Hold off on installing Vista

Microsoft's new operating system, Windows Vista, offers many new features. But Information and Educational Technology (IET) recommends that UC Davis departments and technical staff postpone installing it on existing campus machines.

UC Davis is not alone in advocating a slow rollout. A recent CDW Corp. survey of information technology decision-makers found that 86 percent plan to upgrade their systems to Vista, but only 20 percent intend to make the change during Vista's first year.

The UC Davis campus has to consider such factors as integration and compatibility with major campus applications and systems, plus software and compatibility with third-party hardware and software.

Also, Vista requires more processing power, more memory, and a more powerful graphics card than the Windows XP operating system, its predecessor. A report released by Softchoice Corp. revealed that half of North American business computers don't meet the minimum requirements of Vista, and 94 percent can't support the full premium configuration.

Microsoft released Vista to business, government, and education users in late November, and expects to release the system to the general market in late January.

Because the campus will eventually use Windows Vista, IET advises departments purchasing computers during the next several months to buy machines with Vista already installed. Any computer that meets the campus computer ownership standards will support Vista.

Early Vista users might experience some compatibility issues with campus uses, and IET is testing Vista to see how well it works with major campus applications. Information and advice about Vista will be posted here and will include test results, frequent questions, discussion of enhanced Vista security features, documents, and other resources.

Windows XP remains supported by Microsoft Corp. and IET, so campus users don't have to start using Vista to meet campus cyber-safety standards. If you have questions, please contact the IT Express Computing Help Desk at (530) 754-HELP (754-4357).