Windows Vista is coming. You can live in denial all you want but change is on the way. Vista features lots of changes: h/w requirements, user interface, deployment, but most of all, the biggest changes seem to be in the security features and functionality. My gut is telling me that most organisations will be slow to adopt Vista due to the amount of change and the costs of purchasing new hardware. But I do see it prematurely making it’s way into networks for a few reasons:
- OEM Licensing: Organisations with OEM desktop licensing will start seeing Vista as an OS option from January onwards. I doubt it will take long for MS to withdraw Windows XP as an option.
- Some applications will have an OS dependency. Some cutting edge business applications may take advantage of new features available to programmers.
- Windows Vista is chock full of new security features. This may make it a candidate for complete or targeted deployment by security planners. One feature likely to draw attention is BitLocker, a login integrated, complete disk encryption solution that makes us of TPM architecture for secure key storage. BitLocker is a feature of Windows Vista Enterprise which is only available to Software Assurance customers.
January isn’t far away so proactive administrators and consultants should be making plans now. Part of this is understanding the security implications associated with Windows Vista. You can download a beta release of the Windows Vista Security Guide from Microsoft’s Connect web site.