Information Technology

Microsoft Windows Vista & Office 2007 Information

Windows Vista

Windows Vista was officially released on January 30 and ITSS has access to the Windows Vista Business Enterprise version for faculty and staff. Before deciding to upgrade, here are some important requirements and information.

System recommendations:

  • At least 1024 Mb of RAM (many users are commenting though that 2048 Mb is needed for good performance)
  • 256 Mb of Video RAM (in order to experience the full visual effect, with less memory basic mode will display which looks like XP)
  • 40Gb Hard drive with 15Gb free
  • DVD-ROM drive - Vista does not install from CDs
  • 1 Ghz processor

Many campus computers have less than half the required memory and power Vista needs. These computers will not be able to run Vista. **(At this point ITSS does not generally recommend upgrading to Vista for faculty & staff)


  • Printers, scanners and other hardware may not be supported by Vista. It is likely that printers and other devices may not work after upgrading. If it is a newer model, there may be new drivers, but older hardware may possibly never work with Vista.
  • Clean Access is not currently supported by Vista. Therefore, wireless connections on campus will not be useable under this operating system. Cisco anticipates getting this fixed by the beginning of March 2007.
  • Vista looks and feels different, prepare to spend some time just learning how to get around to accomplish tasks.
  • Vista runs slower than XP. Microsoft is anticipating that more powerful computers will make it run fast. However, on the same computer which ran XP at a certain speed, Vista will run slower.

Windows Vista

Office 2007 should work reasonably well on most computers on campus without upgrading hardware. There are two major things to consider when upgrading:

  • Office 2007 looks more different than any Office version in 10 years. Expect to spend a good amount of time learning how to use it. For
  • Office 2007 by default saves documents in a format that is not compatible with previous versions of Office. If you send one of these documents to someone who has Office 2003, they will not be able to open it. You can choose to save in a format which is compatible with older versions, but must make this choice in order for it to happen.