But what are some things to watch out for with the new OS? The CRN Test Center compiled a list of 25 items that VARs should bear in mind when using and deploying Vista.
For Vista to perform adequately, PCs may need significant hardware upgrades.
Vista does not bundle an antivirus application, and most third party antivirus applications are not yet compatible with Vista.
4. Driver Support
Vista includes thousands of drivers, but most have been created directly by Microsoft. Many hardware manufacturers do not yet have drivers available for Vista.
Vista does a good job of running most common applications, but many third-party applications are not yet fully supported.
Vista loves RAM, but more is better. Plan on 2 Gbytes to meet real-world needs.
7. Five Versions
The array of Vista editions could prove to be three too many, and upgrades between versions remain an unknown.
The need to activate the product via the Web could prove to be a time-waster during mass deployments.
See No. 9. Backing up desktops will take a great deal of space.
Unlike Windows XP and Windows 95, there seems to be no must-have reasons behind Vista.
12. Learning Curve
Vista is just different enough from XP that technicians and users will need training.
Moving to Vista can prove to be expensive when one considers the price of the OS, the cost of hardware upgrades and the cost of migration.
14. Hardware Vendor Support
Tier-one and tier-two hardware vendors seem to be taking a slow approach to offering "Windows Vista Capable" systems.
15. Windows Backup
Vista's backup application is even more limited than XP's, forcing users to select third-party backup applications.
16. Windows Meeting Space
Lacks so many features that it's all but useless. No VoIP capabilities or shared whiteboard.
17. User Access Control Center
Lacks intelligence and forces users to approve the use of many native applications, such as a task scheduler or disk defragmenter.
Can take hours on some systems. Upgrades are even slower.
Hybrid Hard Drives. These are potentially a huge performance booster, but there's little information and support is available (even though should be available).
21. 50 Million Lines Of Code
Even with the five years of development and long beta test period that went into Vista, undiscovered bugs are sure to turn up.
22. Volume Activation 2.0 (VA2)
New volume-licensing technology limits installations or requires dedicated key-management servers to keep systems activated.
23. Missing Features
When first envisioned, Vista promised a new file system (WinFS), virtual folders and many other features that have just plain disappeared.
24. Some Protocols Eliminated
Vista does not include support for IPX, Gopher, WebDAV, NetDDE and AppleTalk.
Ability to open .doc files has been removed.