vista2.jpg ell it’s almost time for a new copy of Windows and Office, but this time it’s going to cost you a few hundred dollars more. With that you will be given many different versions to choose from, and that includes budget versions to save you those hard earned dollars. However, who wants a new version of Windows with all of the upgraded components removed? I know I don’t. I say if you can’t afford the Ultimate Edition, then pirate you a copy, Microsoft is rich enough right? Okay, you know I’m joking here, but seriously Microsoft is not going to make it harder for you to steal their OS this time, but they will still have the upperhand. Windows Vista plans to offer you spiffy new graphics, as long as you’re NOT a pirate. It’s kind of like a reward for being good. With the new operating system, Microsoft is offering plenty of new graphics tricks, including translucent windows, animated flips between open programs and “live icons” that show a graphical representation of the file in question. But before Vista will display its showiest side, known as Aero, it will run a check to make sure the software was properly purchased.

“Those who are not running genuine Windows will not be able to take advantage of the Windows Aero user experience,” – – Microsoft Rep.

But it’s not just pirates who will be blocked from Windows’ fanciest graphics. The Aero display will not be available to those who buy Windows Vista Basic, the low-end version of the operating system. But the kicker is, even those with higher-end versions won’t be able to see the fancy graphics if they don’t have enough memory, graphics power, or have a graphics chip that doesn’t support a new Vista driver. Jason and I downloaded the Vista Beta and noticed the first computer we installed it on, basically looked like Windows XP. We thought, how could this be? Then after investigating some more we realized what Microsoft had done. We found the best PC we had, and tried again. This time was a success. All of the new Areo features in their full glory. Suck on that Apple! However, I’m afraid a lot of PC users out there won’t be able to afford a brand new beefy computer on top of Vistas hefty new price tag.

Pual Thurrott has a great site that breaks down each version. If you are as confused as I was, be sure to check it out to help shed some light on the situation. It would be nice if Microsoft would make one version of it’s OS again, but I don’t think we consumers will be so lucky. Also, while you are downloading the new Vista Beta, be sure to check out Office 2007 Beta 2. It will work until Febuary of 2007, and hey it’s FREE!

Windows Vista Starter
Windows Vista Home N (Europe only)
Windows Vista Home Basic
Windows Vista Home Premium
Windows Vista Business N (Europe only)
indows Vista Business
Windows Vista Enterprise
Windows Vista Ultimate