It was back in February this year when I first met Stuart Mudie, co-author together with Derek Torres of The Unofficial Guide to Windows Vista in Barcelona during the 3GSMWorldCongress. Since then, we’ve met a couple of times again in Paris and it was quite interesting to exchange thoughts on how our book projects were advancing. So it looks like his book will be available shortly and I have gladly agreed to host the Unofficial Guide to Windows Vista blog tour for an entry on Vista’s Wifi capabilities. Over to Derek:
First, I’d like to thank Martin for being a gracious host and letting me spend some time discussing Wi-Fi capabilities in the new Windows Vista. Let’s take a look at the basics!
It’s easy to make the case that Windows Vista is all about wireless. Instead of having to waste time with Network Connections like in Windows XP, you can handle most of your Wi-Fi configuration through the new Network Center in Windows Vista.
Let’s be honest; during the Beta phase of Windows Vista, Wi-Fi was absolutely atrocious. Neither Stuart or I were able to connect over a wireless connection and were confined to the length of our network cables. That’s not totally unexpected, after all, this was Beta. By the later stages of Vista development, Microsoft was on the right path. Using a USB wireless adapter (Netgear WG111T), Windows Vista immediately recognized the software and installed all the necessary drivers without me having to insert an installation CD. I was online in a matter of minutes.
What’s particularly interesting about Wi-Fi in Windows Vista is that it goes well beyond using your computer around the house or in the garden; in fact, what’s most interesting about Wi-Fi is not how your computer can use it, but what other components can use it!
If you’ve got an Xbox 360 or a digital media receiver, you can use those with Windows Vista over a wireless (or wired if need be) connection. Instead of enjoying your laptop anywhere in your house, you can use your Xbox 360 to broadcast media – including music, movies, and pictures – from your computer to another room in the house. You can also use it to enjoy digital music across the house using Windows Vista’s Wi-Fi capabilities.
Windows Vista certainly helped up the ante in terms of Wi-Fi capabilities; not only is Wi-Fi more and more exciting, but it’s definitely more useful!
Derek Torres, co-author of the Unofficial Guide to Windows Vista