FAQ On Windows Vista

Windows Vista, the new operating system in MS-Family of OS has started its first journey through its business customers from 30th November 2006. The OS has changed significantly from look to all its new features. Here, are the some of the featured FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) and the answers.

What is Windows Vista?

This is the first question, perhaps, every one asks. Windows Vista, a Microsoft product, is an operating system, which manages the computer's resources. This is a Graphical User Interface (GUI) based operating system. Check out this cool video on Windows Vista to understand Vista better.

When is it gets released and which operating system it precedes?

Microsoft has already released it business edition to its business customers in its home state, the US, on 30th November 2006. The official date for releasing other editions has been fixed to January 2007. The operating system will precede Windows XP.

Ok, alright, what are the new features does the operating system carries?

Windows Vista carries a lot of new features. It starts with the desktop view itself. The desktop look has been changed significantly. One can enjoy the 3-D window effects as well as translucent window effects. The other features include more secured Internet Explorer 7.0, Windows Media Player 11, side bar etc.

3-D effect means? Is it the default feature, which is available in all editions of Windows Vista?

The 3D effect to all windows in Windows Vista is termed as Aero. This is not available in Home basic edition of Windows Vista. In other editions, feature will not get installed to your system if the system does not have the DirectX 9.0 supported graphics card with minimum of 128 MB of Graphics Memory.

What are the new features available in Internet Explorer 7.0?

The Internet Explorer 7.0 includes tabbed browsing. One can browse multiple pages in the same window separated by tabs. The browser also got anti-phishing tools to combat phishing. Phishing is a serious crime where by, the user information such as password etc. goes to the hacker's system.

How many editions are available for Windows Vista? What are they?

Windows Vista comes in 5 editions. The editions are Starter, Home basic, Home Premium, business and ultimate. One can select the edition depending on the type of use of computer for his activity.

What is the minimum system requirement to run Windows Vista?

Windows Vista requires a good, a reasonably well configured system to work. However, the requirement will be high as Windows Vista runs a couple of new features. It is said that, the system requirement for running Windows Vista is,

  • Processor speed - 800 MHz and above.System Memory - 512 M.B.
  • GPU - SVGA (800x600)
  • Graphics Memory - 64 MB in case, if running aero.
  • HDD - 20 GB. (40 GB for well working conditions)
  • HDD Free Space - 15 GB.
  • Optical Drive - CD-ROM/DVD ROM.
  • Audio card - Any, whose drivers support Windows XP.
  • Internet - Required for activation.
  • File System - The installation hard drive partition must be NTFS New Technology File System), and this is the crucial point in backing up files.

However, one can check whether their system is compatible or not through,Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor,


The upgrade advisor is a small program, which checks the system for compatibility.

One can select a dealer and visit his site, for compatibility, If you do not get your dealer name listed in the list of dealers provided, the dealer might not yet registered to Microsoft.


Some of the pre installed operating systems such as Windows 95, 98, requires clean install, which means no upgrade option will be available for Windows Vista. If you have Windows 2000, XP, then the upgrade option is available. But, for Windows 2000, clean install is required.

The following chart shows, the scheme.

Previous Versions Windows Vista Editions
X- Clean Install
Y- Upgrade or In-Place Install option available
Home Basic Home Premium Business Ultimate
Windows 95, 98, 98SE, ME X X X X
Windows 2000 X X X X
Windows XP Home Y Y Y Y
Windows XP Professional X X Y Y
Windows XP Prof. x64 X X X X
Windows XP Media Center X Y X Y
Windows XP for Tablet PC X X Y Y

Clean Install involves removing the existing entire operating system and installing the new one. One need to install every programs etc. again as various settings of the programs including shortcuts gets overwritten. The clean install requires more time than other installation method.

Will the present PC can run Windows Vista?

Yes, but, of course, it must meet the minimum system requirements as given above.

Before installation process should I require to take all data backup?

This is a simple question that can be answered by you, yourself. If the data is important to you, then I will advice backup of that data, before installing windows vista. Remember, during installation process any thing may happen. The system may crash or even selecting a wrong partition can take the data beyond recovery. Keep data backup in CD-ROM’s if you can afford to do so.

Should I require converting my existing FAT32 hard disk partition into NTFS while installing Windows Vista?

Yes. Microsoft has done an excellent job in protecting the system from Hackers. For security reasons, Microsoft felt the need for conversion from FAT32 into NTFS. Windows Vista will not get installed to a non NTFS partition.

After installation, I was prompted with a window to activate my product. What is it?

After many years of thinking and experimenting, even scratching their heads, Microsoft people found a way to overcome software piracy. Activating the product through the internet, ensure that the product is genuine. The process collects information such as ids of various hardware components installed in the system and sends the information to the activation server. It is kept in the server. If there are more than one installations using same product, then the server rejects the request to activate, and the product installed is termed as non-genuine. If the product is not genuine, then one may not able to get the latest updates, patches, latest major upgrades. If the product is not activated, within 30 days, the product will enter into reduced functionality mode and continues to stay in that mode, till the product is activated.

What are the features available in the various editions of Windows Vista?

The features vary depending on the type of editions. The home basic provides only basic features for email and internet access in a more secured environment. Home Basic provides tools such as Windows Defender and Windows Firewall for security. It also includes Internet Explorer 7.0, which is meant for secured browsing.

The home Premium is meant for best computing and entertainment experiences. Home Premium includes features from home basic plus Windows Aero, tools for collaborating and sharing documents. This edition is best suited for laptops. It also provides Windows Media Center, a platform for entertainment. One can enjoy television through Xbox 360.

The third edition is the business edition, which is meant for small and mid-sized organizations. It includes all features of Home Premium, but, excludes media center and Xbox 360 from its list. Instead of these two features, it comes with tools for protecting from hardware failures, provides connectivity to business and remote desktops.

The final and feature rich edition of Windows Vista is the Ultimate. It provides all features of business and home premium and also, provides tool to protect data, in case of computer or hard drive thefts, through bit-locker encryption.

Windows Vista starter edition is a special edition meant for beginners, learners. It includes additional help, tutorials to teach the use of computers among learners. However, this edition will not be made available in the US, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, European Union, or any other high income markets defined by the World Bank.

What is bit locker encryption?

Bit locker encryption is tool for encrypting data. Actual data is converted to an unknown form in this technique. It has to be decrypted before use by the user. This keeps data in secured form as actual data is not revealed to the user unless he reveals his correct identity in the form of password or finger print to the system. It is a tool which is very useful for protecting data during the theft of any storage media, such as hard disks.

What is Vista sidebar? What is its use?

The side bar is a small window which contains shortcuts to the frequently accessed programs. This window appears on the desktop, there by making it convenient for the users to access programs quickly, without much difficulty.

For example, if one want to access calculator program. The user needs to traverse many paths for accessing the program. For calculator, the user has to click start button, then navigate through Programs menu, and then through Accessories, then finally reach the calculator program. Instead, if the calculator shortcut is placed in the sidebar, one need a single click to access the calculator program! This saves the time and energy in pressing and moving the mouse pointer from here to there.

Windows Vista side bar contains clock which shows time and also gadgets. Gadgets are mini-applications, which offer easy access to information, and also provide easy access to the frequently used tools. For example, a gadget can give one, a glance view of all online instant messaging contacts, the day view from the calendar. It can also give an easy way to control the media player too. One can download more gadgets from the gadget gallery which is available in the Microsoft web site.

What are the features in Windows Defender?

Windows Defender is a program which helps the PC to stay protected against spyware and other potentially dangerous, harmful programs. Spyware usually collects the personal information such as password, phone number, credit card numbers etc and sends it to the person, who wants it. Some spyware even can change the configuration settings of the system.

How much time needed to learn Windows Vista?

It depends. But, surely it will take some time for an experienced user to get adjusted to the Vista environment. The entire environment has changed, including the desktop. Previously, it was said some users of Windows 3.1 took time to adjust to Windows 95, as the environment, such as screens got changed. People, who saw the working of Windows XP, may feel slightly different in working environment. For example, the start button is no longer labeled as "Start" in Windows Vista.

Will all my softwares that ran comfortably in Windows XP, run in Windows Vista?

This question is slightly difficult to answer at this stage. Testers found comfortable in running these applications without many problems. But, the applications such as Symantec Norton 2007, Winamp, Nero, Disk keeper, Dragon NaturallySpeaking, Adobe Premiere, Pinnacle Studio, and a wide range of games, may cause problems. These programs may not run at all also. Some programs may require you to tweak their some settings to work properly. For such programs, you can go through their official websites for more information on how to tweak settings.

Will the Release of Windows Vista signal the end of road for Windows XP?

No. One can expect Microsoft to give out upgrades, patches for Windows XP too. As of now, the new features such as Internet Explorer 7.0, Windows Media Player 11 have been also extended to Windows XP users. One can expect Microsoft to continue support for Windows XP for another 10 to 15 years. The major upgrade of Windows XP, Service Pack 3 is expected to be released on 2008. It was earlier expected that the Service Pack 3 will be released next year.

Can I have a feel of Windows Vista in my existing Windows XP?

Yes, it is possible, through transformation pack. The transformation pack,

(http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/OS-Enhancements/Vista-Transformation-Pack.shtml) will give the feelings of Windows Vista. However, these programs will not give Windows Vista functionality. This will give only face lift for Windows XP users.

Check out more topics on windows from here,

Advantages and Disadvantages of Windows 7

16 Reasons Why Should You Select Windows Vista

Advantages and Disadavantages of Windows Vista

Advice on Upgrading to Windows Vista

All about Windows Vista Migration

Wanna make Windows XP look like Vista ?

Change Windows Vista Appearance

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