‘Everything and the kitchen sink’

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:40 pm

Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft Corp. is currently on the verge of possibly its largest product release ever. Windows Vista, the new Microsoft operating system for personal computers, has taken five years to develop. However, Microsoft is promising that Vista’s bells and whistles will put a skip in the step of a company’s production line.

“It is a very exciting time for Microsoft because the company is releasing the results of over $20 billion in investment over the last three years to support the New World of Work, culminating in the release of Vista and Office 2007,” said Rob Busch, enterprise service manager for Microsoft in Wisconsin.

Three themes are driving the technology-enabling New World of Work, Busch said. The themes include: People Ready business, which is the notion of a future in which people are at the core of the company; the theme of the boundary-less office in which people are no longer going to work in a cubicle for the entire day; and the expectations of the new generation of information workers.

“Everyone in business is looking to drive profits, and they can do that in two ways, through cutting costs and by driving the top line revenue,” Busch said. “Customers know how to cut costs. What is tough and more important is the notion of driving the top line revenue. Through innovations in products and new services, Microsoft believes it is at the core of innovation and top line revenue.”

The evolution of the workplace and the idea of a boundary-free work environment call for smarter devices that enable people to truly work any place at any time, Busch said.

“By 2009, the information worker is projected to employ 76 percent of the working population,” Busch said. “We are moving away from a manufacturing-based economy and toward an information-based economy.”

Vista will offer a multitude of features that are easy to use, which follows the People Ready concept, said Syed Alam, president of Alam & Co. in Chicago and a certified Microsoft partner.

“It greatly simplifies running the business with the People Ready campaign,” Alam said. “All you have to do is sit in front of a computer, and it is ready for you. For people who are not trained, it is simpler to understand. For people who are already trained (in previous versions), they will not have to be retrained.”

Features of Vista include: Windows Aero, a graphical and 3-Dimensional user interface; Windows Search, an immediate search of indexed and pre-indexed items on a computer; Windows Sidebar, a transparent panel where desktop gadgets can be created and displayed; Windows Internet Explorer 7; Windows Media Player II, with capabilities to share libraries with other Vista machines and with Xbox 360 integration; Backup and Restore Center, where users can schedule backups of files on the computer and have recovery from previous backups to minimize disk usage; Windows Mail, which is a replacement of Outlook Express; Windows Calendar; Windows DVD Maker; Windows Media Center; Windows Mobility Center; Problems Reports and Solutions; and Systems Performance Assessment.

“I have seen it closely, I have talked about it, I have ‘demoed’ it, and it is the future,” Alam said. “Businesses need to be aware of the payoff. It will transform the business.”

We have moved away from the era of multiple applications, Alam said.

“People are confused about if they should use Linux, but it is an all-point solution, where Linux is one piece of the overall puzzle, Google is one piece,” Alam said. “But the People Ready Microsoft Solution gives you everything and the kitchen sink. It is a whole solution. The value is a reduced cost of operating a business while people are more productive and focused on the job.”

Microsoft believes that if a company amplifies the effects of its people, the people can amplify the success of the company, Busch said.

“The office 10 years ago was about personal productivity, and there was a move from paper form to Word processing, Excel and PowerPoint,” Busch said. “Now the office system is all about the team, workgroup and organizational productivity. Businesses are driven by collaboration, search and business intelligence.”

Office 2007 is no longer divided between Word, Excel and PowerPoint, but now offers a broad range of products and services that promote ease of use, Busch said.

With the help of programs including Microsoft Dynamics, a business management solution, Vista and Office 2007 will enable businesses to run their entire operation on a Microsoft system, Alam said.

“If you are working on a spreadsheet in Excel and need data from an ERP system or another database, the data can be retrieved without leaving the spreadsheet,” Alam said.

Microsoft created Vista with search and security in mind, Alam said.

“The search technology on Vista is light years ahead and will challenge the Googles and the Yahoos of the world,” Alam said.

Users can search everything on

the hard drive and Internet through

the desktop.

“Vista is a departure from the legacy of Windows XP, 2000, etc., because it was designed from the ground up,” Alam said. “It was a complete rewrite of the operating system with two design objectives of security and search.”

Clint Laskowski of BlueHat Security Inc., an information security firm in Glendale, is looking forward to the new security features. Those security features include the requirement that all users work on a restricted user account instead of an administrator account, said Brian Lewis, account technology specialist for Microsoft.NET.

“An administrator account is all-powerful and allows the user to do anything on the computer,” Laskowski said.

Many malicious attacks from hackers and cyber criminals are made without a user’s knowledge because when working in an administrator mode, the computer will not ask why a program is being downloaded in the background or warn a user that a program can be harmful to the computer, Lewis said.

Internet Explorer 7.0 will permanently run in secure mode, questioning users if they want to proceed to a Web site Internet Explorer has deemed suspicious.

Windows Vista Business has been reported to cost about $199.95 for an upgrade and $299 for full implementation on an existing computer that has been running the Windows XP system. Windows Vista Enterprise will be upgraded for enterprise clients according to software assurance programs. Windows Vista Ultimate, which combines all of the features of the Home Premium and Enterprise editions, will reportedly cost $259 for an upgrade and $399 for full implementation per license.

In January, new computers featuring the Vista operating systems probably will not come with severely inflated price tags, according to Paul Riedl, chief executive officer of Glendale-based River Run Computers Inc. Based on previous Microsoft operating system launches, even though the newer computers will have greater memory and faster processors, their price points will not jump significantly, Riedl said, because of market pressures.

Windows Vista Business

Features to benefit businesses:
•    Windows Aero, a graphical and
3-Dimensional user interface.
•    Windows Search, an immediate search of indexed and pre-indexed items on a computer.
•    Windows Sidebar, a transparent panel where Desktop Gadgets can be created and displayed.
•    Windows Internet Explorer 7.
•    Windows Media Player II, with capabilities to share libraries with other Vista machines and with Xbox 360 integration.
•    Backup and Restore Center where users can schedule backups of files on the computer and have recovery from previous backups to minimize disk usage.
•    Windows Mail which is a replacement of Outlook Express.
•    Windows Calendar.
•    Windows DVD Maker.
•    Windows Media Center.
•    Windows Mobility Center.
•    Problems Reports and Solutions.
•    Systems Performance Assessment

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