If you're planning to upgrade to Vista, you may need certain factors to evaluate such as hardware needs, licensing option, application compatibility, user & staff trainings and above all usability.
I found out a good article on techrepublic website titled "10 things to consider before rolling out Windows Vista in your organization" . This article talks about each of these factors in a detailed manner. I would suggest you all to read the article and then match it with the facts that I am giving below.
The article at http://news.com.com/2061-11203_3-6143577.html provides a compelling argument on why a customer’s investment in Windows Vista pays for itself if you look at all the new technologies and features that are included within the Operating System.
Companies today spend $100 to $200 per user just to get access to full disk encryption utilities to protect data on laptops. With Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption, full disk encryption comes free for Windows Client SA customers. This is besides other features that customers today pay for such as –
1 Backup & Restore: Backup & Restore included with Windows Vista. [Substitute costs upto $100. E.g. Norton Save & Restore costs $69.99]
2 Sypware Protection:Windows Defender included with Windows Vista [Substitute can cost $5 to $25 per user]
3 Personal Firewall:Windows Firewall included with Windows Vista [Substitue can cost upto $80. E.g. Norton Personal Firewall costs $49.99]
4 Full disk encryption:Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption included with Vista Enterprise [Substitue can cost upto $100 to $200 per PC.]
5 Network Access Protection (NAP):Vista supports NAP. Requires Longhorn server. No additional software cost [Substitue can cost upto E.g. Cost of Cisco NAC (multiple devices)- Router @ $2000 & - Switch @ $3500 ]
6 Host-based Intrusion Prevention Systems (HIPS): IE7 Protected mode prevents content from being written onto your system.User Account Control blocks privilege escalation attempts. [Substitue can cost uptp $60 per pc.E.g. Cisco Security Agent @ $50 per desktop]
Other important Security features with Vista include -
1. Group policy support to enable or disable USB drives. E.g. customer can block USB storage while allowing USB keyboard and mouse
2. User Account Control - Windows Vista’s User Account Control (UAC) makes it easier to use your PC with standard user privileges. Even when you use an administrator account, UAC provides increased security. By default, most programs run with the permissions of a standard user, which limits the potential damage they can do. If you need to perform an action that requires administrator privileges, the system will prompt you for an administrator password.
3. IE7 Protected mode - Internet browsers have become a common avenue for hackers to deliver malware or to try to cause damage to a user’s computer. Internet Explorer 7 in Windows Vista includes many security improvements to help protect against these attacks. Internet Explorer Protected Mode provides the safety of a robust Internet browsing experience while helping prevent hackers from taking over your browser and executing code through the use of administrator-level permissions.
4. IE7 phishing filter - Windows Vista includes advances that help protect users against phishing, a technique used by online scam artists to illegally obtain a user’s valuable personal information, such as credit card numbers, passwords, and other account data. Phishing Filter, a feature in Internet Explorer 7, uses a series of “checks” to help protect users from phishing scams. With the Phishing