Windows Vista and Office 2007
Computer professionals all across the
country are starting to prepare for the
next major release of Microsoft's
operating system and productivity suite,
Windows and Office.
In case you haven't heard, the newest
version of Windows will be called Vista
(just like the current version is XP).
The next release of Office will be
simply titled Office 2007.
Both are expected to hit shelves the
first quarter of 2007, although some
computers may begin shipping as early as
December of this year.
Why an New Version?
With every new version of Windows and
Office comes a batch of features that we
ultimately can't believe we lived
Windows XP helped improve computer
security by leaps and introduced the
nation to stress-free wireless
Office 2003 introduced the Task Pane, an
improved Outlook interface, and a list
of improvements to PowerPoint.
And both upgrades gave network
administrators new tools to deploy and
maintain the software with greater ease.
We can expect more of the same with the
new incarnations of Windows and Office.
So What's Changing?
Windows Vista has a number of
improvements spanning the entire
package, but two really stick out in my
An entirely new security model is being
introduced which aims to eliminate pesky
spyware and viruses once and for all.
Taking a hint from unix, all users will
finally run with limited access --
preventing rogue programs from taking
over the machine. If you need to
install software or change a system
setting, you'll need to temporarily
switch to administrative mode.
And for users with higher-end graphics
capabilities, be prepared for some
amazing eye candy that will actually
improve your efficiency. Using
improved visual feedback, including 3D
processing, users will have an easier
time managing multiple programs at once.
Gone will be the days of getting lost in
your task bar.
Microsoft Office users will immediately
notice a significant change in the
interface. New to this version is
an enhanced concept of the icon toolbars
we are all very familiar with: the
ribbon. The ribbon is an
ever-changing set of icons that relate
specifically to the task at hand.
It's a concept that talking about does
no justice, so check out some of the
screen captures on the right.
Another major change is the way Office
will preview your changes for you.
Want to change a font or auto-format a
table? Hovering over your choices
will now immediately display a preview
in the body of your document.
Experimentation is yesterday's news.
Are You Compatible?
Microsoft and its partners have been
testing Vista for some time now, and the
computer requirements are now
available to see if your PC is up for
the task. The bottom line?
You'll want a machine with 1 GB of RAM,
at least 15 GB of free space on your
hard drive, and a processor running at 1
Ghz or better.
The good news? By the time Vista
is released, you won't be able to buy a
new machine that doesn't meet these
Applied Office is beginning to plan some
live demonstrations of Vista and Office
2007. If you're interested in