A number of issues associated with Windows have been discussed on this forum today with relationship to FrameMaker on Windows, Windows itself, running Windows on MacTel systems with either Bootcamp or Parallels, Vista, and Vista 64.
I was somewhat otherwise occupied when those messages came in and couldn't reply at the time, but now that I have a few minutes, I thought I would try to kill a few stones with one bird, so to speak: (1) WRT/ running FrameMaker 8 (with all current updates) on Vista 64 ... the system requirements for FrameMaker 8 are mute with regards to support for 64-bit versions of Windows. It does not say we don't support Vista 64 or for that matter, XP 64. My main desktop system in my office is currently a Dell Precision Workstation T5400 with dual Xeon 3 ghz quad core processors, 8 GB of main memory, 600 GB of 15000rpm SAS (serially attached SCSI) disk storage, and a 30" Dell 3007 monitor (2560 x 1600 pixels). It is running Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit with Service Pack 1. I have encountered no problems running FrameMaker 8.0.4 in that environment that I would not have encountered under Windows XP 32-bit. This is true with BOTH Acrobat Pro 8 and Acrobat Pro Extended 9 (available soon to the public). In other words, not only does "save as PDF" work under Vista 64-bit and Acrobat 8, but there are no further compatibility problems with Acrobat 9! Note that under Vista 64, FrameMaker runs as a 32-bit application. There is absolutely no performance penalty for this (contrary to popular belief). Although FrameMaker does not take advantage of any 64-bit optimizations running in this mode, it does gain by (a) a full address space to run under and (b) the system's ability to use much more real memory which results in less paging operations to disk. This is especially important if when running FrameMaker, you also have an e-mail window and few browser windows open and perhaps are running Photoshop and/or Illustrator in parallel with FrameMaker. (2) WRT/ Vista itself, I neither own stock in Microsoft nor do I have any love for their products, but I personally think that Vista has gotten a bummer rap than it deserves. In having used Vista on two desktop systems (one 32-bit and the other 64-bit) and one notebook system, I have generally found it to be quite robust and if you know how to make appropriate system adjustments (both to the user interface and the infamous UAC - turn it off), it is really no more quirky than Windows XP, just different quirks! Many of the complaints are coming from enterprise users: (a) Too many promises of OS improvements were promised by Microsoft with Vista, but relatively few, except for security features, were actually delivered. Enterprise users were looking for sustentative improvements, not fluff. Features such as "Aero windows styles" and XPS have zilch value in terms of enterprise productivity. (b) Enterprise users felt HAD by Microsoft's software maintenance program introduced at the time of Windows XP that required enterprise users to pay expensive maintenance fees every year for the right to upgrade to the next version of Windows and Office that were delayed several years beyond the point when expected. (c) Many of the fixes in Service Pack 1, especially those related to performance and file copying performance, should have been made available at least six months earlier than they were. For that matter, those problems should not have made it out the door. (d) The Vista Ultimate versions never delivered on Microsoft's promise of "extra goodies" available on a regular basis. (e) Microsoft spent too much time pressuring peripheral makers on issues such as forcing XPS, Microsoft's "new" color management system, the new Microsoft image format, and Microsoft job tickets (none of which turned out to be relevant to the vast majority of Windows or Vista users) down their throats as opposed to simply providing Vista-compatible drivers. Thus, in many cases, new drivers, especially for non-PostScript printers and older scanners (and similar peripherals) were slow in coming if at all! (f) Large enterprises are notoriously slow in changing their standard software configurations. Many such enterprises have only begun to no longer automatically load Windows 2000 on their computers, much less Vista. At Adobe we continually have to deal with large customers who are only beginning to migrate their corporate fleets from Acrobat 6. Note that the popular press likes to "ride issues" that come up and without anything else to either drool over or kick, Vista was indeed a convenient target. (3) Last Autumn, I had a nearly four year old IBM ThinkPad R50p (yup, it was still IBM at that point) blow out that could no longer be repaired. Lenovo no longer carried a 15" 1600x1200 dpi notebook so I had to look elsewhere. I did consider using a MacBook Pro configured with both MacOS and Windows, but there were two major problems - (a) I was used to IBM style keyboards and as much as I tried, I could not get comfortable with the MacBook Pro's keyboard and (b) I would have needed a much larger internal drive (7200 rpm of course) than was available at the time or even now to support two distinct operating systems. I ended up evaluating and then buying an HP Compaq 8710w notebook system. It is similarly configured to the high-end MacBook Pro (17" screen, high speed / high capacity 7200 rpm drive) and 3 GB of memory as well as sporting a BlueRay/DVD/CD player/burner (an exceptionally useful feature if you have a 1920 x 1200 17" wide screen and want to watch hi-def movies on the road). It also has a full numeric keypad which I always missed tremendously on my notebooks. The system came with choice of XP or Vista. I took Vista (decided to live dangerously as see what type of problems Adobe's users might encounter). Once I configured the system to my liking (especially fixing the menus and Explorer to work more like Windows 2000 than Vista although keeping the "Aero" theme as well as turning off the UAC feature - the thing that keeps prompting you to approve certain allegedly dangerous operations), I've been quite happy with that system. Very stable and high productivity and those of you who may know something about me, I am exceptionally fussy about such stuff. (Sarah, sorry to hear of your Vista problems. My experience in helping others with Vista problems has been that their systems were underconfigured in terms of hardware for proper Vista operation, software/OS misconfigured by the computer vendor, and/or plagued by shovelware. Except for underconfigured hardware, I've always been able to clean up such systems so that they run at least as well as they would run under XP!) (4) What struck me, though, was the amount of "shovelware" that came with that HP system and similarly with my Dell Workstation. It took me hours to uninstall and/or delete many hundreds of megabytes of such crap. And this stuff appears whether you choose XP or Vista for these systems? Why is it there? Certainly not to help you the customer, but rather because PC vendors are PAID by the unit for including these trial versions. They also get a "cut" of the proceeds if you ultimately activate or buy the full versions of these programs. This is an exceptionally lucrative business that can be almost if not more profitable than selling the computer without that stuff! (5) I'm not going to endorse any particular notebooks other to note that I have been happy with my high end HP Compaq notebook and that from our experience, Lenovo has NOT kept up the sterling reputation that IBM had with the ThinkPads. Dell notebook system users that I know of have had mixed results - some great, some not as good. (6) In terms of going to a MacBook and supporting Windows via Boot Camp or parallels, all is not perfect in that world either. We have had Macbook Pro users who have encountered as many as three complete hard disk failures within a one year period. And if you think that MacOS is perfection, take a gander at the Adobe User-to-User Macinstosh Creative Suite and InDesign forums for issues associated with MacOS X 10.5.x operating system interface compatibility with existing applications such as the Adobe Creative Suite 3. Apple diverted quite significant resource from MacOS 10.5 development to iPhone development resulting in a late and very buggy OS release. Careful what you lust after! BTW, comparably-configured Macs and Windows-based systems have very similar performance profiles. Of course doing such measurements require that you know how to run such tests and don't compare Apples and asparagus. Bottom line - FrameMaker 8 is fine with Vista 64, Acrobat 9, or both combined (and yes, it works with the Vista 64 and Acrobat 8 combination as well! If you know what you are doing in system setup and configuration, Vista isn't the bogeyman that many think it is - but you'd better have a good robust system and know how to remove shovelware and tightly reconfigure your system. And finally, Macs are nice, but they have their issues as well! Careful what you drool over. - Dov