Windows Vista has been in development for roughly five years and I have been actively 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).
Now that I have had some time working with the official Windows Vista release to manufacturing (RTM), I wanted to share with you my growing love affair with Windows Vista.
First things first, let’s begin with how Microsoft is branding its new editions. They have created six different versions of Vista to handle the needs of private consumers, small businesses, and large enterprises. The versions are packaged as follows: for private consumers – Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Starter, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Ultimate (with all the bells and whistles).
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For businesses there are Windows Vista Business, and Windows Vista Enterprise, which handle the business side of Vista such as encryption and virtualization.
Now for the fun stuff: I have been working with the Windows Vista Ultimate edition and I would like to share some of the things I love about Windows Vista. For starters, the installation of Vista is aesthetically beautiful to the eye and simplistic by nature.
The installation went very smoothly and in less than 28 minutes I had my new operating system singing. This is half the time it takes to load Windows XP Professional. Before I ever got into the new operating system, I was pleased on this front alone.
My laptop graphics card supports Vista Aero Glass, which is simply the eye candy of Vista. All I can say is a-maz-ing. Every time I work on my laptop, I find myself smiling at how beautiful the interface is. The Start button has been redesigned as a beautiful orb with a windows logo, the Start menu, and the icons, Microsoft did a great job redesigning the user interface.
Once I got past the interface, and starting digging around I found that configuring a wireless connection was a snap and the security that came with Vista was top-notch.
I was able to create a standard account and elevate my privileges to administrator when the need arises. For example, I run as a standard user, and anytime I have to install software, I am asked for the administrator password.
Anytime 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. 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 Vista is a newly redesigned Internet Explorer 7 (IE7). 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 IE7 protected mode. In protected mode, you are safe from hackers. It is impossible for IE7 in 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.