Windows Vista Review Part 2

Installation

Vista touts a new image based installation method that is far removed from the days of having to deal with start up disks on floppy disks or working in a DOS environment. The installation itself comes in the form of a basic Vista GUI allowing for keyboard and mouse control.

Whilst an upgrade option is available, I always go for a clean install just so that I can get the satisfaction of knowing that it’s a fresh version. The installation process itself requires minimal interaction, once you set it to go it will do its thing right til the end. The days of setting it to install and coming back an hour later only to find that it required you to confirm the time and date are gone forever.

I’ve had the opportunity to see the edition of Vista that I’ve received over MSDN install on tow different machines.

The first machine is a self-built, AMD Athlon 64 2800+, 1GB DDR, 80GB, Radeon 9800Pro system. The installation felt like it took forever on this, as long as it did with XP. The final installation time came in at 50 minutes. This is from the point where it started installing to the point where it had finally arrived at the desktop

The second system I put Vista on is my Mac. Ironically, Vista installed and runs very fast on my MacBook Pro (Core Duo 1.83GHz, 1GB DDR2 RAM, 80GB, radeon X1600 128MB). The install time came in at a nippy 30 minutes.

The image based installation copies the bulk of the essential file to your hard drive. Vista has been designed in a way so that the core of the operating system files are dumped on your drive and then the configuration and installation of your hardware is done.

It’s also worth noting that there is only one copy of Vista. Even though you may buy Vista Home Premium, on the DVD itself you actually get every edition including Ultimate. Rather than shipping different DVD’s, all Microsoft have done is used the product key to identify which version you have bought. Why do this? Well Microsoft want to improve the user experience and also make a bit more money on the side.

Now once you’ve bought or had Vista Home Basic shipped on your system, but you find that you fancy having the features of Home Premium or even the uber-fantastic Ultimate edition. All you have to do is pay the upgrade fee to get those editions and you get a new product key. Enter that product key in to the set up box and it will unlock those features.

2007-03-28 Onwah Tsang

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