There are many enhancements to Windows Vista/Office 2007 that will make end users more productive and secure, but there is a cost associated with these improvements.
The interface in Windows Vista, called Aero Desktop, is even more graphical than Windows XP and in my opinion, very “Mac”. This isn’t a bad thing, considering Mac’s are known for being user friendly. This upgrade comes at a huge cost however. The hardware requirements are significant for both graphics and memory.
Security is another positive in Windows Vista. The firewall that started in Windows XP has now been upgraded to check communications in both directions. Windows Vista also ships with “Windows Defender” which protects users from Spyware. Even the security warning messages that pop up occasionally have been changed to be more intelligible by “non-techies”.
These are great enhancements, but as I mentioned the costs are big. With the changes to the interfaces, especially the new Office Suite, users will have a learning curve causing loss of productivity before the improved productivity will be seen. The Office Suite document file format has also changed which will cause confusion when sharing files between Office 2007 and earlier versions.
Another area of warning is the compatibility with other applications. When we upgraded to Windows Vista, we were forced to upgrade many of our applications or lose them. Unfortunately, we found that many software authors haven’t yet released their Windows Vista versions; this included some very popular anti-virus products.
Windows Vista and Office 2007 are great products, and since most hardware vendors are only offering Vista in new computers, it is inevitable that everyone will be using it soon. Although a rush to go upgrade to Vista is not recommended, I strongly recommend that you begin getting yourself and your employee’s familiar with Vista soon.
Robert Gaynor is the president and CEO of Boca IT Solutions, Inc. (http://www.bocaitsolutions.com ) Boca IT Solutions is a Microsoft Partner that specializes in the small to medium sized business market. For more information on this and other IT related topics visit http://www.bocaitsolutions.com