What to do about Microsoft Vista



Published 11/2008

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By Peter Schwitz, PC Methods 


Have you ever heard the expression, "The only constant is change"? Nothing could be truer when it comes to information technology. Each year new changes are made to software and hardware solutions and with that come great advantages and discomfort. Let's face it, a lot of us fear change as it presents the challenge of working with things that are of the unknown. But the fact is that change is inevitable. Here at PC Methods we want you to be armed with information to embrace the changes that lie ahead and feel comfortable with using new systems as they are revealed.


One specific change that we continue to hear from our PC repair and network support clients is, 'What do I do about Vista?' Eventually everyone is going to have to use Vista if you are operating on a Windows PC. A lot of current applications simply do no work with VISTA. Do you wait until all the programs you use currently are upgraded to work properly with VISTA? Can you downgrade a new computer that comes with VISTA pre-installed to Windows XP PRO? What do you do in the mean time? Here are PC Methods we have answers to all your questions about moving to VISTA.


Many of the PC manufacturers no longer recommend or support downgrading to XP PRO. Having attempted to do this myself I can tell you that it simply does not work with newer machines. There is another option that allows you to continue to use programs which are not compatible with VISTA on you new VISTA hardware.  Microsoft's Virtual PC is a free download from the Microsoft Website.  When installed on Vista it allows you to run alternate operating systems within VISTA. For a small fee you can purchase a utility that will turn your old Windows XP PRO PC into a virtual machine on your new VISTA hardware. Simply copy the file this utility creates from your old PC to the new VISTA PC. When you open this file with Virtual PC and go to full-screen mode, your new machine will not look exactly like your old machine.


If you are in the market to purchase a new machine here are some tips you need to know:
  • Stay away from home versions of Vista if you plan to use your pc in business.
  • Choose either Vista Standard or Vista Business and we recommend opting for the 32-bit version.
  • Usually less expensive laptops will come with the Vista home version. We recommend you spend a little more to get the business version.

Choosing these options will save you hours of getting applications to work. The good news is you can still use your legacy program and integrate this data with these versions of Vista.
Be prepared: Vista went overboard with security. Every time you try to connect to a wireless network it will ask you if you are sure, there are extra "approval" clicks everywhere that are seemingly overkill but will protect your system in the long run. Sage Pro ERP and Sage Accpac ERP will run fine on Vista.

Peter Heinicke

Peter Heinicke

Chicago area ERP consultant with over 40 years of experience in Sage 300, Sage Pro, Quickbooks ERP and other systems

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