Visiting Vista RC2, part two

What we can expect with Vista security, and some new bundled apps

I started a two-part series in my previous column on living in Vista RC2 for a week. I haven't stopped using it yet, so it's actually been two and a half weeks, but who's counting?

This week, I managed to get a clear answer out of Microsoft on what we can expect with Vista security, plus I got to play with some new bundled applications.

First: security. The summary goes like this. The reason we couldn't install anti-virus applications was because we weren't installing Vista-compatible antivirus applications. To find those, you need to do a little digging. The first spade pulls up Vista's Security Center. Then we click on Check This Computer's Security Status, upon which you'll most likely see a screen that says you've got no malware protection. But it will provide a Find A Program button right there, which will link over to Vista's Compatible AV Web site, which lists all the available anti-virus programs that work with Vista.

When I clicked, all there was were trial versions for CA, F-Secure, and Trend Micro. However, my Q&A with Greg Sullivan, lead program manager for Windows reviews, yielded info that Aladdin, McAfee, Symantec, and other vendors would have versions available there, too. What that means to enterprise users is that your corporate anti-virus client will require an update in order to run over Vista. Check with your software vendor for when these will be available.

That's check No. 1. Check No.2 concerns your smartphone. Vista now has all the basic smartphone nuggets embedded. Outlook Express has been renamed Windows Mail (that's e-mail), and Microsoft has added Windows Calendar and Windows Contacts for the full organizer toolkit. Redmond has also added a permanent version of ActiveSync, called Sync Center. According to Sullivan, the idea here is that Windows Mobile smartphone users shouldn't have to run software supplied by their phone vendors anymore. Vista should be able to see, identify, and sync with any Windows-based smartphone out of the box.

Unfortunately, Microsoft has still got some work to do on that. Plugging in my Motorola Q resulted in Vista seeing its SD card but nothing else. Sullivan says that's being worked on now and should be functioning by the time that shrink code gets released. Business IT managers should be careful about promising this functionality to their users until they've successfully tested it themselves.

Driver and software compatibility as a whole are the biggest blips on Microsoft's tweak radar between RC2 and final code. The company is working on several software compatibility issues, including an update to IE7, but the biggest push will also come from third-party device drivers. Most of those guys won't even start driver development until the operating system reaches RTM code in late November, so we can expect a whole slew of new drivers to come our way in January as part of Vista's first few Automatic Updates. Display, networked devices, and add-ons such as smartphones will likely by big in this list.

Fortunately, Vista's core functionality works just fine even in RC2. Calendar, Contacts, and Mail all worked splendidly and have slick interfaces, to boot. Users with disabilities will like the new Accessibility features, especially Narrator. I'm running Speech Recognition now, and it's a mixed bag so far; I'll update my opinion on that in a few days. In the meantime, I've had a good time with Vista these past couple of weeks.

It's a slick new interface, no doubt, and Microsoft's done noticeable work on the networking client. You'll need to retrain some users on moving between connections, but after that initial learning curve has been eaten, Vista's networking is noticeably more informative, easier to manage, and a little faster -- especially the wireless client. Besides that, your users will most likely be impacted far more by Office 2007 and its associated feature set.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Oliver Rist

Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?