An Overview of Windows Vista – CompTIA A+ 220-902 – 1.1

Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system includes a number of different editions. In this video, you’ll learn about the minimum hardware requirements and the differences between each Windows Vista edition.

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Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system was introduced on January the 30th of 2007. It was effectively an upgrade to Windows XP. And it was released about five years after Windows XP was introduced.

Windows Vista introduced a new graphical user interface. There was a new graphical design called Aero. And they also integrated a new search component directly into the operating system, making it easier for you to find the documents and the applications you were looking for.

There was a big emphasis on security in Windows Vista. And part of this emphasis caused a problem for many people as they were getting prompts from something called the User Account Control. This new UAC stopped the operating system from doing anything on the desktop and brought up a prompt on the screen for the user to authorize. Some people felt that this was more of a hindrance to the user interface than something that was helping them with security.

If you’re using Windows Vista at home there are probably three different editions that you might find. One of these is Windows Vista Home Basic. This has, as the name implies, a basic configuration of the operating system. There’s no fancy Aero graphics and you don’t have any capability to connect any type of business network. Another edition might be the Windows Vista Home Premium. This added the ability to burn your own DVDs, there were more games included with this version. And the ultimate version at home is the Windows Vista Ultimate. This is something that included video as a background, something Microsoft calls DreamScene, there’s BitLocker encryption included with Windows Vista Ultimate. And if you’re using other languages you can plug those in as language packs in the operating system.

If you have Windows Vista at work there are probably two different editions that you might be using. One is Windows Vista Business. This is what you would think of as the professional version of Windows Vista. It supports Active Directory infrastructure, there are encrypting file systems so you can encrypt individual files on your computer, remote desktop servers available so that you can remote desktop into your business computer, and you can support up to two physical CPUs when you’re running Windows Vista Business.

If you’re an organization that takes advantage of the special volume licensing through Microsoft, you might be running Windows Vista Enterprise. This not only includes all of those other features, but also includes BitLocker encryption for full disk encryption. And you also have the ability to change out the user language packs in the operating system, as well.

There are two different set of hardware requirements for Windows Vista. One for Windows Vista Home Basic, and then one for all of the other additions of Windows Vista. Windows Vista Home Basic requires an 800 megahertz processor, 512 megabytes of memory, you need at least a 20 gigabyte hard drive with 15 gigabytes of free hard drive space, it requires a DVD-ROM drive, and 32 megabytes of graphics RAM in your video adapter.

The other editions of Windows Vista, this includes Home Premium, Ultimate, Business, and Enterprise have a little bit higher of a hardware requirement. For example, you need a 1 gigahertz processor to be able to install those additions, you need one gigabyte of RAM inside of your system, a 40 gigabit hard drive with 15 gigabytes free, you still need that DVD-ROM drive, but the increased graphics capabilities require that your graphics card have at least 128 megabytes of RAM.

Here’s a summary of just some of the features that you might find in these different editions of Windows Vista. You can see the Home Basic version doesn’t support very much, is limited to 4 gigabytes of RAM on an x86, or a 32-bit system. And on a 64-bit system you can use a maximum of 8 gigabytes of memory. For Home Premium you at least have the Aero graphics and the Media Center capabilities, but you don’t have any of the more advanced capabilities that you might need in a business. And you can see the amount of total maximum memory available on a 64-bit version of Windows Vista Home Premium is 16 gigabytes. When you get into a business in Enterprise or in Ultimate, you can see the capabilities are greatly improved, the number of features available in those versions, and you can see that increases the amount of 64-bit operating system memory up to 128 gigabytes per system.