An Overview of Windows Vista – CompTIA A+ 220-802: 1.1

| February 11, 2013


Windows Vista was the successor to Windows XP, and it included a number of enhancements and user interface changes. In this video, you’ll learn about the editions and installation requirements of Windows Vista.


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Microsoft released Windows Vista in 2007. And with this release of Windows, they started segmenting off the different versions of Windows. There were many different options to choose from.

In a home environment, you would generally run into one of these additions. For instance, the Windows Vista Home Basic, which was a basic Windows version they didn’t have a lot of the more advanced features. For instance, you didn’t have Active Directory support. That would be something that would really fit better in a business environment. And if you’re running at home, maybe you don’t need a lot of the fancy graphical features that were enabled with the Windows Aero capabilities.

The next step up from the Windows Vista Home Basic is Windows Vista Home Premium. This added some new capabilities, such as being able to author your own DVDs. There were more games included with this version of Windows Vista. And Windows Vista did not have a standalone media center version. So the Windows Vista Home Premium was the first version that allowed you to have media center-like support inside the operating system.

If you wanted all of the features available to you at home, you would use the Windows Vista Ultimate Edition. The Ultimate Edition included some extras, such as using video as the background wallpaper of your desktop. You also had the functionality of encrypting your drive using Microsoft’s BitLocker technology. And there were additional language packs that you could overlay to be able to use Windows Vista Ultimate in different languages.

In a business environment, you need additional capabilities that you wouldn’t find in an operating system that you would use at home. Microsoft introduced Windows Vista Business to be able to provide these. In Windows XP, there was a Professional Version. And Windows Vista, it is the Business Version.

This is the version that allows you to have a workstation, to interact and connect with an active directory environment. They’re encrypting file system capabilities within the operating system itself. You could have your operating system at work be a remote desktop server, and you could support additional CPUs. This was very similar to some of the functions that you saw available in the Windows XP Professional.

There’s also a higher end business version called Windows Vista Enterprise. This is a version that you would only have if you had purchased a volume license feature from Microsoft. This is for very large environments that are deploying many, many versions of Windows Vista. This also included BitLocker encryption capability, so that you could encrypt all of the data that was on a drive. That way if you ever lose that computer, the data on the drive would at least not be accessible by anyone else. And there were also multilingual user interface packs that you could load on to the Windows Vista Enterprise version.

When we’re installing Windows Vista, there are a number of minimum requirements we need to keep in mind. These requirements are split. There’s one group of requirements for Windows Vista Home Basic. There’s a completely different group of requirements for Windows Vista Home Premium, Ultimate, Business, and Enterprise.

We need to have at least an 800 megahertz processor to be able to meet the minimum requirements for Windows Vista Home Basic. And we need at least a 1 gigahertz processor for the other windows Vista editions. We need at least 512 megabytes of RAM. Notice that this doubles if we’re moving to one gigabytes of RAM for all of the other additions that are not the Windows Vista Home Basic.

We will need exactly the same amount of free disk space, whether we are installing Windows Vista Home Basic or the other additions. You only need 15 gigabytes of available disk space. But notice that the minimum size of the total hard drive needs to be 20 gig for Home Basic. That’s doubled to 40 gig for the other additions. Both of these require a DVD-ROM drive. But the video card is a lot different between these two.

Home Basic only requires a graphics card that has 32 megabytes of video memory. And for Windows Vista Home Premium, Ultimate, Business, and Enterprise, we need a graphics card with at least 128 megabytes of video RAM.

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Category: CompTIA A+ 220-802

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