Today was the long awaited public release of the new Microsoft Windows Vista operating system, the successor to Windows XP.

The operating system has been available to businesses and Technet subscribers for a few months now, and was released in public betas before then. From my own play with the betas there is no doubt in my mind that Vista will be a very successful product from Microsoft. Not everyone thinks so, but most of what they say about Vista now (thats its “just a facelift on XP”, that it “has no real new features”, that “no hardware works with it yet”) is what was said about Windows XP when it was released too.

The facts are that Vista is far more than just a facelift with no new features. It is just that the facelift is what people see first, and many of the new features are not immediately noticeable or useful to your average home user, gamer, or small business owner. The hardware support on release is excellent, but vendors need to get onboard and release drivers for their hardware to be better supported.

Some of the performance complaints will also be resolved when vendors release better drivers, but a lot of the complaints are just due to unrealistic expectations that Vista will perform as well as XP on a given hardware platform, which is not very reasonable. In a years time that will be well and truly forgotten anyway. I’d prefer a new operating system be slightly ahead of the curve than modern mid-range hardware anyway.

As someone who works in Microsoft server and desktop environments I’m really excited that Vista is finally out. I look forward to getting some work on Vista deployments in business environments. Some of these environments are in a constant state of hardware rollover due to their sheer size, so Vista will start trickling out in the next 12 months (which is what happened to XP, contrary to predictions that businesses won’t want to upgrade to a new operating system).

In a few days my Vista Business Edition licenses should be showing up from Microsoft and I can start working on it.

About the Author

Paul Cunningham

Paul is a former Microsoft MVP for Office Apps and Services. He works as a consultant, writer, and trainer specializing in Office 365 and Exchange Server. Paul no longer writes for

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