Why do I keep reading that Windows Vista won’t work with hardware or software? In its early days, Windows Vista did experience some compatibility problems, but thanks to our industry partners’ efforts during the past 18 months, Windows Vista has made tremendous progress with hardware and application compatibility.
- Now supports nearly 77,000 hardware products—more than double the number supported at launch. In 9 out of 10 cases when you plug in a device, it should just work: No installation disc required.
- Runs 97 of the top 100 consumer software programs, including Apple iTunes, Adobe Photoshop, Intuit Quickbooks and more.
- Runs the leading business applications. More than 2,700 applications are now certified to work on Windows Vista—and more join the list each day. Software from Adobe, Autodesk, CA, ClickCommerce, IBM, Oracle, SAP, SAS, Symantec, , and others.
- Received a top-to-bottom tune up, thanks to Windows Vista Service Pack 1. Released in February 2008, SP1 boosts file copying speed, shutters security loopholes, and much more. (Read more about Windows Vista SP1.)
- What makes Windows Vista so much better than Windows XP?
- Stronger security. Windows Vista has fewer than half the security vulnerabilities of Windows XP. It’s also 60% less likely to be infected by spyware or malware than Windows XP SP2, making it the most secure Windows released to-date.
- Faster searching. With powerful and speedy Instant Search, you and your customers can quickly find the documents, e-mail, photos, and videos you need to get the job done.
- Increased mobility. Quickly access key mobile system settings in the Windows Mobility Center; simplify the synchronization of servers, shared documents, Smartphones, and other devices.
- More peace of mind. Safeguard data with the new Windows Backup and Restore Center and Windows BitLocker™ Drive Encryption*.
- Improved user interface. The enhancements we’ve made to the user interface serve an important purpose: to put everything within a click’s reach and make you and your customers more productive.
How well does Windows Vista perform? As many of you know, there are lots of ways to think about operating system performance. Let’s consider a few of the most common ones.
Microsoft tests on new PCs show that Windows Vista Service Pack 1 can reduce average startup and shutdown times for Windows Vista by as much as half.
Meanwhile, a series of independent speed tests found that Windows Vista with SP1 performed comparably to Windows XP SP2.
Why doesn’t it win? Simple. Behind the scenes, Windows Vista is doing a lot more on the user’s behalf than Windows XP does. It’s indexing files so users can find them fast, keeping
* Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption is available in Windows Vista Ultimate and Windows Vista Enterprise.
the hard drive organized, saving work so nothing gets lost, and defending the computer against hackers and phishers.
With Windows Vista, users are likely to get a lot more battery life. Our engineers put a lot of thought into power management for the user’s sake—and the planet’s.
The latest generation of Windows Vista drivers can slash laptop power consumption as much as 10 percent when a computer is idle. In sleep mode, Windows Vista draws about as much power as a common nightlight. Every 10 PCs that switch to Windows Vista is the equivalent of taking an automobile off the road, in terms of greenhouse gases.
Windows XP: The facts about its future
After careful consultation with our customers and industry partners, we’ve decided to proceed with our plan to stop selling Windows XP versions in packaged product (retail) on June 30, 2008. We plan to provide support for Windows XP to our customers under the mainstream support policy until April 14, 2009, and under the extended support policy until April 8, 2014. We recognize that your customers will look to you, their trusted advisors, for additional information and next steps. The facts:
Why do you have to stop selling Windows XP?
The lifespan of every Microsoft product is carefully mapped from launch to retirement. Windows XP is no exception. We do this to ensure our customers always get the most out of their PC experience. (Read about the Windows lifecycle policy.) Although it won’t be sold in stores, Microsoft and its partners will continue to offer technical support for Windows XP for months and years to come. In fact, Microsoft plans to support Windows XP until 2014. We’re proud of Windows XP, a product that’s empowered and entertained hundreds of millions of people in the last eight years. But technology doesn’t stand still. And neither can we.
What’ll happen to Windows XP after June 30? On June 30, 2008, Microsoft will stop distributing Windows XP as a stand-alone product that can be bought shrink-wrapped in retail stores. We’ll also stop sending it to Dell, HP, Lenovo, and all the other major PC manufacturers to sell on their PCs. This is called ―End of Sale‖.
That said, Windows XP isn’t going to disappear overnight.
You may still see copies of the software—or computers preloaded with it—for months as stores and PC makers work through their inventory. Also, system builders can continue to sell PCs with Windows XP until January 2009.
Finally, Microsoft recently announced that computers with limited hardware capabilities—devices sometimes called Netbooks or ultra-low cost PC s (ULCPC)—can carry Windows XP Home until June 2010. (Read about the ULCPC program on Microsoft PressPass.)
I’ve heard I can get Windows XP for businesses past the June 30th deadline through something called “downgrade rights.” What are those exactly? For businesses that rely on Windows XP, there’s still a way to get it. When customers buy Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate, they have the right to move back to Windows XP Professional via what we call ―downgrade rights.‖ We’ve been working closely with our industry partners to develop new programs for business customers interested in exercising these rights.
For more details on downgrade rights see: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=4f4b3cfd-7f4e-46cb-8117-8275f7683d3f&DisplayLang=en.
My customers and my business rely on Windows XP. What’ll happen after June 30 if I have technical problems? We understand some of our customers aren’t ready to upgrade their PCs to Windows Vista. Although Windows XP will disappear from stores, we’ll continue to offer Extended Support for the operating system for six more years, until April 2014. PC makers can also provide technical support for PCs. Please contact them for more information.
For more details, see Microsoft’s Support Lifecycle website.
I’ve heard about two types of Windows XP support—“mainstream” and “extended”. What’s the difference? Mainstream Support delivers free security updates and bug fixes to all Windows customers, as well as technical assistance for customers who purchase a retail copy of Windows XP (i.e. a shrink-wrapped, not pre-installed, copy ). Mainstream Support for Windows XP will continue through April 2009.
Extended Support delivers free security updates to all Windows customers. Customers can also pay for support on a per incident basis. Extended Support for Windows XP will continue until April 2014. New bug fixes require the Extended Hotfix Support program.
Read the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy FAQ website.
Don’t just take our word…
―Windows Vista is not, as the Web's chorus of caustic critics claim, little more than a warmed-over Windows XP. Its more intelligent navigation and more powerful file-manipulation tools provide you with greater efficiency from Day 1.‖–The New York Times ―[Windows] Vista is not going away, and in day-to-day use it provides some substantial upgrades over previous Windows versions.‖–The Washington Post ―[Windows] Vista is definitely the best operating system Microsoft has ever made.‖ –Fortune ―It's clear that driver issues in Windows Vista have been largely ironed out… [Windows] Vista is performing far better than it used to.‖–ExtremeTech.com ―Its negative rap is undeserved. On a well-running machine with adequate hardware, it's an excellent operating system.‖–The Houston Chronicle
- Windows Vista now supports more than 77,000 printers, cameras, speakers and other devices
- More than 2,700 software programs are now certified to work on Windows Vista, including 97 of the top 100 consumer applications
- 62% of small businesses said Windows Vista saves them time and 70% said it makes them more productive, according to an independent survey
- Studies show Windows Vista delivers the lowest mobile TCO: $251/PC in cost savings on mobile PCs
- More than 140 million copies of Windows Vista have been sold, making it the fastest selling operating system in Microsoft history. Even Macs run it
- 71 percent of Windows Vista customers like it better than their last operating system
- People familiar with Windows Vista are two to three times more likely to have a favorable impression of it
- Every 10 PCs that switch to Windows Vista is the equivalent of taking an automobile off the road, in terms of greenhouse gases.