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I got Windows Vista a couple years ago with its realsease price. Quickly after installing it I had realized that it was the absolute worst mistake I have made. It's a wannabe operating system with all it's glossy look that slows down your computer a great deal. The whole operating system is full of gliches and bugs. The more tools you add on the utility bar on te right-hand side the more it will slow down your pc. After testing it for a couple of weeks and trying to persuade myself into liking it I swiched back to good old Windows Xp Pro. I installed Windows Vista on my media pc and had a few problems.
1.) it started to make a constant beeping sound that wasn't present on Windows Xp (very annoting).
2.) many programms would stop responding oftenly
3.) games are much slower
Microsoft scored themselves an auto-goal and lost loyal customers. I now curently have Windows 7 which is exetionaly good, but I'm going to swich to Mac sometime soon. You'll be WAY better of with £ 156.98 in your pocket then buying Windows Vista.
Now then, I'm going to try really hard with this review, to illustrate the... issues I have with Vista, which may differ from the issues most people seem to have, as I'm a bit of a geek on the sly, and I do a lot of things with Windows that the average user woudn't need to do. However, these small annoyances which may never impact on normal Joe PC user, exist all the same.
But let's kick off with the obvious. Vista (was) lovely, new and shiny. It looked the business, had some funky new features,and was very well designed (in terms of appearance). XP would be a tough act to follow, but sticking to the same formula and just tweaking it a smidgen couldn't fail, right? Fancy things like "Aero" lured the end user in just to seal the deal, and it was game on for Vista.
What's this? UAC? User Access Control?
I would like to have been a fly on the wall for that brainstorming session. Let's see, however could we annoy the hell out of everyone by requesting things be run as Administrator all the time? Aha! I know!
Now yes of course, you can just turn it off. But that's not something your average Joe internet user would be particularly bothered to do. How dd nobody find this feature annoying during Beta testing? Am I alone in my disparity???
Anyhoo, we battle on, and come to the next gripe I have with Vista... This may sound gobbledegook, but I will attempt to explain it in Laymans terms as well. Let's say you need to amend an excutable file for some reason, or replace a file within a certain directory. Think of it like replacing a knackered book on your bookshelf, with the same one again, only newer. Then, your hands failing miserably as an invisible wall just prevents you from removing the old one, or jamming in the new one. So, what you have to do is make a copy of the entire bookshelf, and move it into another room. I don't know what they called that wonderful feature, probably "Lets think of the user as a child playing with a thousand piece jigsaw; the best thing to do it put it behind reinforced glass so they can't mix it up".
I mean, what the heck Microsoft? Do you genuinely believe that we're all simpletons, clicking here and there, removing exe's and changing files left right and centre? My word!
Next, I genuinely despair at the sheer lack of compatibility with Vista. it's like buying a posh house in the centre of London, and then discovering all the plug sockets are those American ones. If Vista was a dating service, it would be called mismatch.com. Nothing seemed to work... no, wait, that's a little harsh. Things worked, then crashed.
A strange example of one of Vista's many unique and baffling "features" : I installed a game, doesn't matter which one, but it was recent. I received an error message stating my graphics card lacked some shadow rendering thing. Hmm... odd, I thought, I would have assumed these these two high end SLI'd cards would be more than adequate to run said game; they appear to have no difficulty running The Elder Scrolls : Oblivion on max settings, full HD the lot.
You know what? That annoyed me so badly, I downgraded to XP, and lo' and behold the darn game worked.
I mean.. what on earth is going on? I know OS have teething problems, but Vista really takes the biscuit.
The best advice I can give you is this : If you own a laptop, complete with Vista, downgrade immediately. XP will run so much faster, and make your machine so much more efficient, it's unreal. However, chances are if you're running a laptop with Vista, it'll be extraordinarily difficult to downgrade, as many publishers never officially released XP drivers for their Vista based systems.
Sly, but you can get around it with a little hard work. I downgraded my Packad Bell laptop, and it ran like a dream.
Hang about, one more geeky gripe - it appears impossible to partition your hard drive with Vista. Maybe it was just me, but there appeared to be no way to add additional partitions on a single drive (let's say you wanted to have both XP and Vista on your PC; you would do that by partitioning your hard drive... sort of splitting it in half).
Maybe it was just me, and I was doing something wrong. But it's one more thing that firmly made up my mind about never using Vista ever again.
On the positive side, however - yes, it isnt all doom and gloom - Vista handles wireless connectivity exceptionally well. Hats off to Microsoft for that one.
hello and welcome to the best operating system going at the moment.
Now i really can say this in my opinion as i have tried a fair few diffrent operating systems. These include a few diffrent Microsoft ones as well as Linux.
After having Xp for a long time i upgraded to vista ultimate and it just gives your pc a facelift. If its an older pc then it loks great (be careful vista can be very hungry). I have used vista for qutie a while now and i lvoe some of the great features it has. It has very good ease of use as you can search on the simple old 'start' bar for anything you want. This will literally find anything on the pc with certain characters in it from folders to internet history! It makes it very easy to navigate and is probably my favourite addition to windows.
I did try ubuntu linux as i stated above and it wasnt to bad at first but i always did just miss windows. It was great having vista and everything was just compatible unlike any other operating system where it might actually require some googlnig to find the right software. With such a wide range of software available and so many pc's being microsoft the pull of vista is just too strong and i have given up on finding a better operating system.
Vista is great. It looks great and runs fantastic on my machine i would suggest this upgrade to anyone and with windows 7 around the corner thias might just be dirt cheap!
I have recently upgraded from Vista Home Premium to Ultimate, I would say for me personally there are few differences to note, if you like your side bar gadgets and stream links ins then Vista has an army of these toys to entertain you.
Despite lots of hype about the usability of Vista - i find it very easy to use, most software is now compatable with Vista so none of the earlier issues remain about whther it was better to stay with XP.
The Movie / DVD creator is my favourite aspect of Vista enabling not professional but nicely finished DVDs to be created, and credits and titles - fade in and out screens.
In terms of value if you know a student or employee with a university email ac.uk etc. - always try and buy this through the Microsoft Ullimate Steal as it is a real bargain at that price - I got mine for circa £50. (The same with Microsoft Office and Visio).
Windows Vista Ultimate
Windows Operating System
Microsoft, a software giant company has most popular operating system in the world with Windows tag. Windows operating system is ruling on almost 95% computers in the world. What is special with Windows so that it has such popularity? Question is not so complicated, and everyone knows that Windows has many user friendly features with easy access. Windows is so easy and any child who is operating it first time can easily understand it. Everything is predefined and no need for additional help to operate it. The name Windows is indicates that this operating system has all icons like windows and it can be easily access by clicking on it. Some other operating systems also have similar kind of philosophy of accessing like in Macintosh which is also a windows base operating system and Linux. Linux has powerful protecting features against viruses and it has best security controlled but Linux is very complicated to understand and it needs some pre training to operate it. Macintosh has very advanced features but it need very high graphics system to run it otherwise we can't avail full profit with its all features. Macintosh has powerful features but it has very less marketing share against Windows due to user friendly features of Windows and price tag also.
Microsoft has taken almost 7 years to develop its next operating system Windows Vista after most popular Windows XP. Finally Windows Vista has been released in first quarter of 2007 and initially it got huge response but slowly its credit went down due to some issues and I will discuss some of them here. Windows XP is a still most popular operating system and many of the peoples in the world still have this one in their PC and notebooks. Windows Vista lost its trust in user's heart due to some non desired issues.
The other side I want to mention a bad decision taken by Microsoft to discontinue the selling of Windows XP for increasing sell of its new operating system Vista. This decision got lots of criticise from entire the world. I am also against the termination of XP sell and this is really decision of heart breaking of XP lovers. I am also a huge fan of Windows XP and still have this in my PC. Today I am using Windows Vista but not satisfy with it.
Windows XP have some security problems and this has been resolved in XP SP3 but I haven't found much improvement over SP2. XP also has major problem of system crash and it can be easily crash due to problems in power supply, virus attack and unknown mistakes.
Some Issues Before its features
Windows Vista has some borderline points and due to these all it is losing the trust in consumer market. The most discussed point is its compatibility features and most of the applications which are very popular and necessary for daily routine life, not compatible with Windows Vista. Vista needs latest versions of all applications due to its visual effect and graphics display. Peoples, who are very familiar with old versions of applications, don't like to upgrade it with latest one and they really can't accept due to some problem in understanding its latest features and changes. Windows Vista needs newer versions of almost all applications and most of the users wants to keep their old versions continue.
If we take an example of Microsoft's own applications, Office 2003. Office 2003 is a most popular application in the world and almost all offices have this application as their necessary routine work Now Microsoft has released new version of office with Microsoft Office 2007 and it has been completely changed. The toolbar Windows is really very confusing for those who are very familiar with Office 2003. So they really don't want to upgrade office 2003 to Office 2007 as there are no problems yet with old version.
Other important point is its hardware requirement. Windows Vista need some advanced configured PC to run it. There should be at least 2 GHz processor with minimum 1 GB RAM and good graphics memory. As per my experience 1 GB RAM is not enough and we can't access our PC so smoothly and we need at least 2 GB RAM for better access. 2GHz processor is OK but it should be at least dual core processor for better performance. Windows Vista also needs about 15 GB of free disk space to install it, but recommended free space should be at least 20 GB. Windows Vista ultimate cover approx 13 GB of disk space to install it but some lower versions like Vista basic and premiums only take about 8 GB of disk space. For better performance we need at least 30 GB of disk space in our C drive. The recommended size is about 40 GB and more. So for Windows Vista we must have better capacity hard disk drive. There are very large capacity hard disk drives available with reasonable price and this point doesn't matter at all.
Now think about Windows XP and its hardware requirements. Maximum 3 GB of free disk space required for installation. 512 MB RAM is more enough of smooth running of XP. 128 MB shared graphics memory is good enough for it. Final point of its processor speed and 1 GHz processor is good for it. If we have some better configurations, then also it runs with similar speeds. These types of configurations are very cheap now a days and every one can afford it.
Some Important Points and its Truth
Windows Vista is available in different versions like Winnows Vista Home Basic. Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Ultimate. There are some differences according to features and prices. Windows Vista has maximum features with higher price but Vista basic has less features and less price. Most important feature that is not available in Vista basic but all other versions have this and it is elegant Windows Aero desktop experience and it includes very beautiful glass-like menu bars, Windows Flip 3D, and Live Thumbnails. This feature is really impressive and has very beautiful visual effect. I really appreciate this feature and it is my favorite feature to keep Vista alive in my PC. Windows flip 3D is not such impressive and it is also not so important or useful as it is only fulfill one feature line. Live thumbnail is a feature for viewing thumbnail preview of opened window in taskbar and it is really very useful to see that what kind of windows is opened and is in task bar. Glass effect in menus is really very impressive and it's looking great.
Second important feature of this application is its most powerful security feature with most secure Windows Defender and Windows Firewall. We have experienced in Windows XP with its less powerful firewall and it usually gets crashed with viruses and other security threats. The time when Windows XP has released, was not such kind of as we have now. There were not such matter of viruses and internet was also in its initial stage so that security problems were not so bad. Now we have lots of security problems and there are thousands of new viruses come every day. So Powerful security features are essential now days for operating system. So Windows Vista has very powerful Windows firewall and newly added Windows defender. But I didn't find any advantage of Windows defender ad I can't understand it yet.
Now a days we have some powerful internet security applications and they have inbuilt firewall of its own. So we need not to worry about firewall if we have good internet security software installed.
Next important feature of this operating system is its quick search option in start menu for finding programs and similar kind of search option in windows bar. This two search options are really very useful and much appreciated.
Some other features which are not such important but I want to mention here is its high definition quality movie making capability with Windows movie maker. This feature will really help you to make a movie of your family album with high quality videos.
Other feature is its most improved networking solutions with Easier networking connectivity and it helps us to stay connected with the Network and Sharing Center. This feature is a new in this operating system.
Overall this is a good operating system with its enhanced features but it is still require large numbers of improvements. Windows Vista has failed to get popularity like Windows XP and now Microsoft is planning or developing its next improved operating system Windows 7.
Microsoft claim than Windows 7 will have almost all features of Vista and XP with improved compatibility and user friendly features. Windows 7 is expected to be released in early next year and hope that it will fulfill all our requirements.
So best luck for Windows 7 and wait for new sensation to be reality.
Thanks for reading and your suggestions are most welcome.
I have worked with all the vista's and this is by far the best. It just seemed to want to work with any software or hardware you threw in its directions where as other editions tended to play around a bit before accepting what ever it is. Microsoft ever since it released 98 ( when they first introduced the bsod [blue screen of death]) they have received a lot of abuse for designing bad operating systems, ones that continuously crash, apparently. Now the reason why mac, and others like Linux don't crash is because they are a lot simpler as they design it for software and hardware to be designed around them, where as Microsoft takes the hard route and designs there os around hardware and software. Now mac wont run on lots of computers as it doesn't like a lot of hardware and os' like Linux work really well but are not compatible with majority of software. Despite what people say, what Microsoft can do with the little amount of problems they have is incredible. Vista is easy to install as long as your computer is up to it and you have a basic knowledge of computers.
Windows is an operating system and windows vista is an operating system produced my Microsoft.It was launched to provide an user interface which would make it easier for even a layman to understand the working of computer thus making it easy to use for everyone all over the world.The windows were mainly aimed to provide an easier interface for home PC's as it was difficult for the user to understand a DOS operated system.
Microsoft launched a series of windows in which the following one was better than the previous one.It first launched windows NT,then Windows 98,then Windows 2000 millenium edition,then the windows XP and finally the windows vista series which boasts of vista home,premium,ultimate etc.
All the versions of vista were better than each other in a way or the other.Windows Vista Umtimate is the best one and the most advanced version of windows vista series which was launched back in november 2008.It has many features what were not available in the previous versions.
This version also has seen the replenishment of the old problems that existed in the previous versions.
some of its new features are -
Windows Dream Scene - this feature allows videos to be set as desktop backgrounds which gives the desktop a very good feel and an animated environment to work with.
BitLocker - this is an enhancement tool which helps and fecilitates the use of security features in Windows Vista.
Hold em Poker game
MUI packs - this is an add on option which allows windows vista to be displayed in many languages.
Microsoft Tinker - this a 60 level puzzle game with high quality graphics and features
Windows Sound Scheme
This version of windows also has features which previous versions had like -
windows calender etc.
This version has all the features that were there in the previous editions.
My Own Experience -
I have just got this version on my laptop and I am enjoying the experience to my fullest and the best thing that I have liked about this verions is the feature which allows you tp put videos in the background.I really like it when I am working on something and a video is being played in the background.Initally I had to cope up with some featues as they were unknown to me but now I am fully aware of all the features and now I am using it very easily.
So I would recommend all of you to have this installed on your desktop or laptop
Among all editions of Windows Vista . This is the best although it is expensive compared to all edition. This edition of Vista is my Operating System installed on my Laptop. While using this edition this is what i found out which i can share to all of you..
*it supports elegant windows aero experience that gives your desktop a good graphic appearance and transparency. Graphic Animations could even give the edition a good one .
*according to Microsoft it is a best choice for laptops.
*it supports secondary screen.
*i love the way how windows switch that you can even see them in a nice view. I love looking at the tool tip too that once you point your mouse at your task bar on specific program opened you can see the preview.
This is the best edition so far that i have tried from Windows Vista the only disadvantage it is the expensive one..
I have only had this added to my laptop 4 months ago.It has great features Including:
Windows Media Center,
Windows Movie Maker with high-definition support and Windows DVD Maker.
It also offers all of the features found in Windows Vista Business, including:
business networking, centralised management tools and advanced system backup features.
And Windows Vista Ultimate has all of the new security and data protection features that help take Windows Vista to a whole new level of dependability.My Husband is a pc technician,so I was lucky to get vista as a discount.
The only downfall I found with vista,is the fact that after adding Zoo Tycoon to my pc,it did not like it and the Dreamscene now does not work.But everything else does fine.So you may get the odd thing that vista does not agree with.With Windows Vista Ultimate, you can play the latest high performance PC games with stunning 3-D visuals
Windows Vista Ultimate includes updates to your favourite built-in Windows games, such as Solitaire, Spider Solitaire and FreeCell.Windows Vista Ultimate also includes three new premium games: Mahjong Titans, Chess Titans and InkBall. You can even take your photos and Windows Photo Gallery enables you to play slide shows of your photos and videos together on your PC, choosing from several themes and templates, setting them to music or even watching them on your TV. Windows Photo Gallery also includes the most important photo editing features, making it quick and easy to crop, fix red eye and even adjust the exposure and colour of your digital photos.
The price changes all the time,but on the net it can cost around £190.Retail prices vary.
Expensive but a great addition to your pc :)
Windows vista has been out for a year now, after much anticipation for a long time (7 years to be precise). When it came out though, it unfortunately did not recieve much praise. Critics gave it many bad ratings, some people even switched back to XP and worse and most embarassingly of all, it was voted worst upgrade of 2007 by cnet members, cnet is one of the biggest gadget sites in the world. I have owned a copy of it on my Toshiba A200 laptop that I purchased in November, and personally I like Vista, in this review I will tell you why.
Many people call Vista a flashy version of Windows. Its new toolbar is slightly opaque with a new circular toolbar, and the program menu no longer pops out, instead it changes the recently visited programs pane in to the programs bar. This is the only flashy part without going in to too much detail.
I think I will move on to many of the added features with Vista. On the right of the desktop, there is a widget bar, this is a bit of a copy from OS X but still proves to be useful. It features many things, like a bigger clock or a top 5 new stories panel, it can all be customised for your liking.
When the laptop is first booted up and you have selected your chosen user, a windows pops up displaying your systems main specs at the top and more importantly, a welcome screen. It asks if you would like to visit the control panel and make some changes, like say the background, or if you would just like to get on with what you were going to do any way, it also has icons for many other things. I like this feature very much.
In the Home premium and Ultimate versions, there is a great new program called Aero. This program basically allows users to navigate very quickly through their programs by using the scroll wheel to choose which one they want in 3D, it might not sound great as it is hard to decribe, but trust me, it is.
One other main trump that most Vista versions hold over XP is the media center included in all home premium machines. Home premium has become the standard on laptops and unlike the old normal XP, includes media center. This feature will unfortunately not be included in Business and Home editions. It is very good for storing the whole media collection, from recorded TV to photos to quick notes, it can even sync most of it with your ipod.
Other than those main new features I won't say anything else about the nice side of Vista, as there are too many little things that would bore you to sleep. Instead, I think I had better talk to you about the few things that are keeping critics away from the operating system.
Virus protection is huge issue with Vista, quite franckly, it is not very good. There are many viruses, over 100,000 to be honest, that can bypass the Vista firewall. When I say viruses I am including glitches and bugs. e.g. When the operating system was first made some parts of code in many programs were slightly incorrect, and as a result they can shut down in expectedly or do something else annoying. But do not worry, a service pack with many fixes for all these little annoyances is on the way.
Ease of use is also a key issue in Vista. For children it is fine really. But for those who are less tech-savvy, say grandparents, it is a bit harder adjusting after they have been used to XP for a good 7 years. Once adjusted though, they should not regret it.
Overall I don't think I can fault Vista very much, as I have had no problems with it. This could be because I have good virus protection software though and I am a bit tech-savvy, so I did not struggle to adjust, but beware, you might, no offense. So if you can get round the little nifs, then go for it.
This review is a copy of my review for Windows Vista Home Premium. According to Dooyoo rules, this is allowed, thanks.
Windows Vista Ultimate, the long awaited Operating system from Microsoft, originally named 'Longhorn' but thankfully renamed!
Before Windows XP Microsoft tried to release a new operating system every 2 years, this seemed to work fine all the time they were releasing below par systems like Windows 98 & ME. Windows XP is a very good Operating system and designed in such a way that it was easily kept upto date and the release of service pack 2 extended XP's life somewhat. Eventually Vista had to be released and it had high standards to live upto.
Graphically Vista looks very nice, especially the new aero effects, slightly transparent windows and window switching. The sidebar is a nice little addition but I would only use it on a widescreen monitor, otherwise the desktop gets too 'busy' for me. The windows media centre is a nice interface and makes browsing photos and digital media easier for people who arent very computer literate.
Below the surface it is very similar to windows XP and it doesnt feel like a huge jump forward. This to me is a plus point, XP works very well so I think Microsoft have been very clever to not move too far from the XP model.
As far as system requirement go, I have found that you need a pretty good 3D graphics card the more onboard RAM the better probably a minimum of 128mb, plenty of system RAM, a minimum of 1gb to run at a reasonable speed. I am running on a Pentium 4 3ghz which is fine. Microsoft recommend a minimum of 40gb hard disk with 15gb free space.
Windows Vista is the "next generation" operating system from Microsoft, well that's what they say. The "WOW" starts now is their new tagline, so does it really? I am going to review the new and rather expensive offering from the biggest computing company in the world.
Microsoft say that they are hoping for Windows Vista to be installed on 100 million computers by the end of 2007, but the people that I have discussed Windows VIsta with, all say the same thing, they'll buy it when SP1 (codenamed, Windows Figi) is released, this will get rid of all the bugs in the system, of which there are a lot.
For a start, if you think there is fantastic driver support, then think again, when I installed Vista there were 4 drivers missing, OK, go online and get some new drivers, but the Ethernet card driver is missing, I cannot get on the internet. I finally get a driver for the network card and out of three I tried only one worked. Driver support isn't good, I think you can establish that and this is one of the main reasons why people are reluctant to upgrade, after all why couldn't MS just offer support for XP drivers.
Installing has its problems as well, I started an upgrade from XP Professional SP2 at about 8:30 at night, I ended the setup at about 11:45 after I wanted to go to sleep. I get up the next morning and turn on the computer only to have it say there was a problem and it was restoring to XP, over three hours of my time and electricity disappearing before my very eyes. I would like to point out that the clean install that I did the following night finished in just over an hour.
I've had my moan now, so lets start to point out some of the good parts of Windows Vista.
It looks great, my computer cannot run the new Aero interface at the moment, but the basic interface works a treat. The user interface is very similar to Windows XP with the taskbar and desktop setup. A new addition is the Windows sidebar which allows you to add gadgets(like Mac's widgets, hmmm) which you can download from the internet, these include things like live feeds and news and weather.
Microsoft keep pointing out that Windows Vista is more productive enabling you to carry out tasks quicker and more effectively, with features like desktop search and start search. You can now launch any application or file on your computer by simply typing in the title of the file in the start menu. As you type, search results will start appearing as soon as the file you want to open is at the top of the list, simple press Enter and it will open.
---WINDOWS VISTA LOOKS---
The new windows look much better, the titlebar and sides of the window are all semi-translucent and you can change the tint of the glass effect and transparency so you can tailor it to how you want it.
Opening, closing and minimizing effects look beautiful as it smoothly fades out.
New titlebar buttons glow as you hover over them which makes the whole windows look much better. Microsoft's take on the windows is that rather than focusing on the bold windows borders like in Windows XP, you are focusing on the content inside that window.
Flip and Flip 3D
This is a more advanced feature based on the Alt + Tab function in previous editions of Windows (if you don't know what Alt + Tab do, it switches between open windows).
Flip is based on the old style Alt + Tab, a simple bar appears and you choose the window by pressing Tab until you find the window. There are however, some differences. Obviously, the back of the windows adopts the glass effect. Also, when you press Tab the list of open applications smoothly moves to the next.
Flip 3D is the more advanced version of Flip, you may have seen this in adverts for Windows Vista because it is such an impressive feature to look at. So what does it do? Well, it takes all of the open windows and stacks them at an angle, as you move between them, the next active window comes to the top and the whole things looks professional and attractive, although I don't see why many people would use it, most people will just use Alt + Tab (or Flip) for quickness.
Windows Sidebar went through many stages throughout the 5 or 6 years of Vista development, from being included, to not, to being included again but not as a default part of the OS, rather just an Accessory program.
The sidebar is a bit low on options, you can set it to start with windows, but you have to either choose it to appear over the top of your windows or just on the desktop, however if you have it on top then your windows are a lot smaller, really I think that MS should have included an auto hide function.
The sidebar is just seen as a base where you can add gadgets. These are very small applications that carry out simple functions like tell the time, news headlines and search the internet. You can download more gadgets from the Windows Live Gallery and you can add, remove and rearrange your gadgets as you want to. You can also drag your gadgets on to the desktop and use them like Mac's widgets.
The new start menu looks much better, if you are running Aero then you will get a transparent effect similar to the glass look on your windows. Menus have now disappeared and you now simply choose your application from the list which uses a treelike interface, or you could just use Start search, which I will go into more detail in a later part.
The start menu "orb" looks better than previous start buttons with a sphere look so that it sticks out from the taskbar.
Now as you hover over a function on the right hand side, your user account image smoothly changes to the icon of the task hovered over. There are also new buttons to shut down, restart, logoff etc. but there is a button simly dedicated to shut down your computer without any messages asking what you want to do, you simply click the button and your computer will shut itself down.
This is only a small feature of Windows Vista, however it is worth a simple note, the new wallpapers look brilliant and with so many available you will be spoilt for choice. Screensavers are also good but you will need a good graphics card to run them. There is only two main themes, Windows Aero and Windows Basic, although Windows Aero can be customised. There is also the old Windows themes like Windows Classic.
Icons can now be different sizes, you can have large, medium or small icons on your desktop, and when you hover over them a filter is added on top which is personally a bit annoying. The icons themselves have also improved immensely, they look much better than in previous versions, for example in the folders icon the files in that folder are sort of shown within the icon, you can see this in the image opposite.
Windows Basic Interface
In earlier builds of the OS the basic interface was rubbish and you felt punished for using it, however in the final build it is much better, it bears resemblance to both the Aero interface and the previous Windows XP. You don't get the glass effects but you still get a more attractive interface with professional effects and icons. If you do not have the appropriate graphics card installed then this will become your interface, I am running Vista with an AGP 4MB card, so you don't need much.
I personally am not very happy about some of the applications included, as a software developer I feel that I will lose out on potential customers because of the included programs such as Windows Photo Gallery, because users of Windows Vista will just use that rather than looking at applications on the internet.
All the same programs see a return in Vista, including good old Notepad, Paint and Sound Recorder. All applications have undergone a new look making it fit in with the rest of the OS.
Windows Media Player Version 11
This application is also available to Windows XP SP2 users. The new version is much more attractive and fits in perfectly with the new interface. You can change the tints of the interface as well to customise it to how you want it.
A much improved library makes it easier and quicker to find music. Album Art icons allow you to quickly find an album just like you would on a CD rack. There are plenty of viewing options such as Artist and Genre for better sorting.
A handy back button allows you to go back to the task you were previously doing and all controls are centred at the bottom of the window.
Windows Internet Explorer Version 7.0
Again, available to XP SP2 users as well, this new version of the highly popular Internet Explorer offers tabbed browsing, better (but annoying) security, RSS support, better CSS support, advanced printing and fantastic page zooming options.
The new browser claims fantastic security but it is very annoying, if you used IE 6 you may have noticed that annoying yellow bar at the top of the browsing frame, well it returns in full force in IE 7.
IE 6 was behind the times for a long time, this is when my favourite browser, Mozilla Firefox started to get a look in. 6 years later IE 7 was released and many of the features had been around for a number of years including tabbed browsing and RSS feed support.
Better CSS support make pages look much better and the zooming capabilities are much better than any that I have seen previously because IE enlarges everything including images and videos along with the text.
Windows Photo Gallery
Windows Photo Gallery is designed to be your main image viewer and has some small fix tools such as red eye removal, adjusting colours, exposures and cropping your images, that is about all you can do in editing, so you may want to buy a dedicated graphics package or take a look at Google Picasa.
Google Picasa is something that I am reminded by when I look at this application because there are parts which look very familiar hmmm , Microsoft are moving to copy Google now.
You can build a movie using Windows Movie Maker by simply selecting your images and clicking Make a Movie. You can also print or email your images.
Images are sorted into playlists like in Windows Media Player which is what the looks of the application are based on.
The program is perfect for organising, printing, emailing and performing quick fixes on your images, for more advanced editing and organisation I suggest Google Picasa although the application is good enough for most users.
Like Media Player and Internet Explorer, Windows Defender is available for both Windows XP SP2 and Vista. It is designed to protect against malicious and unwanted software (malware), it is not an anti virus software, so make sure that you install something like AVG to ensure maximum protection.
The application is simple to use and sticks close to the Windows Vista theme. You can perform a scan of your system which is quick and thorough, and there is also a handy software explorer so that you can see in depth details about currently running applications.
All the main accessory programs like Paint, Notepad and Calculator return in Windows Vista, all sporting the new Vista interface, Paint seems to have gone through a nice upgrade with a move around of controls and much better zooming capabilities.
There are many more accessories included in Windows Vista, along with the sidebar there are better system tools like backing up facilities and the Welcome centre.
---WINDOWS VISTA SHELL---
The new Windows Explorer has been massively improved with new features and a recharged interface, it is no longer just a place to search through folders to find a file.
A new desktop search has been added to Windows Vista, which makes finding files much easier, you can access it through any Windows Explorer window and it can be found in the top right hand corner. If you don't know what a desktop search is, it searches all your files content, so for example if you have a letter on your hard drive, you can type in 'Dear Tom' and it will find every file with 'Dear Tom' inside it. The desktop search shows results as you type so you can access your files quickly and easily.
If you search from an explorer window, it will only search the folders and subfolders from that location (eg, If you are in Documents, it will search just Documents). To access the full system desktop search, select Search from the Start Menu.
The location bar has changed in Windows Vista, making it even easier to navigate to your files. This new location bar takes each of folders you have navigated along your way and gives a list of all the subfolders next to it, so that at any point you can go back to a certain folder on the way. The picture above will explain this.
The sidebar now gives a list of locations so you can easily navigate to the main loactions on your system such as Documents and Recently Changed. You can access the classic Windows Explorer sidebar with a list of Folders by clicking the folders button at the bottom.
By default this can be seen at the bottom of the window, it gives all the main details of the seleted file(s), or folder information if nothing is selected, it gets rid of the idea of having to right click and select Properties. There is a large version of the icon shown at the far left and all details are shown in small lists. You can change the size of the Properies pane, the bigger it is, the more information that is shown.
A handy feature of the pane is that you can simply click on say, the title of the document and you can rename it, click Save and it is done, instead of the conventional way of right clicking, selecting Rename and then renaming the file.
In Windows XP we saw thumbnails and tiles added to the list of views, now Windows Vista, goes one step forward and offers the ability to show any size of the icon through a slider on the Views menu.
You can also simply click the type of icon view you want, and the Extra Large Icons are very big. What is impressive about the icons is that, they still look good even on the highest icon size.
Now 'Computer' rather than 'My Computer', you can access all your drives from this point, it can be launched from the Start Menu.
Your harddrives now have a handy progress bar which tells you how much space you have left on your drive without having to go into the properties pane, tasks are seen across the toolbar at the top and the sidebar gives links to the most popular folders. The properties pane at the bottom of the window gives you more indepth information about the drive.
It is easier to use, as is the whole of the new Windows Explorer Shell, with links to the main folders on the sidebar it makes navigating much easier.
The structure of files have now changed in Windows Vista, no more is there 'My' before everything (eg, My Computer), now it is just the word (eg, Computer, Documents etc.).
In previous versions you found My Pictures, My Music and My Videos within your My Documents folder, now they are stored as seperate folders under your user folder.
Windows Vista's security has massively improved with the introduction of User Account Protection and Windows Defender. However, how annoying is this protection?
User Account Protection
User Account Protection is to protect users from themselves, it is designed to stop a user from performing a system task like deleting a file or changing a setting, asking for a password in order to continue a task.
In Linux and Mac OS you are not set up as an administrator unlike in Windows where you have up until now had the option to change or do anything on your system. User Account Protection stops this. You can however turn it off, and you may find that you will end up doing this because of how much it gets in the way, for example, deleting a shortcut off your desktop requires no less than three windows before it finally is deleted.
The way it works is that when you ask the computer to make a system change or install a program, your desktop gets blanked out and a dialog appears asking for your username and password. Only if you input the correct details will the task start.
I mentioned this in a previous part of my Windows Vista Review, but I'll mention it again, it is aimed at protecting you from malicious software or malware. It is not an anti virus program, I recommend AVG for this, but it does allow you to run a scan of your system for malware.
My personal opinions of UAC in Windows Vista is that it gets in the way too much, in Linux it's out of the way and I feel secure without having to enter a password everytime I want to do something. However, it does secure you very well from yourself and hackers, and most users of Windows don't actually delve into the system settings anyway, so for most people this is a good thing, for enthusiasts like me, I hate it.
My Favourite Part of Vista
My favourite part of Windows Vista has to be the new interface, although I am not running Aero itself, the basic interface is a massive improvement although it gets a little confusing sometimes which is the active window because there is little difference between an active and inactive titlebar.
The new start menu looks much better and the sidebar makes the whole user interface look fresh and modern. The black taskbar isn't as bold as the blue in XP which is good and the new start menu button is a thing of beauty.
My Worst Part of Vista
The worst part of Vista for me is the security, I have been using Vista for about 2 and a half weeks now and I am still getting bubbles appearing from my system tray every now and then asking me to look into my security settings, whats wrong? Well, i don't have automatic updates enabled, I dont want automatic updates enabled.
UAC (or User Account Protection) is, well was, a pain until I turned it off, why should I need to give permission to send a file to my recycle bin, it's lucky I don't password protect my area else I would be having to type my password in time and time again.
So what are the advantages of Vista that are different from Windows XP, well:
* The new aero interface makes your time using the PC more enjoyable although I dont think to many people would keep this theme on because it will slow down their PC to much.
* Search Capabilities, a desktop search program is offered by most large search engines like Google and Ask Jeves, but having it integrated is a lot easier plus it doesn't slow down your computer like Google Desktop or Windows Live Desktop Search.
* Start Menu Search, this is a great feature, well it was when I started using Vista, now it is really slow, I waited nearly a minute for it to find the program I requested, it would have been quicker using the convential way.
* Bundled applications, there are masses of applications bundled in with Windows Vista meaning that you can carry out most tasks without having to install software.
* Live previews. This is a handy feature which allows you to see a preview of the presentation, spreadsheet etc. in the icon, similar to thumbnails.
* Speech Recognition to control your computer "COMPUTER LIGHTS", we move into the sci-fi world of Star Trek.
There are many disadvantages to Windows Vista, a few are shown below:
* Driver support is crap, trust me, if you install Vista expect at least 3 or 4 devices not to work, as I say to a lot of people, why not just make it compatible with XP drivers. Oh, and don't expect to many companies to write Vista driver right away, because not many people will be using it.
* Slow, startup time is ridiculous, expect to be sitting there for at least a minute before doing a single thing, and thats without applications launching at start up (virus checkers and the like).
* You need a decent machine, well that's what Microsoft says, I'm running it fine on a P3 1GHz with 512MB RAM, 30GB harddrive and only 4MB, yes 4MB of video memory. Obviously, I'm not running Aero so if you want to run it get a bigger graphics card and maybe some more memory.
* Buggy, as you would expect with a new product it has a lot of bugs and problems, but hang on a minute, they have had over 5 years to make this, so there is no excuse this time.
* Installing programs. You will most likely come across programs that wont install, the most famous of these is Nero, you'll need to get Nero 7 to stand any chance of using it. There are also problems with Norton (apparently).
Windows Vista isn't all bad, I use one computer and on that computer is Windows Vista, it is now the only operating system I use, so it must keep me hanging on somehow. I would however, not recommend it to home and office users yet, if you get a free upgrade then fair enough install it but be prepared to have trouble, I would however, recommend it to computer enthuisiasts like me, because it is so much better than XP.
Windows Vista Problems
I installed windows vista ultimate on my computer and I backed up all my files from XP and had trouble installing the backup. If I had to do it again I would go for the upgrade option
After two days my broadband connection did not work I had a Speedtouch 330 modem I phoned my ISP and was told that there was no driver for Vista.
To get onto the internet I had to buy a ADSL Modem Router which you can buy for about £20 I set it up which was quite easy and got onto the internet OK without any drivers for Vista.
I also had trouble with Norton Internet Security 2007 it would not load as I had the XP edition I downloaded it from Symantec
and insert your product key and it will work OK
So now I am up and working I am amazed with vista the graphics is excellent and windows aero you can see through to each window that you have open and flip them in a 3D stacks
It has got great parental controls you can control when they can get on which web sites which games also get reports on there activity.
The explorer 7 if you have not got it already includes Phishing filter and great RSS feeds
Windows mail has better junk filters.
Ultimate has a BitLocker Drive Encryption to protect your entire system if it is stolen
I like the new start menu click on it and you type in what you are looking for and if it is on your computer it appears on the list, it has a sidebar which you can put any gadget you want on it
The best thing about Vista is that it starts up a lot faster I like it very much