Windows

Review: Things I Love about Windows Vista


Windows Vista has been in development for roughly 5 years and I have been personally involved as a beta tester for the last 12+ months. I have seen the good and the bad of Windows Vista-agonized over driver incompatibility, praised security and enhancements to the user interface (ui). Now that I have been working with Windows Vista , I wanted to share with you my findings some of the things I love about the new operating system.

Let’s begin with how Windows Vista is branding its new editions. They have created 6 different versions of Windows Vista to handle the needs of consumers, small businesses, and large enterprises. The versions are packaged as follows: Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Ultimate, Windows Vista Business,  Windows Vista Enterprise, and Windows Vista Starter. For consumers, you have the choice of Home Basic, Home Premium and Ultimate which has all the bells and whistles. Businesses can take advantage of Vista Business or Enterprise which handle the business side of Vista such as encryption and virtualization.

I have been working with the Windows Vista Ultimate edition and for starters, the installation of Windows Vista is aesthetically beautiful to the eye and simplistic by nature. The installation went very smoothly and in less than 30 minutes I had my new operating system singing. I loaded Windows Vista on my laptop and my laptop supported Aero Glass which is the eye candy of Windows Vista. All I can say is amazing. Every time I work on my laptop, I find myself smiling at how beautiful the interface is.

Once I got past the interface, and starting digging around I found that configuring a wireless connection was a snap and that the security that came with Windows Vista was top notch. I was able to create a standard account and elevate my privileges to administrator when the need arises. For example, when I run as a standard user, any time I have to install software, I am asked for the administrator password. Any time I have to get into the admin tools or control panel or any area that requires administrative rights, I am prompted for the admin password. Windows Vista was built similar to Linux in that you do not have to run your computer as a root user. Kudos to Microsoft for finally getting this right.

Also included in Windows Vista is a newly redesigned Internet Explorer 7. I love the new user interface that includes tabbed browsing, quick tabs, Instant search bar, page zoom, support for RSS, phishing filter, and a protected mode. Everyone loves the tabbed browsing but I really enjoy the security of the IE protected mode. In protected mode, you are safe from hackers. It is impossible for  Internet Explorer in Windows Vista to modify user and system files without your input.  It basically prevents hackers from  taking over your browser and executing code through administrative rights.

A feature of Windows Vista that I love is Windows ReadyBoost. This technology allows me to place a USB key in my computer and improve performance without adding additional memory to my computer.  Once you put the USB key in you are prompted to view the files on your USB key or speed up your system. My laptop already had 2 GB or RAM. I had a 2 GB USB Flash key and my system is screaming speed.

The newly improved Start menu has been working great for me. In the past you had a huge Start menu with tons of programs on it. With Windows Vista, you simply click Start and type the name of the program in the search bar and it finds it within seconds. For example, you could type work and it brings up Microsoft Word. You know longer have to navigate through the tree to find the program you want. This is a real time saver.

I am also enjoying Windows Flip 3D, Windows Flip, Live Taskbar Thumbnails, and the Windows Sidebar.  If your computer supports Windows Aero Glass, you will be tickled by Windows Flip 3D. It allows you to flip through your open window in 3D. It is fantastic. The only drawback is that you need Aero Glass support to take advantage of this feature.  Windows Flip is the ALT + Tab combination but it also gives you a graphical presentation as well. Live Taskbar Thumbnails is also a welcomed enhancement to Windows Vista. By simply running your cursor over the taskbar, you get a graphical presentation of each open document. Windows Sidebar is a sidebar that runs on your desktop that allows you to add gadgets. It is identical to dashboard widgets in Apple’s OS X Tiger. On my desktop, I have a calendar, notepad, stocks, headlines and weather gadgets running. I can also go online and download more gadgets that are helpful to me. This is a feature I am really enjoying.

On the backend, all profiles are no longer stored in documents and settings. You now have a users directory and each profile is stored within this directory. Microsoft has also done away with My....There is no longer My Documents, My Pictures, etc. It has been replaced simply with Contacts, Documents, Desktops, Downloads, Music Pictures, etc.

These are just some of the features I have come to love about Windows Vista. It has so much more to offer. I believe other people might see value in other areas of Vista such as Windows Mail, Windows DVD Maker, Windows Games, Windows Media Player, Windows Photo. These are areas I have yet to explore but as each day goes by that I use Windows Vista, I find myself unlocking more of its mysteries.  

19 comments
apotheon
apotheon

"[i]All I can say is amazing. Every time I work on my laptop, I find myself smiling at how beautiful the interface is.[/i]" Your reactions to MS Windows Vista are almost pornographic.

yobtaf
yobtaf

I'm stunned. Does anyone have anything good to say about Vista?

Marty-7
Marty-7

...and Microsoft paid you HOW much for this?

Fyrewerx
Fyrewerx

I actually love the Snipping Tool. I keep it on the Quickstart toolbar. As a long time Snag-It user, I was getting ready to install Snag-It, but figured I'd try the Snipping Tool --- ended up not installing Snag-It, and probably never will. The Snipping Tool quickly and easily does everything I need.

Steven S. Warren
Steven S. Warren

I see in the poll that most people are sticking to Windows XP but if you are to buy a new PC in the next 18-36 months, Windows Vista will be loaded on it. Will you remove it and load Windows XP? Let me know your thoughts.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

You have to question why all the smiles ;-)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

It's more secure out of the box than XP. I find it runs satisfactorily on the year-old boxes I was running XP on. Those machines won't run the Aero GUI, but I set all my users to Classic in XP anyway, so I would probably do the same in Vista. It's not that there's anything really wrong with it, but I don't have any reason to install it. None of my users have applications that require it, we've already got XP locked down, so why spend the money? We will probably continue to run it in a test or lab environment until well into '08. EDITED - Now that MS has announced the first service pack beta for late this year, we definitely won't deploy it until after the finished SP is released.

TechExec2
TechExec2

. Do not attribute to malice that which can be attributed to insanity (love). Steve "loves" Windows Vista. :^0 ;-) P.S. I like Vista too. I just refuse to run it.

lastchip
lastchip

I've just bought a new laptop and the first thing I did was got rid of Vista. It now sings along with PCLinuxOS.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Yes, we will remove Vista and load XP until an employee has an application that requires Vista, or until we can't get XP drivers for the new hardware. Unlike consumer market systems, finding XP drivers hasn't been a problem for new business-oriented boxes (yet). Actually, we're still getting new boxes with XP, and XP driver disks are included. Technically, we won't remove Vista; we won't allow it to install. I'll boot the system off a Bart-PE CD right to the network and do an unattended XP install without allowing the vendor-configured OS installation to ever start. I never upgrade or replace the OS on my home computer. I don't think it's worth the hassle. I'll continue running XP Home until I replace the system. Since that will be at least a couple more years, the Vista replacement may be available.

JamesRL
JamesRL

Personally I'm not loading Vista until there is a compelling need to. My games run faster under XP than Vista, according to those who have run benchmarks on both. I run IE7 on XP. To take advantage of Vista I will probably require more RAM for the same speed. To take advantage of DX10 hardware acceleration, I will need a new video card, and my current one is plenty fast under XP/DX9. Corporately, we are currently shipping PCs to customers with XP, for the next few months anyway. Our customers don't care about the OS, they want fast and cheap and Vista will not give them anything they want. James

yobtaf
yobtaf

My wife bought a new notebook that of course has Vista installed. It runs pretty well, so she doesn't have any complaints but I feel it's a bit of a resource hog. Also, as an artist, I find Vista a bit gaudy. I'm a Mac user and run Windows XP under Boot Camp. I have an upgrade copy of Vista Home Premium ready to install on my Mac but I'm reticent to do it. Partly because XP runs so well but mainly all the DRM make me nervous. Also, I heard a rumor that MS plans to replace Vista in two years. OS X is so superior to Vista it is disappointing. I would like some opinions. Should I upgrade XP to Vista Home Premium on my MacBook Pro? What do you think? Thanks

bernardmorey
bernardmorey

I'll stick with XP until I need to upgrade - will then change to Vista. No need to do so in the interim. I wouldn't bother removing Vista.

TechExec2
TechExec2

. I like Windows and I like Vista. The current bugs and problems with Windows Vista will be resolved in time. It will take a year or two for things to get back to "normal". But, Microsoft's mistake with WGA is a fatal one for me. Windows will be slowly phased out and will be permanently replaced with Linux and Mac OS X. I refuse to run an operating system that capriciously self de-activates (1)(2)(3). The pirate's crime is not my cross to bear. It's really a shame that Microsoft has lost its mind. It can't be the rain. There must be something in the water up there in Redmond (4). -------------------------------------- (1) Lots of legitimate customers de-activated by Vista WGA http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=102&threadID=222826&messageID=2235539 (2) Windows Vista Validation Issues Forum http://forums.microsoft.com/Genuine/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=1004&SiteID=25 (3) Windows Genuine Advantage falsely accuses millions http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070124-8690.html (4) Ballmer is one crazy CEO http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zEQhhaJsU4&mode=related&search=

Steven S. Warren
Steven S. Warren

I have been using it with Parallels and Bootcamp. I may start loving my mac soon. Thanks. -ssw

Thrash Cardiom
Thrash Cardiom

I have a 64bit PC with Vista and its a bit of a nightmare because of the driver signing issue. Can't say I'm very impressed with Aero Glass. It all looks a bit backward to me when compared with the Linux installation running Xgl Compiz eye candy that is on the same box. Sometime in the not too distant future I'll blow the Vista partitions away and use them for something useful like image and video storage.

Steven S. Warren
Steven S. Warren

Use Bootcamp and partition your drive to load a fresh copy of Vista. Play around with both of them and see which one wins out.

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