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Vista at Risk of Being Bypassed by Businesses

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the zoom-vroom-woosh dept.

Windows 729

narramissic writes "With Windows 7 due in late 2009 or 2010, many businesses may choose to wait it out rather than make the switch to Vista. According to some analysts, Vista uptake at this point really depends on how good Vista SP1 (due in Q1, 2008) is. If it doesn't smooth over all the problems, companies are much more likely to stick with XP. And that holds especially true for those businesses that follow the every-other-release rule." Note for Microsoft: Allow us to natively disable trackpads.

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and then.... (4, Insightful)

acvh (120205) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392433)

they'll hold off on switching to Windows 7 until SP1 hits.

Maybe this whole "upgrade the OS" thing isn't such a good business plan after all?

Re:and then.... (3, Interesting)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392565)

Maybe this whole "upgrade the OS" thing isn't such a good business plan after all?

Maybe if they did it well, it might pay off. Windows XP is ancient. For a release, it is very old. They missed on the upgrade the OS thing poorly with Vista. Many are moving on to Apple or Linux instead.

My wife has picked up a Vista laptop to use in class stuff. She needed to play a DVD. After waiting for the boot dialog boxes to quit and closing them all. she started the DVD using an external monitor (dual monitor setup for presentation). About 5 minutes the DVD playback froze. Checking the laptop display to check the error message, it was a permission needed for Java to continue to do something or other. This stop everything and launch some odd process 5 minutes into a presentation is no OK for business. In the future we are not using the brand new Vista laptop for business presentations. It's nagging is unacceptable. In the future we will boot Geexbox or use another laptop to show videos. The Vista one interupts business presentations. I need to test it to see if it supports dual monitors.

Re:and then.... (0)

tacocat (527354) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392597)

Really? I just picked up Windows XP last month at work. One of the largest fortune 100 companies on the planet. I guess they are an "every other release" company.

Re:and then.... (2, Funny)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392695)

Really? I just picked up Windows XP last month at work.

Check the copyright date, release date, and the expiration date. It has been polished a few times and put back on the shelf so you can still buy a few "New" copies.

I know, don't tell me. *****WHOSH*****

Re:and then.... (0, Flamebait)

matazar (1104563) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392881)

Disabled the UAC. That's there so stupid people might try and prevent spyware from installing. Though they are more likely to just allow anything to run.
I don't like the feature, but I do understand why it's their. I just disabled it. I have no issues with Vista. Everything runs fine for me.

Re:and then.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21392957)

but I do understand why it's their

If your spelling is a good as your sense for security, I'm sure one should disable UAC.

Re:and then.... (5, Funny)

ricebowl (999467) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392897)

The Vista [laptop] interrupts business presentations.

Yeah, but this is Slashdot, and it's a Microsoft OS. You can't just focus on the stuff it gets right; we want to hear about the cons too...

Re:and then.... (-1, Flamebait)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392935)

It doesn't get much right (just like every other windows) and it brings a whole bunch of new things that suck to the table. All of this for an outrageous amount of money and ridiculous system requirements so that you can get useless graphical effects that don't even look nice.

Now run along and cash your microsoft check. If you hurry you might be able to make it before the bank closes.

Re:and then.... (4, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392939)

Maybe if they did it well, it might pay off. Windows XP is ancient. For a release, it is very old. They missed on the upgrade the OS thing poorly with Vista. Many are moving on to Apple or Linux instead.

Silly question, but why upgrade all the time anyway? If something works, why replace it? What's going to come out that will magically increase productivity?

Re:and then.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21392989)

"In the future we are not using the brand new Vista laptop for business presentations"

Oh, hail the genius. You mean, you'll practice running your presentations at least once from now on before going public on an out-of-the-box machine? Gee, I wish I'd thought of that one.

Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21392457)

As long as they stick with Windows, thats fine

Re:Linux (2, Informative)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392697)

I think you'll see a lot more switching to Linux. Anyone who hasn't tried Linux is probably in for a shock when they do. They'll be kicking themselves for not trying it sooner.

Linux is good. Damn good. For most people it will do everything they could ever want to do and more.

True, there are a few apps that won't run under Crossover or Wine and you have to run under Windows. But the OpenOffice suite is great... and free. Browsing and e-mail are wonderful. The whole multiple desktop thing makes working on multiple applications at once easy and productive. Probably that in itself is the biggest thing I miss whenever I have to do anything on a Windows box.

But again, anyone that hasn't at least tried Linux owes it to themselves to download a "live" CD image so they can try it out without disturbing their Windows installation at all. Just boot from the live CD and check it out. You might even have fun and discover a whole new world and certainly at a lot lower cost (i.e. 100% free) than you would ever spend on Windows and Office.

Re:Linux (4, Insightful)

leenks (906881) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392811)

I think you underestimate what most people do on their PCs, especially at work. Most business PCs run many proprietary pieces of software that will only work properly on Windows. Admittedly, this could be solved with Citrix / WTS but it involves lots of business change (plus served apps generally blow for general usability, especially when the network gets busy).

Re:Linux (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392913)

A lot of small businesses still depend on random bits of domain-specific Win16 software. They are going to be in for a shock when they try to upgrade to 64-bit and realise that one of the many stupid things that AMD did when they extended the x86 architecture was make it impossible to run a 16-bit application on a 64-bit OS. Fortunately for them, WINE runs win16 apps very well on 32-bit *NIX.

Re:Linux (1)

sr8outtalotech (1167835) | more than 6 years ago | (#21393023)

I had to get a laptop for my dad. Apple was out because there price point was just way to high. So it left me with 2 options, Linux or Windows. My laptop has Ubuntu on it and I let my dad play around with it. But, he wound up getting Vista Ultimate 64-bit. What a @)(#$($ nightmare it was installing drivers (Printer, UPS, etc). The actual drivers for the devices integral to the notebook were fine though.

Vista is so slow. My Ubuntu (7.10) notebook (P4 2.8GHz, 512MB RAM, 5400 RPM drive) boots in 1/4 the time it takes his system (T7200 Core 2 Duo, 7200 RPM hard drive, 2GB RAM) to boot. They really need to change the name of Vista to ME II to fully capture the user experience.

I haven't had a single enterprise customer that I consultant for enquire about upgrading to Vista. One of them is making noises about switching to Linux and just using Terminal Services for any Windows apps they need to make available.

WIndows 7 - better? (5, Insightful)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392461)

Truth is, while holding off Vista might be an idea, what guarantee is there that Windows 7 will be any better. In many ways Vista seems to be a symptom of a failed development process, bad priorities and not understanding their users. When you have five years to developer a product and this is what you get, something is wrong.

Vista is not a total failure, but its not a success either.

Re:WIndows 7 - better? (1, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392493)

depending on your business it'd be less painful and expensive to move to linux.

there are some industries where they just can't do it, but if you have the inhouse resources and your not tied to a 3rd party app that's windows only, now would be a good time to make the pitch to managment.

Re:WIndows 7 - better? (5, Interesting)

Entropius (188861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392509)

When you have five years to developer a product and this is what you get

Your grammar error calls to mind a metaphor.

If you take a badly exposed piece of film and put in the developer too long, you get out ... a bad, *overdeveloped* piece of film.

Vista is the same way. The development time is really irrelevant: the fact that they spent a long time on it just means that it has *lots* of shitty features rather than only a few.

Re:WIndows 7 - better? (1, Insightful)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392649)

If Vista doesn't improve, and Windows 7 ends up sucking too, there will be much better alternative OS's out by then.

Re:WIndows 7 - better? (4, Insightful)

Wingsy (761354) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392751)

By then? What about right this minute?

Re:WIndows 7 - better? (5, Funny)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392905)

Next year has been the "Year of the Non-Windows" desktop since before I signed up for a /. account.

Re:WIndows 7 - better? (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392971)

There already is and still people are willing to wait.

If Windows 7 does not work, they will wait till windows 8 and they will be running Vista by then. Did you not listen what they did before? Why would it be different now?

disable trackpads? (5, Interesting)

Yath (6378) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392469)

Note for Microsoft: Allow us to natively disable trackpads.


What's this about? Anyone want to clue me in?

Re:disable trackpads? (4, Informative)

ion.simon.c (1183967) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392587)

If you take a break from typing, and rest your palm on the portion of the laptop closest to you, you'll move the mouse cursor. Maybe you'll even click a button!

Re:disable trackpads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21392599)

Yes, there is a problem on Vista where users cannot natively disable trackpads.

HTH.

Re:disable trackpads? (1)

gammaraybuster (913268) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392755)

This reminds me of a bad dream I once had. I walked into a room full of people and looked down to discover my trackpads were disabled. I was mortified I tell you.

Re:disable trackpads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21392903)

Note for Microsoft: Allow us to natively disable trackpads.

What's this about? Anyone want to clue me in?


Not sure. Some laptops come with both a trackpad and a pointer stick (my dell laptop does). I haven't put vista on my laptop, but under win2000 and winXP I can choose if I want the trackpad active, the pointer stick active, or both. But that's a driver issue and not an operating system issue.

Re:disable trackpads? (1)

wal9001 (1041058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21393005)

Perhaps it's a request for a feature similar to OS X's "Ignore trackpad when mouse is present" setting.

Though for all I know Vista already has that, since I'm sticking with XP on my MBP. Anyone with Vista care to chime in on this?

vista system hog (5, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392471)

The thing that bugs me the most is the additional system resources it hogs - i buy a pc to run applications not run an OS. look at anything that runs both vista an xp and xp always has lower requirments. MS would win a lot of fans if they made OS releases they used the same or less resources instead of massive bloatware, or atleast show SOMETHING useful that's hogging the additional memory and CPU time.

Re:vista system hog (5, Insightful)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392601)

The thing that bugs me the most is the additional system resources it hogs - i buy a pc to run applications not run an OS.
Actually I'm pretty happy about it -- what now gets sold as the cheap bottom level spec PCs are actually very fast with Linux. The extra resources that Vista hogs has helped drag down hardware costs on an economy of scale basis (because now every machine needs at least 1GB of RAM etc.). As long as you don't use Vista that just means a free performance boost when you buy a new PC. I've certainly enjoyed it.

Re:vista system hog (1)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392725)

I hadn't thought about it that way but you are right. My system hauls under Linux and I guess that is something I do owe to Microsoft.

Thanks Bill and Steve for making kick-ass hardware so cheap with your bloated operating system and applications!

Re:vista system hog (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392871)

yep, i worked for years on the same pc doing development under freebsd and never had a speed problem until i changed jobs to a windows environment. now i have to upgrade because VS takes 10 minutes to load if i have sql server managment open.

What is so bad about Vista? (0, Flamebait)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392477)

What is so bad about Vista when running on modern hardware?

Re:What is so bad about Vista? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21392529)

It makes the hardware look old.

Re:What is so bad about Vista? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392997)

Then why does it run well on my system? Intel DG33TL mother board. 2GB RAM 300 GB SATA HD 1.6 Ghz Dual Core Pentium ?

Re:What is so bad about Vista? (-1, Flamebait)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392537)

What is so bad about Vista when running on modern hardware?

Besides it being unreliable, unsecurable, and a pain in the ass to install and use?

Nothing...

-jcr

Re:What is so bad about Vista? (2)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392555)

What relibility issues should I be seeing and in what way is it a pain in the ass? I must be doing something wrong because my copy of Vista doesn't exhibit any of the things you speak of.

Re:What is so bad about Vista? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21392623)

What relibility issues should I be seeing and in what way is it a pain in the ass?
Mine crashes daily with all the latest updates and everything. I'd be happier on XP, but then I'd have to buy XP. Ugh. (Got Vista with the computer) With Linux being free, maybe I'll try that..

Re:What is so bad about Vista? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392665)

Then your hardware is bad and should be replaced by whom ever you bought it from.

Re:What is so bad about Vista? (1)

QuasiEvil (74356) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392993)

>Then your hardware is bad and should be replaced by whom ever you bought it from.

While there's a chance it's bad, I've had similar experiences with Vista. My previous laptop met a sudden end (was run over - don't ask), and I had to replace it. All my options were Vista, so I decided to leave it on the machine for a while and see if I could deal with it. I *tried* to give it a fair shake, I really did, but the persistant crashes while running and lockups (primarily in/out of standby/hibernate), abysmal video performance with some games, and unfamiliarity of where everything was located finally caused me to throw in the towel. Back to dual-boot XP and Ubuntu, and is absolutely rock solid.

I've never had a particular plan for migrating my house up to Vista. I see *nothing* I want in the features (bloaty but shiny interface? more tightly integrated DRM? the opportunity to shell out a bunch more cash on OS upgrades? err, no...) - XP serves my needs just fine. When XP no longer does what I need, I'll look to see if Win7 is where it needs to be. I doubt it, so most likely my machine will spend more time booted to linux and less to something from Redmond.

Show me a good review of Vista. (0, Troll)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392707)

There are real problems and it's a development model problem. Cooperation can't be counted on outside of free software, so everyone has to reinvent every wheel and applications bloat away. M$ has compounded this fundamental problem with digital restrictions and security theater instead of addressing real security and user needs. Vista is a disaster.

Everyone who reviews Vista comes away angry. Vistit the Vista Failure Log [slashdot.org] and see for yourself. Editors who hyped Vista have publically admitted their mistake. It's no better than XP and is in many ways worse.

Non free development does not work. The faster you move away, the more money, time and effort you save.

Re:Show me a good review of Vista. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21392921)

Vistit the Vista Failure Log

When you "vistit" that, keep in mind that "Erris" is a sockpuppet of twitter [slashdot.org] , who is currently in karma hell for trolling.

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=54385&cid=5335889 [slashdot.org]
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=237189&threshold=-1&commentsort=1&mode=nested&cid=19371081 [slashdot.org]
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=280723&cid=20376215 [slashdot.org]
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=280723&threshold=-1&commentsort=1&mode=nested&cid=20375627 [slashdot.org]

Re:Show me a good review of Vista. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392949)

I see that you haven't refuted any of the items on his list, though.

-jcr

Re:What is so bad about Vista? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392589)

no, it's reliable and a step in the right direction for security. it just takes way too much system resources to do what is essentially a simple thing.

Re:What is so bad about Vista? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21392621)

it's security may be cumbersome, granted, but it's far from unsecurable. i'm guessing you're one of those who've never used it because you all beat the same misinformed drum.

Re:What is so bad about Vista? (0, Troll)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392839)

it's far from unsecurable.

Wake up and smell the botnets, sunshine.

-jcr

Re:What is so bad about Vista? (1, Flamebait)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392561)

it still requires 2x the ram that xp needed, which no significant advantages.

Re:What is so bad about Vista? (4, Insightful)

tsa (15680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392777)

So does Leopard, and do you hear people whine about that? OSX is a memory hog too.

Better question... (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392619)

What does Vista do that XP doesn't?

Re:Better question... (0, Redundant)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392635)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Features_new_to_Windows_Vista [wikipedia.org]

Shell & User interface

[edit] Windows Aero
Windows Vista uses the Windows Aero graphical user interface.
Windows Vista uses the Windows Aero graphical user interface.

        Main article: Windows Aero

Premium editions of Windows Vista include a redesigned user interface and visual style, named Windows Aero (Authentic, Energetic, Reflective and Open). Aero is intended to be cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing than previous Windows versions, including glass-like transparencies, window animations and eye candy. Windows Aero also features a new default font (Segoe UI) with a slightly larger size, a streamlined style for wizards, and a change in the tone and phrasing of most of the dialogs and control panels.

In addition to the Windows Aero visual style, Windows Vista includes a "Windows Vista Basic" theme which does not use desktop composition, and is geared towards lower-end machines that are not able to use the Desktop Window Manager, and the "Windows Classic" and "Windows Standard" themes which are similar to the classic themes in Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Windows Aero is not available in Windows Vista Home Basic and Starter editions, although the Desktop Window Manager is included in Windows Vista Home Basic.

[edit] Windows Explorer

        Main article: Windows Explorer

[edit] Layout and visualization
A typical Windows Explorer window showing the Navigation Pane to the left, the Properties Pane at the bottom.
A typical Windows Explorer window showing the Navigation Pane to the left, the Properties Pane at the bottom.

Windows Explorer's task pane has been removed, integrating the relevant task options into the toolbar. A Favorites pane on the left contains commonly accessed folders and prepopulated Search Folders. Seven different views are available to view files and folders, namely, List, Details, Small icons, Medium icons, Large icons, Extra large icons or Tiles. File and folder actions such as Cut, Copy, Paste, Undo, Redo, Delete, Rename and Properties are built into a dropdown menu which appears when the Organize button is clicked. It is also possible to change the layout of the Explorer window by using the Organize button. Users can select whether to display Classic Menus, a Search Pane, a Preview Pane, a Reading Pane, and/or the Navigation Pane. Document Properties are available from the common 'Open' and 'Save' dialog boxes, so it is easier to add metadata (such as author or subject) to a document. The metadata can be viewed and edited in the Properties Pane that shows up at the bottom of an Explorer window. The Navigation Pane contains a list of most common folders (the Favorites) for quick navigation. It can also show the folder layout of the entire hard drive or a subset of it. It can contain both real folders as well as virtual ones. By default it contains a links to folders such as Documents and the publicly shared folder, as well as virtual folders that search and present the saved virtual folders and that lists the recently changed documents. The Preview Pane can be used to preview the contents of a document, including viewing pictures in a size larger than the thumbnails shown in the folder listing, and sampling contents of a media file, without opening any additional program. Explorer can show a preview for any image format if the necessary codec authored using the Windows Imaging Component installed. Also, if an application installs proper handlers for the preview pane (like Office 2007 does), then the documents can be edited in the preview pane itself.[1]

Windows Explorer also contains modifications in the visualization of files on a computer. A new addition to Windows Explorer is the Details pane, which displays metadata and information relating to the currently selected file or folder. The Details pane will also display a graphical thumbnail of the file (known as live icon). Furthermore, different imagery is overlayed on thumbnails to give more information about the file, such as a picture frame around the thumbnail of an image file, or a filmstrip on a video file. Thumbnails can be zoomed on. The preview panel allows you to see thumbnails of all sorts of files and view the contents of documents, similar to the way you can preview email messages in Outlook, without opening the files.

The address bar has been modified to present a breadcrumbs view, which shows the full path to the current location. Clicking any location in the path hierarchy takes the user to that level, instead of repeatedly pressing the Back button. This is roughly analogous to what is possible today by pressing the small down-arrow next to "Back" and selecting any folder from a list of previously accessed folders. It is also possible to navigate to any subfolder of the current folder using the arrow to the right of the last item, or to click in the space to the right of this to copy or edit the path manually. As with many other Microsoft-made Windows Vista applications, the menu bar is hidden by default. Pressing the Alt key makes the menu bar appear. Free and used space on all drives is shown in horizontal indicator bars. Check boxes allow the selection of multiple files.

[edit] Icons

Icons in Windows Vista are visually more realistic than illustrative. Icons are scalable in size up to 256 x 256 (512 KB), resolution-independent and optimized for high-DPI displays. Required icon sizes are 16 x 16, 32 x 32, and 256 x 256. Optional sizes are 24 x 24, 48 x 48, 64 x 64, 96 x 96, and 128 x 128. Document icons show the actual document contents and several media types are distinguished by icon overlays (video, audio, photos). The icons can be zoomed in and out using a gradual slider or by holding down the Ctrl key and using the mouse scroll wheel. To optimize and reduce the size of large icons, icons may be stored as compressed PNGs. To maintain backward compatibility with earlier versions of Windows, only larger sized icons can use lossless PNG compression.

[edit] Organizing & metadata

Windows Explorer includes significant changes from previous versions of Windows in terms of organization, navigation, filtering, sorting, grouping and stacking. Combined with integrated desktop searching, Explorer allows users to find and organize their files in new ways, such as "Stacks". The "Stacks" view groups files according to the criterion specified by the user. Stacks can be clicked to filter the files shown in Windows Explorer. Windows Explorer also sorts files on-the-fly automatically as they are renamed or pasted.

The Details pane also allows for the change of some textual metadata such as 'Author' and 'Title' in files that support them within Windows Explorer. A new type of metadata called tags allows users to add descriptive terms to documents for easier categorization and retrieval. Some files support open metadata, allowing users to define new types of metadata for their files. Out-of-the-box, Windows Vista supports Microsoft Office documents and most audio and video files. Metadata support for other file types can however be added by writing shell extensions. Unlike previous versions of Windows, all metadata is stored inside the file, so that it will always travel with the file. However, initially, users will be able to add metadata to only a few file types.[2]

[edit] File operations

In Windows Vista, when moving or copying files, Windows Explorer displays the full source and destination path, size and number of items and the transfer speed in megabytes per second (MB/s). If a conflict or error is encountered, it does not terminate the copy or move operation. Rather, the file is skipped and the rest of the files processed. At the end of the operation, the errors are presented to the user with resolution options (if available). If two files have the same name, an option is available to rename the file; in previous versions of Windows, the only options were to either replace the destination file or cancel the process. The user can also choose to apply the same action to the further conflicts, if any.

When renaming a file (when extensions are being displayed), Explorer only highlights the filename without selecting the extension.

In case a file is in use or "locked" by another application, Windows Explorer informs users to close the application and retry the file operation. Also, a new interface IFileIsInUse is introduced into the API which developers can use to let other applications switch to the main window of the application that has the file open or simply close the file from the "File In Use" dialog. [3] If the running application exposes these operations by means of the IFileInUse interface, Windows Explorer, upon encountering a locked file, allows the user to close the file or switch to the application from the dialog box itself.

[edit] Default Programs

A common issue in previous Windows versions was that competing applications doing common tasks each tried to associate themselves as the default for a certain file type using their own custom user interface. The default application information for a particular file type was stored in the registry on a per-machine basis, resulting in applications changing another user's default program when one user's defaults were changed and each application querying several different registry values when launched. In Windows Vista onwards, file type associations and protocol handlers can be set on a per-user basis using the new Default Programs API, meaning default programs for file types and tasks can be different for each individual user. There is an API for calling a common user interface so applications no longer need to maintain their own file association UI. The Default Programs API gives applications a programmatic way to check for and discover other default applications, restore a single or all registered defaults, query for the owner of a specific default file association/protocol, launch the Default Programs UI for a specific application or clear all per user associations. Applications only need to registered at install time to be part of Default Programs.

[edit] Windows Flip and Flip 3D
Windows Flip 3D
Windows Flip 3D
Arabic
Arabic
French
French

For all Vista Premium Ready PCs, when using Alt+Tab to switch between open windows, a preview of each open window appears instead of just the program icon. In addition, Windows Flip 3D enables users to flip through a cascading stack of their open windows using the mouse scroll wheel. Windows can be stacked and rotated in 3D to provide views of all of them simultaneously. (The keyboard shortcuts are Win+Tab, which makes Flip 3D disappear after releasing, Ctrl+Win+Tab, which keeps Flip 3D visible after releasing, and Win+Shift+Tab to flip through open windows backward).[4] The window buttons on the taskbar show a thumbnail image of the window, when the mouse hovers over the button.

[edit] Other shell improvements

        * It is now possible to install and select non-English languages on a per-user basis which transforms the entire shell user interface and applications into Arabic, French, German, Japanese or Spanish from the next login.

        * JPEG files can be natively set as the desktop wallpaper without using Active Desktop (which is no longer supported).[5] Also, the aspect ratio of images is maintained properly while applying them as the desktop wallpaper.

        * A new feature known as Previous Versions can revert the contents of any file to an arbitrary point in the past from the file's Properties. The Previous Versions feature utilizes Shadow Copy, a storage backup technology introduced in Windows Server 2003.

[edit] Search

        See also: Windows Search

Windows Vista features system-wide integrated search, called Instant Search (also known as Windows Search).[6] Instant Search is designed to run significantly faster and offers more customized search capabilities. Search boxes have been added throughout the Explorer user interface, to the Start menu, Open/Save dialog boxes, and several of the applications included with Windows Vista. By default, Instant Search indexes only a small number of folders such as the start menu, the names of files opened, the Documents folder, and the user's e-mail. Beyond searching for files, search works with Help, Control Panel, Networking, and more. In Control Panel, for example, typing "firewall" will instantly return all applets that have to do with the system firewall.[7]
The Search Explorer advanced search pane
The Search Explorer advanced search pane

The search engine uses indexing to allow for a quick display of results for a given search. Advanced options allow the user to choose the file type, how it should be indexed, the properties only, or the properties and the file contents. The Start menu search also doubles as the Run command from previous versions of Windows; simply typing any command will execute it. The indexed search platform is based on Microsoft's Windows Desktop Search 3.0, allowing third-party applications (e.g. Microsoft Outlook 2007) to use the indexing platform to store metadata and perform searches on Windows Vista or Windows XP (with the Windows Desktop Search redistributable installed). This is in contrast to the search engine of Windows XP, which takes some time to display results, and only after the user has finished typing the search string. The Windows Vista search allows users to add multiple filters to continually refine search results (Such as "File contains the word 'example'"). It is also possible to search across RSS and Atom feeds, straight from Windows Explorer. Windows search uses IFilters that are used by Windows Desktop Search as well. The IFilter interface can be implemented by software makers so that files created by their applications can be better integrated with search and indexing programs.

Searching can also be done from the box at the bottom of the start menu, so it possible to start a program from here by typing its name, for example "Calc" to start the calculator, "Word" to start Microsoft Word, "Mail" to open Windows Mail, a web address to start the default browser at a particular site, the default search engine, or even a folder name, filename or network share name.

There is also the ability to save searches as a Search Folder where opening the folder will execute a specific search automatically and display the results as a normal folder. A search folder is just an XML file which stores the search query, including the search operators as well. When these files are accessed, the search is run with the saved query string and the results presented as a virtual folder. Windows Vista also supports query composition, where a saved search (called a scope) can be nested within the query string of another search.[8] These virtual folders are also distributable via RSS.

Windows Vista also features an enhanced file content search for non-indexed locations, whereby the files being scanned are processed by the same IFilters that would be used for indexing, therefore offering more consistent results between indexed and non-indexed searches as well as the ability for third-parties to add support for additional file formats to have their content searched.

[edit] Windows Sidebar
Windows Gadgets
Windows Gadgets

        Main article: Windows Sidebar

Windows Sidebar is a new panel which can be placed on either the left or the right-hand side of the screen where a user can place Desktop Gadgets, which are small applets designed for a specialized purpose (such as displaying the weather or sports scores). The gadgets can also be placed on other parts of the desktop, if desired, by dragging. By default, Windows Vista ships with thirteen gadgets: Calculator, Clock, CPU Meter, Currency Conversion, Feed Viewer, Feed Watcher, Notes, Number Puzzle, Picture Puzzle, Recycle Bin, Slide Show, Stocks, and an egg timer. Additional gadgets are published at Microsoft's web site, which offers both Microsoft-created and user-submitted gadgets in a gallery.

Gadgets are written using a combination of DHTML for visual layout, JScript and VBScript for functional code, and an XML file for defining the gadget's metadata (author name, description, etc.) The gadget is then distributed as a ZIP file with a .gadget extension. Displaying the gadget using DHTML allows the same gadget to be used on Microsoft's Live.com and Windows Live Spaces sites. Alternatively, on Windows Vista, the gadget can detect that WPF is available and take advantage of its graphical abilities to display in a different way from the web.

[edit] New and upgraded applications
Windows Calendar
Windows Calendar
Paint
Paint

        * Windows Mail replaces Outlook Express, the email client in previous Windows versions. It has the Phishing Filter like IE7 and a Bayesian junk mail filtering, which is updated monthly via Windows Update. Also, e-mail messages are now stored as individual files rather than in a binary database to reduce frequent corruption and make messages searchable in real-time. Backing up and restoring account setup information, configuration and mail store is now made easier. It does however omit some features of Outlook Express , such as a "Block sender" for Usenet access. Windows Mail is itself being replaced with Windows Live Mail.
        * Windows Contacts, a new unified contact and personal information management application, replaces Windows Address Book (WAB). It is based on a new XML based propriety file format where each contact appears as an individual .contact file, and features extensibility APIs for integration with other applications. It can store custom information related to contacts, including display pictures. The legacy *.wab format and the open standard *.vcf (vCard) and *.csv (Comma separated values) file formats are also supported.
        * Windows Calendar is the new calendar application that is included in Windows Vista. It supports the popular iCalendar format as well as sharing, subscribing and publishing of calendars on WebDAV-enabled web servers and network shares.
        * Windows Fax and Scan is an integrated faxing and scanning application. With this users can send and receive faxes, fax or email scanned documents and forward faxes as email attachments from the computer. It replaces (or enhances) the 'Fax Services' component which was available as an optional component in Windows XP. It is available by default in the Ultimate edition and is also available in the Business and Enterprise editions. By connecting a scanner and a fax-capable modem to the computer, users can preview documents before scanning them and can choose to directly fax or email the scanned the documents. The user interface resembles that of 'Windows Mail' with preview pane, tree views etc.
        * Windows Meeting Space, the replacement for NetMeeting, is a peer-to-peer (p2p) collaboration application. Users can share applications (or their entire desktop) with other users on the local network, or over the Internet. Windows Meeting Space allows sharing of the desktop with other co-workers, distribution and collaborative editing of documents, and passing notes to other participants. Windows Meeting Space automatically finds other users using People Near Me, a technology that uses WS-Discovery to see other users on a local network.
        * Paint has new features such as a crop function and the undo limit has been raised from 3 to 10.
        * WordPad now supports the Text Services Framework, using which Windows Speech Recognition is implemented. Therefore, it is possible to dictate text in WordPad, and similar other applications which support RichEdit.
        * Sound Recorder has been rewritten and now supports recording clips of any length and saving them as WMA. However, saving to WAV format is not supported except in the N editions of Windows Vista.

Snipping Tool
Snipping Tool

        * Snipping Tool, first introduced in Experience Pack for Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005, is a screen-capture tool that allows for taking screen shots (called snips) of windows, rectangular areas, or free-form areas. Snips can then be annotated, saved (as an image file or HTML page), or e-mailed.
        * The Magnifier accessibility tool uses WPF, which in turn uses vector images to render the content. As a result, the rendered magnified image is sharp and not pixelated.[9] However, this is useful only for WPF applications. Non-WPF applications are still magnified the traditional way.

Windows Photo Gallery
Windows Photo Gallery

        * Windows Photo Gallery, a photo and video library management application. It can import from digital cameras, tag and rate individual pictures including custom metadata. It also allows basic editing of images, such as adjusting color and exposure, resizing, cropping, red-eye reduction and printing. Slideshows, with pan, fade and other effects, can also be created, and burnt to DVD. It allows custom metadata to be added to images and videos, and enables searching by the attributes. It also supports RAW images natively and can open and organize any image format for which image codecs are installed in the Windows Imaging Component. Images, and videos too, may be viewed in the Windows Photo Gallery Viewer with options to zoom, pan and losslessly rotate images; pause or play videos; and bring up the Info pane to view and edit metadata about a photo or a video. ICC V4 color profiles embedded in images are also supported. The Photo Print Wizard has been improved to offer a lot of customizability.
        * Windows Movie Maker supports editing and outputting HD video, as well as burning the output movie on a CD. The ability to or burn to a DVD requires the Windows DVD Maker add-on (Home Premium & Ultimate only). DVR-MS videos can now be edited with Windows Movie Maker. Some new effects and transitions have been added and the transitions are now smoother. All Windows Vista Movie Maker versions require pixel shader hardware support.
        * Windows DVD Maker, a DVD creation application. Applications can also pass an XML file to DVD maker for authoring and burning.
        * Games: Minesweeper, Solitaire, Hearts, FreeCell and Spider Solitaire have been updated and rewritten to take advantage of Windows Vista's new graphics capabilities. Also included are new games, namely, Purble Place, Chess Titans and Mahjong Titans. InkBall, a game previously available only with Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, has been included and can also be played using a mouse. Pinball has been dropped. As of the consumer launch of 30th January 2007, users of the Ultimate edition of Windows Vista can also download Texas Hold 'Em Poker as an Ultimate Extra.

[edit] Windows Internet Explorer 7
Windows Internet Explorer 7
Windows Internet Explorer 7

        Main articles: Internet Explorer and Internet Explorer 7

Windows Vista includes the latest version of Internet Explorer, which adds support for tabbed browsing, Atom, RSS, internationalized domain names, a search box, a phishing filter, an anti-spoofing URL engine, fine-grained control over ActiveX add-ons, thumbnails of all open tabs in a single window (called Quick Tabs), page zoom, and tab groups. Tab groups make it possible to open a folder of Favorites in tabs with a single click. Importing bookmarks and cookies from other web browsers is also supported. Additionally, there is now proper support for PNG images with transparency as well as improvements and fixes to CSS and HTML rendering. The Windows RSS Platform offers native RSS support, with developer APIs.

On Windows Vista, Internet Explorer operates in a special "Protected Mode", which runs the browser in a security sandbox that has no access to the rest of the operating system or file system, except the Temporary Internet Files folder. This feature aims to mitigate problems whereby newly-discovered flaws in the browser (or in ActiveX controls hosted inside it) allowed hackers to subversively install software on the user's computer (typically spyware).[10][11]

Internet Explorer 7 additionally features an update to the WinInet API. The new version has better support for IPv6, and handles hexadecimal literals in the IPv6 address. It also includes better support for Gzip and deflate compression, so that communication with a web server can be compressed and thus will require less data to be transferred.[12][13] Internet Explorer Protected Mode support in WinInet is exclusive to Windows Vista.

[edit] Windows Media Player 11
Windows Media Player 11
Windows Media Player 11

        Main article: Windows Media Player

Windows Media Player 11, which is also available on Windows XP, features a fully revamped interface. Windows Media Player 11 in Windows Vista Home Premium and Ultimate Editions natively supports playback of HD DVD. Specifically, Windows Vista supports the MMC-5 commands, the driver commands for the AACS content protection scheme, as well as the UDF file system, although UDF is currently a part of the BD-R file system and not HD DVD. Windows Vista Home Premium and Ultimate Editions also natively include the VC-1 and the MPEG-2 video decoders, as well as the Dolby Digital (AC-3) 5.1 audio decoder. H.264 video and other multichannel surround sound audio standards still require third party decoders.[14][15] Blu-ray Disc playback also requires third-party components to be installed. The Media Library is now presented without the category trees which were prominent in the earlier versions. Rather, on selecting the category in the left pane, the contents appear on the right, in a graphical manner with thumbnails -- a stark departure from textual presentation of information. Search has been upgraded to be much faster.

Other features of Windows Media Player 11 include:

        * Stacking - Stacking allows graphical viewing of how many albums exist in a specific category of music. The pile appears larger as the category contains more albums.
        * Media Sharing - which allows one to share their Media library and make it accessible to other PCs running Windows Vista, Xbox 360, or networked Media Receivers.
        * Word Wheel - Searches and displays results as characters are being entered, without waiting for Enter key to be hit. Results are refined based on further characters that are typed.
        * CD Burning - CD burning now shows a graphical bar showing how much space will be used on the disc.
        * URGE - The new music store from Microsoft and MTV networks is integrated with the player.
        * Global Status - Global status shows a broad overview of what the player is doing. The information presented include status information regarding buffering, ripping, burning and synchronization.
        * RSS feed support through the integrated feed store that comes with Internet Explorer 7.

Windows Media Player 11 for Windows Vista is a superset of features of what is in the version for previous Windows versions.[16]

[edit] Windows Media Center
Windows Media Center
Windows Media Center

        Main article: Windows Media Center

Media Center in Windows Vista, available in the Home Premium and Ultimate editions, has been upgraded significantly, including a considerable overhaul of the user interface. Each button in the main menu, which contains sections such as "Music", "Videos", and "TV", gets encased in a box when selected, and for each selection, a submenu comes up, extending horizontally. When any of the options is selected, the entries for each are presented in a grid-like structure, with each item being identified by album art, if its an audio file, or a thumbnail image if it is a picture, a video or a TV recording, and other related options, such as different views for the music collection if "Music" is selected, extend horizontally along the top of the grid. Similarly, other items are identified by suggestive artwork. The grid displaying the items is also extended horizontally, and the selected item is enlarged compared to the rest. Other features of Windows Media Center include:

        * Support for two dual-tuner cards
        * Native DVD/MPEG-2 support
        * Addition of Movies and DVD button which lists all the movies on the hard drive and DVD.
        * Tasks button that provides access to jobs such as setting up and configuring a media center extender device.
        * Any video playing is overlaid on the background of the user interface, if the UI is navigated while the video is still playing.
        * Support for high-definition (HD) content, and CableCARD support.

[edit] Internet Information Services 7
IIS 7's redesigned management console
IIS 7's redesigned management console

        Main article: Internet Information Services

Windows Vista includes Internet Information Services (IIS) version 7, which has been refactored into a modular architecture, with integrated .NET extensibility. Instead of a monolithic server which features all services, IIS 7 has a core web server engine, and modules offering specific functionality can be added to the engine to enable its features. Writing extensions to IIS 7 using ISAPI has been deprecated in favor of the module API. Much of IIS's own functionality is built on this API, and as such, developers will have much more control over a request process than was possible in prior versions.

A significant change from previous versions of IIS is that all web server configuration information is stored solely in XML configuration files, instead of in the metabase. The server has a global configuration file that provides defaults, and each virtual web's document root (and any subdirectory thereof) may contain a web.config containing settings that augment or override the defaults. Changes to these files take effect immediately. This marks a significant departure from previous versions whereby web interfaces, or machine administrator access, was required to change simple settings such as default document, active modules, and security/authentication.

IIS 7 also features a completely rewritten administration interface that takes advantage of modern MMC features such as task panes and asynchronous operation. Configuration of ASP.NET is more fully integrated into the administrative interface.

Previous versions of IIS included with Windows XP had hard limits on concurrent connections and defined web servers; IIS 7.0 on Windows Vista will not limit the number of connections allowed but will limit workloads based on the active concurrent requests to 10.

[edit] Security and safety

        Main article: Security and safety features new to Windows Vista

Beginning in early 2002 with Microsoft's announcement of their Trustworthy Computing initiative, a great deal of work has gone into making Windows Vista a more secure operating system than its predecessors. Internally, Microsoft adopted a "Secure Development Lifecycle"[17] with the underlying ethos of, "Secure by design, secure by default, secure in deployment". New code for Windows Vista was developed with the SDL methodology, and all existing code was reviewed and refactored to improve security.

Some of the most significant and most discussed security features included with Windows Vista include User Account Control, Kernel Patch Protection, BitLocker Drive Encryption, and address space layout randomization. Additionally, Windows Vista includes a range of parental controls, which give owners of a computer a set of tools to limit what other accounts on a computer can do, and an improved Windows Firewall which supports both inbound and outbound packet filtering, IPv6 connection filtering and more detailed configurable rules and policies.

Vista also incorporates a range of Digital Rights Management features allowing 'premium content' while respecting the rights of the movie industry, at the cost of a slight percentage of system resources.

[edit] Management and administration

        Main article: Management features new to Windows Vista

Windows Vista contains a range of new technologies and features that are intended to help network administrators and power users better manage their systems. Notable changes include a complete replacement of the "Windows Setup" process based on Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE), completely rewritten image-based deployment mechanisms, GUI recovery tools, support for per-application Remote Desktop sessions, new diagnostic, health monitoring and system administration tools, and a range of new Group Policy settings covering many of the new features.

[edit] Graphics

[edit] Desktop Window Manager

        Main article: Desktop Window Manager

The Desktop Window Manager is the new windowing system which handles the drawing of all content to the screen. Instead of windows drawing directly to the video card's memory buffers, contents are instead rendered to back-buffers (technically Direct3D surfaces), which are then arranged in the appropriate Z-order, then displayed to the user. This drawing method uses significantly more video memory than the traditional window-drawing method used in previous versions of Windows, which only required enough memory to contain the composite of all currently visible windows at any given time. With the entire contents of windows being stored in video memory, a user can move windows around the screen smoothly, without having "tearing" artifacts be visible while the operating system asks applications to redraw the newly visible parts of their windows. Other features new to Windows Vista such as live thumbnail window previews and Flip 3D are implemented through the DWM.

Users need to have a DirectX 9 capable video card to be able to use the Desktop Window Manager. Machines that can't use the DWM fall back to a "Basic" theme, and use screen drawing methods similar to Windows XP.

The Desktop Window Manager (DWM) is included in all editions of Windows Vista except the Starter edition.

[edit] DirectX

        Main article: Direct3D

Windows Vista includes a new version of Direct3D, called Direct3D 10. It adds scheduling and memory virtualization capabilities to the graphics subsystem and foregoes the current DirectX practice of using "capability bits" to indicate which features are active on the current hardware. Instead, Direct3D 10 defines a minimum standard of hardware capabilities which must be supported for a display system to be "Direct3D 10 compatible". Microsoft's goal is to create an environment for developers and designers where they can be assured that the input they provide will be rendered in exactly the same fashion on all supported graphics cards. This has been a recurring problem with the DirectX 9 model, where different video cards have produced different results, thus requiring fixes keyed to specific cards to be produced by developers.

According to Microsoft, Direct3D 10 will be able to display some graphics up to 8 times faster than DirectX 9.0c because of the new improved Windows Display Driver Model. In addition, Direct3D 10 incorporates Microsoft's High Level Shader Language 4.0. However, Direct3D 10 is not backward compatible like prior versions of DirectX. The same game will not be compatible with both Direct3D 10 and Direct3D 9 or below. Games would need to be developed for both APIs, one version for Direct3D 9 and below if targeting Windows versions prior to Windows Vista and another version using Direct3D 10 if targeting only Windows Vista. Windows Vista does, however, contain a backward compatible Direct3D 9 implementation.

The Direct3D 10 API introduces unified vertex and pixel shaders. In addition, it also supports Geometry Shaders, which operate on entire geometric primitives (points, lines, and triangles), and can allow calculations based on adjacent primitives as well. The output of the geometry shader can be passed directly onwards to the rasterizer for interpolation and pixel shading, or written to a vertex buffer (known as 'stream out') to be fed back into the beginning of the pipeline.

D3D10 functionality requires WDDM (Windows Display Driver Model) and new graphics hardware. The graphics hardware will be pre-emptively multithreaded, to allow multiple threads to use the GPU in turns. It will also provide paging of the graphics memory.

The version of Direct3D 9 available in Windows Vista is called Direct3D 9Ex. This modified API also uses the WDDM and allows Direct3D 9 applications to access some of the features available in Windows Vista such as cross-process shared surfaces, managed graphics memory, prioritization of resources, text anti-aliasing, advanced gamma functions, and device removal management.

Deprecation of other DirectX APIs:

In Windows Vista, only Direct3D features an overhaul. The DirectX SDK mentions that most of the other APIs have been deprecated. DirectInput and DirectPlay have been deprecated. DirectSound lacks hardware abstraction and is emulated in software. Only DirectMusic has been included intact.

[edit] Imaging

        Main articles: Windows Imaging Component and HD Photo

Windows Imaging Component (WIC) is a new extensible imaging framework that allows applications supporting the framework to automatically get support of installed codecs for graphics file formats. Windows Presentation Foundation applications also automatically support the installed image codecs. Third party developers can write their own image codecs for their specific image file formats. By default, Windows Vista ships with the JPEG, TIFF, GIF, PNG, BMP and HD Photo codecs. Codecs for RAW image formats used generally by high-end digital cameras are also supported in this manner. Windows Explorer, Windows Photo Gallery and Windows Photo Gallery Viewer are based on this new framework and can thus view and export images in any format for which the necessary codecs are installed.

HD Photo (previously known as Windows Media Photo)[18] is a photographic still image file format, that is introduced with Windows Vista. It supports features such as high dynamic range imaging, lossy as well as lossless compression, up to 32-bpp fixed or floating point representation, transparency, RGB, CMYK and n-channel color spaces, Radiance RGBE, embedded ICC color profiles, multiple images per file and support for Exif and XMP metadata formats. It is the preferred image format for XPS documents.

[edit] Color management

        Main article: Windows Color System

Windows Vista features Windows Color System (WCS),[19] a platform for color management. Its goal is to obtain color consistency across various software and hardware, including cameras, monitors, printers and scanners. Different devices interpret the same colors differently, according to their software and hardware configurations. As a result, they must be properly calibrated to reproduce colors consistently across different devices. WCS aims to make this process of color calibration automatic and transparent, as an evolution of ICC Color Profiles.

Windows Color System is based on a completely new Color Infrastructure and Translation Engine (CITE). It is backed up by a new color processing pipeline that supports bit-depths more than 32 bits per pixel, multiple color channels (more than 3), alternative color spaces and high dynamic range coloring, using a technology named Kyuanos[20] developed by Canon. The color processing pipeline allows device developers to add their own gamut mapping algorithm into the pipeline to customize the color response of the device. The new pipeline also uses floating point calculations to minimize round-off losses, which are inherent in integer processing. Once the color pipeline finishes processing the colors, the CITE engine applies a color transform according to a color profile, specific to a device to ensure the output color matches to what is expected.

WCS features explicit support for LCD as well as CRT monitors, projectors, printers, and other imaging devices and provides customized support for each. WCS uses color profiles according to the CIE Color Appearance Model recommendation (CIECAM02), defined using XML, to define how the color representation actually translates to a visible color. ICC V4 color profiles are also supported. Windows Photo Gallery and Photo Viewer, Windows Imaging Component, the HD Photo format, XPS print path and XPS documents all support color management.

[edit] Mobile computing

Some significant changes have been made to Windows Vista for mobile computing.

[edit] Power management

In Windows Vista, a Sleep power state replaces Standby mode and is active by default. When chosen, this new "Sleep" mode saves information from the computer's memory to the hibernation file on disk, but instead of turning off the computer, it simultaneously enters Standby mode. After the specified amount of time, it shuts down (hibernates). If power is lost during Standby mode, the system resumes from the existing hibernate image on disk. Sleep mode, thus, offers the benefits of fast suspend and resume when in Standby mode and relatively faster resuming and reliability when resuming from hibernation instead of a complete reboot, in case of power loss.

Also, in earlier Windows versions, drivers sometimes prevented Windows from entering or reliably resuming from a power-saving state. This problem has been solved in Windows Vista. Applications can disable sleep idle timers when needed such as when burning discs or recording media. Away mode, which is not a power plan by itself but a feature, automatically turns off displays, video rendering and sound but keeps the computer working when the user is away from the computer. Optionally, it can also switch to sleep mode. Advanced power settings can be configured using the Control Panel. Power settings are also configurable through Group Policy.

The battery icon in the notification area has been improved to let the user more easily select a "Power plan". "Presentation Settings", through the Transient Multimon Manager (TMM), allow saving of display preferences when an external display such as a projector or external monitor is connected. The setting can be restored when the same device is re-connected later. Presentation settings are available only on mobile computers.

[edit] Other mobility enhancements
Screenshot of the new Windows Mobility Center control panel.
Screenshot of the new Windows Mobility Center control panel.

        * Windows Mobility Center is a new control panel available only on mobile computers that centralizes relevant information and configuration. It is extensible so that hardware manufacturers can add further capabilities to control other features specific to their hardware.
        * Windows Mobile Device Center centralizes management of external mobile devices. It includes a basic RNDIS driver to make simple connections to mobile devices. For complete functionality including synchronization of tasks, calendar data, contacts, email etc. with Microsoft Office Outlook, a driver needs to be downloaded. [21] Synchronization with Windows Mail, Windows Calendar or Windows Contacts is not supported. Whenever a Windows Mobile device is connected, the Mobile Device Center pane pops up giving options to manage media and other files on the device, as well as control their settings.
        * A new Windows Portable Devices API has been introduced to communicate with attached media and all portable devices such as mobile phones, portable media players, PDAs etc.
        * Sync Center is a centralized location which provides an organized summary view of any sync partnership users have created for synchronizing data and files, such as mobile devices, network syncing (offline files), portable media devices and so on. While the earlier promised ability to automatically synchronize files among computers using peer-to-peer technology is not included,[22] a powertoy, SyncToy, is available that supports synchronizing local and network files.[23]
        * Windows SideShow is a new technology that lets Windows Vista drive a small external display that is built into the outside of a mobile PC's lid. The display can be updated with a number of different kinds of information, such as contacts, maps, calendar, and email. This can then be consulted while the mobile PC is otherwise powered down.[24]
        * All the features from Windows XP Tablet PC Edition have been included. Intrinsic support for handwriting and ink, via the Ink Analysis API.[25] A new control, the InkCanvas is made available by the API to add ink support to applications. Ink support can not only recognize handwriting and formatting, but also hand-drawn shapes are converted to vector-graphics, rendered as the shape that was intended to be drawn. Support for touchscreens is also included.

Re:Better question... (1)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392765)

"Premium editions of Windows Vista include a redesigned user interface and visual style, named Windows Aero"

Wow! You mean eye candy that slows down your system and hogs resources is the best thing you can come up with for why people should upgrade to Vista?

And with that you get all the DRM that forces DVDs to lower resolution, slows everything down, and keeps you from even being able to enjoy some of the things you legitimately paid for? No thanks.

Re:Better question... (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392863)

All my DVD's play at normal resolution. Had you tried to play a DVD under Vista you would know this.

Re:Better question... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21392763)

IF you honestly do not know this, you should actually go look.
It "DOES" a lot of things that XP doesn't.
The list includes some things that are more geared towards "the look and feel" of it, as well as many, many security related "things".

From the finally implemented userspace/kernelspace ideas for user programs, to the fact that even if you (moronically) log in as the administrator all the time (as most windows users do), you still get warned that something is trying to install outside of normal userspace, or you are trying to access "system" space that should only be done with the knowledge you might fuck something up.

This is no different than any secure multi-user OS should do, even if the actual implementation leaves something to be desired.

the biggest drawbacks to vista so far seem to be based around poor network transfer speeds, and poor performance when running single threaded applications which are coded for previous versions of the Windows OS.

As for reliability, its much more reliable than Windows XP was pre SP1, and will probably be more so after SP1.

mostly, the "problem" with Vista is that it forces a fundamental change in how many programs are coded as it no longer allows random applications to access what it considers "system" space but rather forces these applications to run in userspace instead.

I would expect someone familiar with the idea's of a *nix based system and it's security model to understand this concept.

However i find more and more that the people on slashdot really have no clue.

Re:What is so bad about Vista? (0, Offtopic)

tsa (15680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392759)

Some moderators really boggle me. Why is this modded flamebait?

Re:What is so bad about Vista? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392891)

Because I used the word Vista in a post and didn't say negative things about it.

Re:What is so bad about Vista? (1)

Tony (765) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392973)

I have a similar question. Why's it modded "insightful?"

Re:What is so bad about Vista? (1)

The Seventh Sign (956106) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392837)

User accounts controls have no way to add program users use everyday.

Windows defender doesn't care if yor using another virus guard it demands to be updated.

Hardware in back water hick towns are mostly software controlled fake ware which Vista refuses to run.

Vista seizes the computer you will not be allowed to do any work what so ever until it's back ground processes which are running in normal mode are done.

MS can not even honestly compare Vista with Windows XP with all patches side by side and show Vista is more secure.

Then there is aero the most useless program i ever had crash on me daily.

then there is the fact Ctrl alt del keys sequence is now treated as a request not a fact to stop an irritant program.

Oh and did you notice the Vista PR department stopped trying to dis Linux. Now they are trying to litigate FUD of owning various patents they refuse to show the public at large what they are. SCO tried this ploy too.

Then there is the H-1B Visa workers that are indentured servants to MS unable to apply at Google or other tech companies. All because ms doesn't want to pay the salaries US workers demand after going into debt through overpriced colleges of America.

Then there is the fact they will not play fair in the markets using exclusive contracts to lock out competitors. ( can you buy Linux on a store shelf now?)

It is an overall thing it is not just one thing that makes people buy a product.

then there is the fact MS is going to sell a version of vista that works on lesser PCs.
So even the company that produced it has lost faith in the product.

I was an investor in MS stock now i will make sure my investments have nothing to do with them! I lost ~ 500 USD due to MS not wanting to play fair in the international markets. I divested and will not recommend their stock to any one!

TSS

Re:What is so bad about Vista? (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392961)

There's a old saying in the business: "What Intel giveth, Microsoft taketh away". Most of the performance gains we make in hardware will be sapped away by the next Windows release, almost without exception. And while I don't think Vista is a horrible trainwreck of an OS, there aren't enough worthwhile changes to consider moving my XP machines to it considering the cost (funds and hardware). The fact is, my 4-year old XP machine does just as much as the brand new Vista machine here, and I dont see any benefit.

What's that sound? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21392479)

I think it's Ballmer calling Ikea for more chairs.

Hey why not just bypass WINDOWS? (3, Informative)

toby (759) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392483)

It's not as if spectacularly better alternatives don't exist.

Re:Hey why not just bypass WINDOWS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21392745)

like what, linux?

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!

Re:Hey why not just bypass WINDOWS? (1)

TehZorroness (1104427) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392831)

The joke is on you. I'm running a spectacularly configured desktop system and am beholding to no monopolies.

Win 7 VMing of Unsigned code is bigger trun off... (2, Interesting)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392485)

Windows 7 VMing of all Unsigned code is bigger trun off and will likely brake alot more apps and drivers then what vista broke.

The VMing sound like a good idea but knowing MS they will just find a way to mess up or drive ram and cpu use for it to very high levels.

Also one VM per app will not work that well.

Six years is a very long time... (5, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392507)

So, they already waited for Longhorn, which cratered. There's a very slow uptake of the 1 1/2 year rush-job that they called "vista", and now businesses are expected to wait for another MS development cycle of indeterminate duration?

I really don't know why MSFT's shareholders haven't lynched Ballmer by now.

-jcr

Re:Six years is a very long time... (1)

Skeetskeetskeet (906997) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392861)

Please, tell me when this lynching will occur, I would be honored to pull the trap door lever.

Re:Six years is a very long time... (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392969)

Please, tell me when this lynching will occur, I would be honored to pull the trap door lever.

What, did you work there or something?

Have fun.. For my part, I'm grateful to Ballmer, Alchin, and the rest of MSFT's mismanagement team. Their mishandling of Longhorn was just about optimal from an Apple shareholder's point of view. I'm sure that Google shareholders are similarly happy with their prevention of any viable competitor to Google emerging.

-jcr

Re:Six years is a very long time... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392911)

He's protected by the Microsoft Mobile Infantry: a fiercely loyal force of commando La-Z-Boys that will fly into action at the least provocation to crush any threat.

"every other update" ??? Not even close. (1)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392519)

A company I was recently worked for was still using Windows95. As the workstations died they upgraded them to 2000.

Novell 4 (check)
Windows 95 (check)
$2000.00 /month on a 64k ISDN line used for a VPN (yes I know)

Glad I don't work there anymore

And will it... (2, Insightful)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392525)

Be on time? Of course not.

Will it be full of anti-user software and self-disabling drivers? Absolutely.

Im just about fed up with Microsoft.

Im used to the music and video companies treating customers like criminals, but MS with their remote computer deactivation garbage sets them far over the line. As far as I'm concerned, Im going Ubuntu and Debian.

BTW, Ubuntu likes my new T61 thinkpad. And IBM/Lenovo is Linux friendly.

Re:And will it... (-1, Troll)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392721)

Gasp! A Slashdot poster who doesn't like Vista!? Tell me it ain't so!

Seriously though, mods, can we get some interesting new discussion going here instead of modding up stuff like this? Thank you.

Re:And will it... (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392793)

And what's wrong with this viewpoint?

As a user, what do we gain from requiring 2x the resources for what XP (or 2k) did?

Yes, a 3d desktop looks nice. Ubuntu does it too. Yet, I'm still back in 2d land when I need to get work done.

Dockapps are one of MS's new things... I've been using it since the old days.. NeXTStep.

The Volume Shadow Copy reversion feature looks cool. However one could use rsync with scripts to do something similar.

And when the XP and 2k IP stack worked nicely, they go and change it to something not very nice. If it aint broke, dont "fix" it.

Now, they make sure you know who owns your computer when you run their "licensed" software. The user is a luser and we own your computer. Now get back to that browser in reduced mode.

Re:And will it... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21392885)

That's exactly it. I've pirated and used XP (FCKGW edition), SP0 for quite a while. As I've grown up, I've come realize the actual utility in paying for software. I've also actually got a job.

Then I realize, what's in it for me? My copy works fine. Why buy into XP (or, god forbid, Vista) if I've got to deal with a pain in the arse for every hardware upgrade?

I think piracy protection is fine, but there's only so much you can do and should do. MS should only go so far as they need to go to stop casual hand-to-hand piracy by end-users. Going one step further and imposing a hardware checking system that is ultimately rendered useless by the latest cracks is just silly.

MS, you have the market share. I'd like to come back over to your side to play my games with greater ease, but you're making it hard.

Here is what Cybermen would say (2, Funny)

The Seventh Sign (956106) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392543)

Here is what the cybermen would say about windows Vista.

DEELEEEEEEEETE!

TSS

too late, too early, too in-between ... (0, Flamebait)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392547)

First Vista wasn't picked up because it was too late and then because business is waiting for SP1, and now because it's too early (business waiting for Windows 7 instead). Sometimes Slashdot seems like an message board for asshats.

Re:too late, too early, too in-between ... (4, Insightful)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392583)

Or maybe, just maybe, Microsoft released an unfinished operating system, which was a spectacular failure, and now everybody is trying to avoid paying a huge chunk of cash because there is a good chance Microsoft will try to wipe the problems under the carpet and get something better out ASAP.

Or in other words:
Vista is the new Millenium.

Re:too late, too early, too in-between ... (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392717)

Really, I though that the new millenium was Abbles Leopard...

Re:too late, too early, too in-between ... (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392919)

That "spectacular failure" is selling about 300,000 copies per day. IOW - MSFT brings in more revenue in one week is OS sales than RedHat and Novel do in 52 weeks.

The problem with waiting for MS (5, Insightful)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392553)

At first glance this doesn't appear that bad for Microsoft -- so businesses wait, and then buy a different product from Microsoft; it delays income, but isn't that bad. The problem for Microsoft here is that it gives desktop linux an extra year or two to keep improving. The reality is that Linux on the desktop, whethr you consider it "ready" yet or not, has been improving at a far faster rate than Windows has. Just compare Windows98 and the contemporary releases of Linux (around Redhat 5.2 I think, back when they were still using Afterstep as the default environment) and then compare Vista to Ubuntu 7.10: any gaps have narrowed dramatically. Give linux another couple of years to make comparative gains and things may look inteesting when it comes time for businesses to look at OS upgrades -- do you move to Windows 7, or Linux? Both will probably represent almost equally large changes and require as much retraining as each other, and by that point Linux may well be a very good desktop option. Combine that with the fact that Linux (via wine) might actually be as good as Windows 7 at running your old win32 software (given Vistas difficulties with such things) and Microsoft may have a potential revolt on their hands.

The simple reality is tht, once you all out of step on the treadmill, then working to stay on it doesn't continue to look as attractive as it used to. Lock in is quite important to Microsoft's business model, and failing to keep businesses in step with current MS trends is actually quite a serious potential problem brewing.

Re:The problem with waiting for MS (2, Interesting)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392723)

Everything you say is true about Linux also applies to Mac OS X. Linux needs to keep an eye on Apple, too.

Re:The problem with waiting for MS (1)

ZOmegaZ (687142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392741)

Linux may be catching up in the area of desktop usability. But when it comes to application and hardware compatibility, it will never be able to match ReactOS. That project has been making great strides over the last few years, and I fully expect that by the time Windows 7 comes out, ReactOS will be quite capable of replacing XP.

Re:The problem with waiting for MS (1)

bundaegi (705619) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392927)

Just had a look at the latest ReactOS news [reactos.org] . Nice going!

I too am keeping an eye on their efforts. Something lighter than XP would be fine by me.

Some entities are going to Vista eventually... (3, Informative)

LinDVD (986467) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392571)

For example, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) is moving to Windows Vista on all their workstations in 2008, even though they don't NEED it. Part of this is due to a federal mandate, and part of it is because Microsoft has it as part of their service agreement. Service pack 1 for Windows Vista has nothing to do with the USCG's standard workstation operating system policy.

Re:Some entities are going to Vista eventually... (1)

sigzero (914876) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392761)

I work as a contractor to the USCG and we are dreading the next standard workstation release that includes Vista. The only benefit is that I got upgraded to 2GB of RAM (which Vista is going to eat up). *sigh*

M$ need to move corporate keys back to XP system.. (5, Interesting)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392577)

M$ need to move corporate keys back to XP system.
Businesses do not like the idea that there vista system must call in to M$ to check there key from time to time or go in to limited functionality mode or use a key sever that calls in to M$ and systems can also go in to limited functionality mode if the sever / network goes down.

And if vista starts to gain more ground this may end become a big problem that limited testing be for a big roll is something that you may not run in to at that time and you may have to hope for a fast fix it your key gets blacklisted by mistake and most of your systems go in to limited functionality mode.

Re:M$ need to move corporate keys back to XP syste (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392673)

I really like that function. Vista will reduce usefulness if it "THINKS" you're not quite legit on your licenses.

AT least in this arrangement, you know who pwns your machines.

Has Linux done this sort of anti-user garbage? Hmmm....

Though, I think I'd laugh if newer blackmailers threatened to reduce functionality on the targets computers... After all, the disable switch is built right on the side.

Re:M$ need to move corporate keys back to XP syste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21393025)

"THEIR"

"There" is a place. "Their" is a possessive.

Either get it write, or stop righting things online.

Vista was 3 years late! (4, Interesting)

Peter Cooper (660482) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392603)

If Vista was 3 years late, why would anyone trust Microsoft's projections now? If "Windows 7" is going to hit in 2009, that's probably going to mean 2012 or 2011 at best.

Well that makes a lot of sense (1)

Howitzer86 (964585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392889)

2012 == End of The World

Well Given the Delay ... (1)

lord_rob the only on (859100) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392613)

... between the theorical release date of Vista and its real release date, I'm not that sure Windows 9 will be released in early 2010 actually.

At what point does Vista join Win ME? (3, Insightful)

PingXao (153057) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392631)

IIRC Windows ME was a bust right out of the gate. We have seen some grudging indications from MS that Vista (aka Windows ME II) isn;t meeting the expectations they had for it in terms of adoption and implementation. How long until people say, "Yep, Vista sure was a bust!"? Maybe MS will never say it, but what will it take to convince the popular press and cheerleader factions that Vista, in fact, was a horrible OS?

The cynic in me says it doesn't matter because the DRM core of the OS will never get the criticism it deserves and, thus, any follow-on OS will be just as bad. No OS that manages someone else's rights without giving a hoot for mine will ever run on my hardware.

Re:At what point does Vista join Win ME? (1)

nwoolls (520606) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392681)

You're looking at it backwards. The real (and honest) question is, how long until the Linux and OSX cheerleaders realize "Yep, Vista isn't as bad as all that!"?

Re:At what point does Vista join Win ME? (0)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392893)

MS didn't have the investment in Vista as it did in ME. ME was a stopgap release between 98 and XP. MS could afford to let it fade away because, at the time, users could choose XP which was a year away and even Win2k if they wanted. Right now, users have no other choice but to downgrade to XP. MS has a lot riding on ME. The best that they can do is distract the dissatisfied users with Windows7.

This is a grate time for apple make osX for all 86 (1, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392677)

This is a grate time for apple make osX for all x86 systems and apple os is much better then windows as they have cut out all older api's and code from the old mac os 1-9 unlike M$ that still has code and API's from windows 3.X in vista.

Drivers for ATI / AMD / NVIDIA / Intel chipsets can easy be made from MacOSX like they are from windows and linux. ATI / AMD / INTEL / NVIDIA Video drivers are the same way as well.

Yeah... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392713)

With Windows 7 due in late 2009 or 2010,

Yeah, right!

And unless Microsoft ditches all that internal DRM crap, who is to believe that the next Windows will be any better than Vista? Heck, based on MS's record, expect worse still all around, since I don't think they've learned anything from their failures with Vista yet!

thank you (-1, Offtopic)

te3p (1190429) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392767)

thanx. directory [te3p.com] - chat [te3p.com] - forum [te3p.com]

The vista push (3, Insightful)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392807)

Organizations don't want to install vista. Check. What makes us think the successor to Vista will be recieved any better?

Instead, the real danger to MS is a push to thin clients. I've heard rumblings lately, and if the next OS dissappoints like vista, you can expect huge deployments of thin clients coming. I know it would make more financial sense for my location when time comes to upgrade from XP to go with thin clients chatting with a windows terminal server. There is risk involved with this step, but if we see another crappy OS come out, it will be the justification I need to validate the switch over.

Just my thoughts on the matter.

the every-other-release rule (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392825)

those businesses that follow the every-other-release rule.

This does not make sense. If there was such a rule, the business that are now on the de supported windows 2000 will go to vista in the near future. The business that are on XP (sp1 or SP2) will skip vista.

And the rule is more , one new major OS every 8 or 9 years (what i have seen)

Verdict......Apple by a mile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21392869)

I went to the store to buy a computer.

It was ALL Vista.

I had XP...it was OK.

I don't have time or inclination to play with Linux, being already employed elsewhere.

Apple solved that problem.

As the peecees, die, Apples will follow.

Vista lost me for good.

I'm getting used to not having to screw with the computer.

We're already bypassing it (4, Interesting)

TheVoice900 (467327) | more than 6 years ago | (#21392909)

At my company, we don't have a single Windows machine in sight. Do we miss it? Not at all. Our desktops are all macs, our workstations Linux, our servers are Linux and FreeBSD. After having worked at several companies that used Windows extensively, I can say I have no desire to ever go back to an environment like that. OS X and Linux are just so much more flexible, and have far less management overhead than any Windows environment.

Increasing performance gap benefits Linux and Mac (2, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21393001)

As the Microsoft bloatware continues to sink into a morass of wasted processor cycles, the performance gap with Linux and Macintosh provides a great impetus to the adoption of Unix systems. The funny thing is that it used to be the other way around. Back in the 1980s, MS DOS and Win3.1 was touted as 'more efficient' than Unix systems.
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