Sunday, February 26, 2006
Microsoft Windows Vista has a whole lot of new features and is an edge above its predecessor Windows XP. To start with, Microsoft has changed the look and the feel of its start menu. The new start menu, though not very attractive, include a search box embedded in it. It offers better search functionality with a whole lot of new search features.
Windows Vista also has inbuilt Text-to-Speech and Speech Recognition software's which can be accessed through the 'Speech' tab in the control panel. Outlook Express has been renamed as 'Windows Mail' with some minor additions. A new Windows Photo Gallery has been introduced which can manage your images. You can rank your images, change their color and contrast, create slideshows and much more with this new Windows Photo Gallery. It also includes a 'Sync Center' which enables you to synchronize all your devices.
A range of 'Parental Control' features have also been included in the Control Panel of Microsoft Windows Vista. These features include Web Restrictions, Time Restrictions, Games Restrictions, Program Restriction and Activity Reports. These new features have really added a new dimension to the multiple user accounts feature of Microsoft Windows.
The new Windows Vista also enhances on the security features available in Windows XP. It includes a build-in anti-spyware program, 'Windows Defender', which scans the potentially unwanted items installed on the computer.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 is introduced in Windows Vista. IE 7 supports tabbed browsing which is the most appreciated feature of its biggest competitor, Firefox. Windows Media Player 11 is another upgrade in the new Windows Vista package. It also includes a whole lot of new games in this fresh bundle.
It is clear that Windows Vista comes with many features but all these come at a cost. As I was told by a Microsoft employee, it took them 4 hours to install the OS on one machine. Its a very heavy OS, whose full version requires about 10GB of space and a minimum of 512MB of RAM. The Beta version takes a lot of time to load when you start the system, though may be improved in the final version of the product.
***This was an account of my experience with Windows Vista for 3 hours at the Microsoft India office in Gurgaon on February 26, 2006. There my task was to find the bugs in the Windows Vista Beta version or as they say, Windows Starter 2007. My visit was a result of clearing the 'Round 1' of Microsoft Bug Bash, which was an exam held in our college by Microsoft in association with Appin. This does not include the complete features of Microsoft Windows Vista but only the features I used in those 3 hours. For complete feature list you may visit the windows Vista Home Page at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista***