Magazine article Behavioral Healthcare Executive

Vista's Limited Impact: There's No Reason to Rush out and Upgrade, at Least Not Yet

Magazine article Behavioral Healthcare Executive

Vista's Limited Impact: There's No Reason to Rush out and Upgrade, at Least Not Yet

Article excerpt

The wait is over. Retail store shelves are now adorned with rows of stylized boxes that contain the various flavors of Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system and Office 2007 productivity suite. Redmond is calling Vista the most significant product launch in the company's history. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has boldly promised that Vista and Office 2007 will "transform the way people work and play" because the applications were designed, tested, and developed with the help of millions of consumers.

Developers enhanced Vista's user interface to make it more visually exciting and easier to use to increase productivity. The software is designed with social networking in mind, allowing users to more easily share documents, photos, music, and videos. Vista also has new search tools that scour through e-mail, images, notes, and other media stored on a PC.

Vista's potential impact on the behavioral health field is twofold. First, Vista requires much more memory and processor power than previous editions, and some of Vista's advanced features will not work on older hardware. Microsoft's Upgrade Advisor can determine what version of Vista (if any) will work most effectively on a PC (available at www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/upgradeadvisor.mspx). The cost of hardware upgrades to accommodate Vista, however, certainly would be greater than the cost of a new computer.

Second, behavioral health organizations have to consider whether upgrading to Vista will affect their third-party behavioral health software applications. At first glance, there should be no problems as long as the hardware can support Vista, but several vendors use application languages, databases, and tools that could perform differently with Vista. Therefore, you should obtain a written warranty from your vendor that its software is Vista compatible before you upgrade. …

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