USB memory stick to run ReadyBoost - You can buy a 4GB USB memory stick with reasonably cheap price, and you can use it to accelerate your PC and transfer data between computer as well, many has reported ReadyBoost to be very effective on 512 MB and 1GB RAM computer, it can speed up Vista overall performance 20~50% faster.

Now comes the step 3, you really going to love Vista for this:
**Hybrid sleep mode - Sleep mode introduced itself since Windows 98, and now Vista extend this great feature and combine with XP hibernation mode to become hybrid sleep mode. It will allow user to shut down the computer instantly (Not really shutdown, but rather into sleep mode) and boot up instantly (5~7 seconds!). You do not have to worry about data loss due to power failure, because it saves your computer status in hibernation mode automatically before going into sleep mode, thus safe guard your data even you unplug the power!

The Vista default power plan on all new installations is conservative. You want that to your notebook to save power, but not your desktop computer! so step 4:
**Change your power plan to maximum performance -You want your processor to be ready in the fastest mode, by changing the plan to maximum performance, you can speed up Vista overall performance by another 10% to 15%!

Now the final step, and you need some technical knowledge to perform this:
Disable unused services - Many services in Vista is unused by most other users, by reducing the services run in background, you can dramatically increase Vista performance. However, you really need technical knowledge to perform this step, I urge you to find some guide and do some study before even trying it on your own computer!

This concludes the 5 effective steps to increase Vista performance, but the most effective way is still adding more RAM! Unless you really short of money, go get more RAM.