February 14, 2008
Vista on New Machines after April 15th

Beginning April 15th, we will no longer be loading XP on new machines.

Why?

  • Dell will no longer offer Windows XP on any new machines after June
  • Windows Vista, the new operating system, has been available for over a year.
  • We have been using Vista at EIT for over a year with relatively few problems. Vista-installed machines in the field are operating with little problem.
  • As new machines are released, drivers (necessary to run monitors, printers, connect to the network, etc.) are either not immediately available or not available at all for Windows XP. (Drivers for new machines are written for Windows Vista first)
  • Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Vista (which will fix known issues and enhance Vista's current release) will be released this month, increasing the reliability and usability of Windows Vista.

What you need to do

  • If you're currently running a Windows XP machine and you are not planning to replace it this year, you do not need to do anything.
  • If you are planning to replace a machine this year and require Windows XP because you are using Blue Ribbon or transitioning to the Cougar Mountain Fund Suite (see Exceptions and Issues for more details), think very seriously about ordering your new computer now.

Things to keep in mind as you make plans for your office:

  • There is NO need for everyone in your office to upgrade to Windows Vista if one computer in your office has Windows Vista on it.
  • Windows Vista is an operating system. It is not Microsoft Office (Word, Outlook, Excel, etc). It is not a program. It will slghtly affect the look and feel of your desktop, but otherwise is fairly painless to adopt.

Exceptions and/or Issues

Blue Ribbon
Currently, you are using version 2.5 of Blue Ribbon. This version does not work under Windows Vista. When a new version is released and tested and available to your office, it will work in Vista.

What you can do:

  • Continue to run Blue Ribbon on the computer you're currently using
  • Or, buy a new machine before April 15th and have it setup with Windows XP
  • Or, if you buy a new machine after April 15th, swap machines in the office so that the Blue Ribbon machine is newer, but not new.

Quicken 98
Quicken 98 will not run in Windows Vista. Quicken 98 is no longer supported by the company (Intuit)

What you can do:

  • As soon as possible, switch to Citrix/Cougar Mountain Fund Suite
  • Continue to run Quicken on the comptuer you're currently using (until you can switch to Citrix/Cougar Mountain Fund Suite)

Filemaker
Version 9 of Filemaker is fully compatible with Windows Vista. Version 8.5 will also run on Vista. We will be announcing a group purchase for Filemaker version 9 before April 15th. In this case, you will need to upgrade anyone in your office who is using a version of Filemaker earlier than version 7.0 (and anyone whose machine will be ugraded to Vista)

Some other issue/program that means you may need to consider a new Windows XP machine
Contact EIT (eit@iastate.edu) to discuss this specific requirement.

Remember, you can continue to run Windows XP on any machine you are currently using. The April 15th change is for newly purchased machines.

Why you should have Windows Vista on all your machines that meet the hardware requirements:

  • User Access Control
  • Enhanced security
  • Easy printer installs
  • Windows Defender
  • Instant Search
  • Fewer known issues than XP

This is the first announcement about the changeover to Vista only on new machines, but in the weeks between now and April 15th, I'll be posting several announcements to remind people of the upcoming changes and discuss options.

Posted by dcoates at February 14, 2008 01:50 PM
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