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Microsoft Windows Vista

The name of the base system (platform): Microsoft Windows
Developers: Microsoft
Technology: OS


Windows Vista is client operating system families Microsoft Windows NT. Windows Vista was released on November 30, 2006 for corporate clients. Normal users had an opportunity to purchase the operating system on January 30, 2007.

The server Windows Vista option was the Windows Server 2008 operating system.

Completion of support

2016: The termination of support since April 11, 2017

April 11, 2016. Windows Vista will remain without support in a year - on April 11, 2017[1].

Standard support of a system is stopped on April 10, 2012 and now the Microsoft company tries to complete the five-year term of expanded support. Within these actions patches and updates of a security system are issued. In a year computers on Vista are left without protection.

As of January, 2017 this OS was installed less than for 1% of the PC using the systems of Microsoft the Net Applications research firm reports. According to the approvals by Microsoft, now different versions of Windows are used on 1.5 billion PCs, i.e. the number of devices with Windows Vista is about 14 million. It is not a lot of in comparison with older Windows HR which share exceeds 9% of all Windows computers.

Developers specified that OS will continue to work on the user computers, however will be vulnerable for viruses. Besides, if the user of OS uses for Internet connection of Internet Explorer 9 (the recommended browser for Windows Vista), it can also face security concerns as support of the browser stops together with support of OS. Besides, Microsoftne guarantees compatibility with the "written-off" OS of future applications. As an alternative suggested users to carry out upgrade of the operating system to Windows 10 to the companies (except for the PC of an old configuration).

2012: End of the period of the main support

The Microsoft corporation announced on April 10, 2012 end of the period of the so-called "main support" of the Windows Vista operating system. Now users will be able to receive free updates for this OS only if they fix the serious problems connected with security of applications. In such mode the operating system will be supported within 5 years, till April, 2017.


  • Windows Vista Starter is the edition intended for family use and users of initial level in emerging markets. Specific Features: the 32-bit operating system which is specially developed for inexpensive computers, the simplified Windows Vista interface, different functional restrictions.

  • Windows Vista Home Basic is the edition for home users for whom the main opportunities of the computer are required. In this edition there is no Windows Aero interface, there is no support of the encoded EFS file system.

  • Windows Vista Home Premium is the edition for home desktop and portable computers, contains Windows Media Center, Windows Aero user interface, Windows DVD studio, functions of archiving according to the schedule and archiving on networks, support of touch devices. Also as well as in Home Basic there is no support of the encoded EFS file system.

  • Windows Vista Business is the main release of Windows Vista for desktop and mobile PCs in the organizations. This offer is intended for segments of small, medium-sized and large enterprises. Windows Vista Business contains all Windows Vista Home Basic functions (except for some entertaining functions) and also has the following distinctive features: the Windows Aero interface, functionality of the Windows Tablet PC system, function of archiving and recovery (means of archiving of CompletePC, automatic recovery of files and shadow copying), a connectivity to the domain, support of group policy and the encoded file system and also special opportunities for small enterprises, including support of faxes, scanners and resources for small business.

  • Windows Vista Enterprise is an expanded release of Windows Vista for the desktop and mobile PCs used in the organizations. This offer is valid only for the clients who signed the agreement of Microsoft Software Assurance. Addition to all features of Windows Vista Business in this release includes following features: BitLocker disk encryption, support of all existing interface languages, licensing rights on four virtual operating systems, a subsystem for applications on the basis of UNIX (SUA).

  • Windows Vista Ultimate is the most complete release of Windows Vista for desktop and mobile PCs and is intended for home users and small enterprises. This release has all potential of Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Enterprise, and also locates expanded means of work with multimedia.

  • Windows Vista Ultimate Limited Numbered Signature Edition is the limited version (20 thousand copies) with Bill Gates's signature.

Besides, Microsoft releases some more versions of Windows Vista especially for the European market. For the purpose of observance of the antitrust law in Europe, in these versions there is no Windows Media Player and other multimedia components.

Specific Features

  • New Windows Aero interface. Windows Vista offers different user interfaces, starting with the Basic interface (reminds the Windows XP interface) and finishing with the high-quality graphical interface saturated with different effects which received the name Windows Aero. The new Windows Aero interface differs in the beautiful graphics, translucent windows, 3-dimensional perspectives rich with textures and animation pictures.
  • Side bar (Sidebar). In a side bar it is possible to set some special mini-applications. It can be hours, a slideshow with photos, news feeds, the address directory or a panel of fast notes. It is also possible to display a weather forecast, currency rate, etc.
  • New Windows Explorer. New Explorer saved structure of a menu of Windows of XP and added one more panel. It allows to change the organization of the Explorer window and also display of icons of files and folders. Depending on contents in a panel different options are displaid.
  • The updated system of search. The engine of index search is integrated into Windows Vista. Search is carried out at once, in process of set nuzhngo words. When entering each following letter Vista narrows search result. If it is necessary to start the program, then it is enough to enter a part of a name of a label or the executable file.
  • ReadyBoost technology. Intended for computers with small amount of RAM, the ReadyBoost technology allows to use flash drive capacity for addition of RAM.
  • Built-in diagnostic aids. Diagnostic aids of the hardware are capable to find errors and or to fix a problem independently, or to help the user to perform recovery.
  • Functions of energy saving and power supply. Management of power supply of Vista was significantly improved in comparison with XP, now it uses so-called "plans of power supply". Microsoft supports three plans: "balanced", "economic" and "productive".
  • Hibernation mode. Hibernation is the mode of power supply at which all opened documents and applications remain on the hard drive, and only after this computer is powered off. When the user wants to return to work, the computer leaves the mode of hibernation and recovers earlier saved documents and applications.
  • User Account Control (UAC) is a control system of accounts of users which requires explicit permission of the user at accomplishment of any action requiring administrative powers regardless of the rights of the current account of the user. User Account Control, for example, warns the user before installation of the new program and also at start of executable files. The similar method prevents automatic installation harmful and spywares as all other windows will be blocked until the user gives the answer in a window of confirmation of UAC.
  • Windows Defender it is designed to protect a system from harmful and spywares.
  • BitLocker disk encryption. BitLocker performs two complementary, but different functions. First, it provides enciphering of all operating system volume of Windows. Secondly, on computers with the compatible entrusted platform module (TPM) it allows to check integrity of boot components before start of Windows Vista.
  • Recovery function. Windows Vista, as well as Windows XP, supports recovery points. However, in Windows Vista this function more powerful, it allows to recover the previous status of separate files or folders.
  • Encryption system of the EFS files. EFS is intended for enciphering of files and folders at the user level. If several users, then, thanks to EFS work on one computer, each of them can cipher the data.
  • The improved network functions. For the purpose of increase in security the majority of network functions in Windows Vista were improved. Now the stack of TCP/IP began to maintain two-level architecture of the IP protocol in which IPv4 and IPv6 protocols began to share the transport layer and level of framing. Besides, starting with this version of Windows, IPv6 protocol became included by default. The new version of a stack of TCP/IP has many potential. Among them - a possibility of automatic adjustment. Besides, in Vista own architecture of wireless networks under the name Native Wi-fi which is a part of a network stack is created. It gives many advantages among which:
    • the Improved possibility of detection and creation of wireless networks;
    • Fast connection to a wireless network using Command center networks;
    • the Service of a uniform input in wireless networks checking availability of network before the user undergoes authentication in the Active Directory;
    • Support of modern protocols of security (WPA, WPA2, EAP, PEAP-TLS, WEP);
    • Protection against the majority of types of the attacks on wireless networks;
    • and automatically them to eliminate Diagnostic aids which allow to reveal problems with network.

  • Conference room – the wired program which helps to work to groups from two to ten users together. The conference room will be suitable for demonstration of PowerPoint presentations or when editing documents. Also the conference room will allow to simplify work on distribution of files.
  • Windows CardSpace is the new technology from Microsoft created for reduction of number of the used passwords. At visit of the website supporting this technology instead of password entry it will be possible to use information card. All data necessary for user authentication are stored on it in encrypted form that ensures additional safety.


The system requirements imposed on Microsoft at which to the equipment Windows Vista can work were exposed to extensive criticism. As you know, Microsoft separated system requirements of two categories: "Vista Capable" and "Vista Premium Ready". The sign "Vista Capable" meant that the computer can start Vista with all basic functions. However, as it appeared, on the computer with parameters meeting criterion of "Vista Capable" it is impossible to use all graphic innovations of the new operating system.

Also the control system of accounts of users (UAC) was exposed to criticism. According to representatives of the Kaspersky Lab (KL), the management tool the user privileges and accounts of User Account Control (UAC) which is built in Windows Vista represents security element which was so bothering to users that many just disconnect it. Natalya Kasperskaya, being the head of KL, noted that without UAC Windows Vista is less safe, than Winows XP SP2. Besides, in KL said that analysts of the company detected five methods of a bypass of UAC, and creators of malicious software will detect them even more.


Service pack 1

The packet of SP1 contains a full range of updates for Windows Vista which the Microsoft corporation released within the last year and also new opportunities. In particular, the speed of copying of files is increased, process of a software update is improved, support Direct3D 10.1 is added, the compatibility with MPEG-2 is improved, the errors arising in Windows applications of Calendar and Windows Media Player are eliminated, performance and energy consumption of a system are improved.

Thanks to updating SP1 in Windows Vista there was a support of the majority existing at the time of an exit of a packet, hardware and the software are about 80 thousand devices and components. Also with a release of Windows Vista SP1 the compatibility with the main business applications of such producers as Adobe, Cisco, Citrix, IBM, Nortel, Oracle, SAP, Sun and Symantec was added.

The first public version of Windows Vista SP1 RC was laid out in December, 2007. On March 18, 2008 the service pack appeared in the English, French, Spanish, German and Japanese languages. In April of the same year there was the Russian version of the first service pack.

Service pack 2

The second service pack for the Windows Vista operating system, at the moment, is in a beta testing stage. As expected, the final version of a packet will bring with itself support of 64-bit VIA processors, support of the exFAT file system, a recording capability of Blu-ray of disks, support of the last Bluetooth 2.1 technology, the configuration Windows Connect Now (WCN) Wi-fi tool and the latest version of the desktop search Windows Search 4 engine. Besides, SP2 will have to improve Wi-Fi performance at Vista exit from the dream mode, to reduce use by gadgets of resources and to perform some inline tuning of a system.

System Requirements

Microsoft separates system requirements of two categories: "Vista Capable" and "Vista Premium Ready". "Vista Capable" means that a system can start Vista with all basic functions.

Vista Capable:

  • The processor with clock rate 800 MHz;
  • 512 megabytes of RAM;
  • The video card the supporting DirectX 9

The Vista Capable level only guarantees that Vista will work. The listed above requirements correspond only to the satisfactory level of work.

According to the statement of Microsoft, marking of "Premium Ready" guarantees that the PC will support a maximum of the Windows Vista functions, including the Windows Aero interface.

Vista Premium Ready:

  • The processor with clock rate from 1 GHz (32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64);
  • 1 gigabyte of RAM;
  • The video card compatible to DirectX 9, from 128 MB of memory and support of Hardware Pixel Shader v2.0 and WDDM technologies;
  • DVD-ROM;
  • The hard drive with a capacity of 40 GB from which at least 15 should be free;
  • Sound playback capability;
  • Existence of Internet access.

See Also