Windows Vista


Description: Windows Vista is the newest Operating System from Microsoft.

The first new feature that users come across when using Windows Vista is Windows Aero. Aero stands for Authentic, Energetic, Reflective, and Open. This new visual style for Windows comes across much cleaner and is more pleasing to the users eye. One of the ways they accomplished this was with a new default font called Segoe UI. It is also larger then the old size font, 9pt compared to 8pt. They also added Windows Flip and Windows Flip 3D which allows the user to flip between windows and to see the graphical display of each window. The difference between Windows Flip and Windows Flip 3D is that Windows Flip is an improvement on the ALT + TAB command for flipping between programs. It allows the user to actually see the what is on each page Windows Flip 3D allows the user to see what each program is running through graphical displays.

Instant Search Application allows the user to search for files on their computer such as music files, emails and word documents right from the start button. This feature makes it quick and easy to retrieve any file that you may be looking for. This feature makes searching for files that you may have lost quick and painless. With this feature being able to look up email also, it allows the user to find their important emails without even having to log on through your web page.

Along with these new developments comes Windows Backup, Microsofts' new security system. Its' new features better help protect all fo your files, music, and documents better then before. With the new security for your hardware also comes new security for your internet browsing with the new and improved Internet Explorer 7. Its new spyware helps protect your computer against hackers, fraudulant websites, and phishing schemes.

History of Development:
In 2001 Microsoft began work on project "Longhorn" which was slated to be released in late 2003. This release date was pushed back when Microsoft started the 'Trustworthy Computing Initiative' in 2002. This initiative was intended to fix the plethora of security gaps found in Microsoft applications for which they had long been criticized. As a result of the initiative Longhorn's release continued to be postponed. Then in August 2004 Microsoft announced that Longhorn would not be based on Windows XP source code as originally planned but instead be based on Windows Server 2003 source code. Scrapping what they had already completed on Longhorn they started over with the new source code. On July 22, 2005 Microsoft announced the new OS and officially named it Windows Vista. Once they had announced Windows Vista Microsoft began an immense beta-test including hundreds of thousand volunteers. On November 8, 2006 Microsoft announced the completion of Windows Vista.

Web Resources:

The program list for Gadgets in the Windows Sidebar

  • Windows Sidebar - A long, vertical pane on either side of the desktop. It has programs called gadgets that hold information the user can customize. It's updated instantly and can be very useful for obtaining information that the user finds necessary.
  • Gadgets - Programs located on the Windows Sidebar. Specifically, they are the Calender, Clock, Contact List, CPU Meter, Currency, Feed Headlines, Notes, Picture Puzzle, SlideShow, Stocks and Weather. The Gadgets can be customized on the Sidebar and are extremely convenient because you can do many tasks at once without stopping to search for an update on the weather, news, stocks etc.
  • Flip 3D - The new window management feature in Windows Vista that allows you to flip through open windows using the Windows key + Tab, you can flip through a three-dimensional stack of open windows with the scroll wheel on the mouse.
  • People Near Me - Windows Vista service for allowing applications to look for other Vista users on the local network, which uses the internet to publish users' names, computer names, IP addresses, and ports on which the service is looking for.
  • Previous Versions - A new tab in the Properties tab for files in Windows Vista that lets you access read-only snapshots of the files from an earlier point.
  • Ready Boost - A new disk caching technology in Windows Vista by which computers can utilize the memory on a USB 2.0 flash memory device or card with up to 4 GB of memory, or extra RAM on other networked PCs, to enhance system performance.
  • Search Folders - A new feature in Vista that allows the user to save seach criteria so the next time your seach, it's easier to find.
  • Snipping - A new feature in Vista that allows the user to catpure screenshots of areas you define and mark on or to highlight them, save them, copy them, or send them in e-mail.
  • Easy Transfer - A new feature in Vista that allows files from Windows XP or Windows 2000 to be transfered over and accessed from accessories.
  • Aero - The new user interface for Windows Vista, except for the Start and Home Basic editions.
  • Aero Glass - An advanced and graphically beautiful theme for the new Aero interface. It provides 3D animation, transparency, and other visual effects. It requires a higher level of system resources and a DirectX 9-capable video card.

Some cool facts about Windows Vista:
*Windows Vista is the first Windows software to have a complete name. Previous versions were named by years or abbreviations. But not Vista, or should I say Windows Vista. Yeah, that sounds nice.
*Windows Vista is the largest Windows OS to ever come out. It is 1.4 times bigger then Windows XP, so you know it must be good.
*Windows Vista is the first Windows to have a female voice tell you that your computer is shutting off. If that’s not the coolest thing ever, then I don’t know what is.

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Pros and Cons and the bottom line, according to PC Magazine:
PROS: Improved security. Slick Aero interface. Pervasive search. New APIs and hardware support. Better built-in apps.
BOTTOM LINE: Vista offers a lot of improvements over Windows XP, but most of them are conveniences rather than essentials.
CONS: Hefty hardware requirements. Minor bugs and rough edges in UI. Lack of a killer app to compel adoption. Many features also available for Windows XP users.

Notice the transparent displays and the replacement of the "Start" button
with the "Windows Pearl".

The evolution of Windows
It's been a long time coming for Windows Vista. I mean, we have really come a long way since Windows like this:

Screen shot from Windows 1.0
Screen shot from Windows 1.0

Windows 1.0- Yeah, that's the stuff!

external image Windows_3.0_workspace.png

Windows 3.0- Getting somewhere...

(Just another reminder that it may have not been 50 years, but the difference between then and now is pretty amazing)...