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Windows Vista Beta 2: An Improvement?

Now that Microsoft has reached a major milestone with the release of Vista Beta 2, channel players are more curious than ever about what Vista has to offer. CRN Test Center engineers set out to put Vista Beta 2 (Ultimate Edition, Build 5381) through its paces to see if the hoopla around the product is merited.

While beta 2 has made significant improvements, Vista is still a little rough around the edges when it comes to hardware support and driver compatibility. Those issues became evident as Test Center engineers installed Vista on several test systems.

Test Center engineers worked with the ultimate edition of Vista, which offers the complete feature set for the product, including media center capabilities, mobile computer support and tablet computer enhancements. The Other 5 versions of Vista will offer less features and will be available at lower price points.

To leverage the mobile enhancements most appropriate for upgrades, Test Center engineers focused on the mobile technology arena. Computers such as laptops, notebooks and tablets will offer the biggest challenges for upgraders, mostly due to the inability to enhance the integrated hardware, such as video cards and microprocessors.

Test Environment & Initial Installation
The first system selected for testing was a HP/Compaq NC6320, a recently released notebook system geared for the performance-orientated mobile worker. The NC6320 runs an Intel Core Dou 2Ghz Processor, features 1Gbyte of ram, and the Intel 945GM chip set. As a higher end notebook, The NC6320 is a unit designed for high performance for the business user and is chock full of options.

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