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Microsoft Windows Vista Final Review
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Microsoft Windows Vista RTM

Windows Vista has finally gone RTM! That's short for Release To Manufacturing, tech parlance for the final or gold version of the product. Although end-users will not be able to buy it off the shelves until January 30th, 2007; Windows Vista is already available to corporate users.

In fact, Tech ARP was treated to a sneak preview which also doubled as a launch for Office 2007, Vista and Exchange Server 2007 or L.O.V.E, for businesses. Who said geeks aren't creative?

So, yes, Windows Vista is finally completed and is available to businesses right now. We only have to wait until January 30th, 2007 to get our own copy of Windows Vista.

Earlier, we did a comprehensive review on Windows Vista Beta 2. If you compared that review with what we will cover today, you will be able to see just how much work has gone into polishing Windows Vista before it is rolled out to end-users like us.

Although we had already migrated to Vista Release Candidate 2 (RC2) for our desktops, we were still surprised at the changes in the final version of Windows Vista. Some surprises were nice and others, oh well, were less desirable.

So, join us on this review of the final, shipping version of Microsoft Windows Vista. This is exactly what you will get when you buy a copy of Windows Vista on January 30th, 2007.


So, What's New in Vista?

Today, we will only be touching on what's new in Windows Vista RTM, compared to Beta 2. We suggest you to read our Windows Vista Beta 2 review first, as we will not be covering features already covered in our earlier review.

While there are a few changes in the UI (user interface), most of the features we covered in the Beta 2 review has been retained in the final version. Any changes from Beta 2 to RC1, RC2 or even RTM will be highlighted in this review.



For this review, we installed Windows Vista RTM on two machines - a server and a desktop PC. Here are their specifications :

Desktop PC
Processor • Pentium 4 1.9GHz (Overclocked) • Pentium 4 3.2GHz HT
Memory • 1024MB DDR SDRAM • 2048MB ECC DDR2 SDRAM
Graphics Card • NVIDIA GeForce FX5200 (128 MB) • Intel Extreme Graphics 2
Hard Drives • 80GB hard drive (7200 RPM)
• 40GB hard drive (7200 RPM)
• RAID array of two 160GB HDD (7200 RPM) drives

Although the installation of any new operating system can be a real nightmare, you will be happy to know that it will take only you about 8 steps to get Windows Vista to begin installation. In addition, Vista will not need any further input until it boots up for the first time.

For a foolproof guide on installing Windows Vista, please take a look at our Installing Windows Vista For N00bs guide. You cannot go wrong if you follow it.

Although the installation interface was nice and the installation procedure pretty straightforward, we felt that Microsoft could have consolidated several of the steps. That would have reduced the number of steps required for a user to set up Windows Vista.

A clean Windows Vista installation takes up about 5GB of hard drive space. That is about 2.5GB less than the Beta 2 version. Even with all that amazing trimming Microsoft did prior to the final release, Windows Vista still appears bloated, especially to oldtimers who have experienced the "miracle" of booting up MS-DOS from a single floppy disk.

But with the cost of hard drive storage so low these days, 5GB really isn't as bad as it sounds. Furthermore, we installed the Ultimate Edition, which is the mother of all Windows Vista editions. Installing other versions of Windows Vista will consume less storage space.


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