Vista was launched worldwide on 30th January 2007, ready for downloading and purchasing in Microsoft’s web site. According to the website, Microsoft has added hundreds of new features to the product. I have identified 20 features that I find interesting. Here they are :
1. Windows Aero
Stands for Authentic, Energetic, Reflective and Open. It’s a hardware based graphical user interface that is clean and aesthetically pleasing which introduces a new type of transparency, live thumbnails, animations and eye candy.
2. Windows Shell
A new way of organizing, navigating and searching compared to Windows XP. Windows Explorer’s task pane has been removed, a ‘favourite links’ pane has been added, address bar replaced with breadcrumb navigation system and the start menu no longer uses expanding list boxes.
3. Windows Search
Significantly faster. Search boxes can be found everywhere, especially in applications that come with Vista. Instant Search indexes common folders, however advanced options allow users to specify the search and indexing criteria.
4. Windows Sidebar
A transparent panel for users to place ‘Desktop Gadgets’.
5. Backup and Restore Center
Schedule periodic file backups automatically. The Complete PC Backup feature backups the entire computer as an image where users are able to automatically recreate machine setup onto a new hardware.
6. Windows Mail
Outlook Express replacement that features Phishing Filter and Junk Mail Filtering.
7. Windows Calendar
New look calendar that has task management as well.
8. Windows Photo Gallery
Allow users to organize their digital photo collection in its Gallery view, by adding titles, rating, captions, and custom metadata tags to photos.
9. Windows Meeting Space
NetMeeting replacement application. Share applications or even desktops over the internet.
Games have been modified to work with Vista’s capabilities. It will also hold information on other games installed in the computer. You will even see the ESRB rating.
11. Previous Versions
Presents multiple versions of a file throughout a limited history and be allowed to restore, delete or copy those versions.
12. Windows Mobility Center
Control panel for mobile computing. Control brightness, sound, battery level / power scheme selection, wireless network, screen orientation, presentation settings, etc. from here.
13. Parental Controls
Control websites, games and programs for standard users.
14. Windows Sideshow
Enables the auxiliary displays on newer laptops or on supported Windows Mobile devices.
15. Speech Recognition
Improved version with a redesigned interface, a flexible set of commands, and an command-and-control capability to activate the computer by voice. It works system wide and supports English US and UK, Spanish, French, German, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified) and Japanese.
16. Problem Reports and Solutions
See previously sent problems and any solutions or additional information that is available.
17. System Performance Assessment
Vista benchmark used to optimize system performance. Mainly for games to take advantage of. The benchmark tests CPU, RAM, Graphics acceleration (2D and 3D) and disk access.
18. Windows Ultimate Extras
Provides access to extra games and tools. Only found in WIndows Ultimate Edition.
19. Network Map
Easy to understand visual representation of network connections.
20. Windows Easy Transfer
Streamline the migration process of personal data and settings across to Windows Vista.