Another feature of Vista that I love is Windows ReadyBoost. This technology allows me to place a USB key in my computer and improve performance without adding additional memory to my computer. Once you put the USB key in you are prompted to view the files on your USB key or speed up your system. My laptop already had 2 GB of RAM. I had a 2 GB USB Flash key and my system is screaming speed.
The newly improved Start menu has been working great for me. In the past you had a huge Start menu with tons of programs on it. With Windows Vista, you simply click Start and type the name of the program in the search bar and it finds it within seconds. For example, you could type “word” and it brings up Microsoft Word. You no longer have to navigate through the tree to find the program you want. This is a real time saver.
I am also enjoying Windows Flip 3D, Windows Flip, Live Taskbar Thumbnails, and the Windows Sidebar. If your computer supports Aero Glass, you will be tickled by Windows Flip 3D. It allows you to flip through your open windows in 3D. It is fantastic. The only drawback is that you need Aero Glass support to take advantage of this feature.
Windows Flip is the ALT + Tab combination but it also gives you a graphical presentation as well. Live Taskbar Thumbnails is also a welcomed enhancement to Windows Vista. By simply running your cursor over the taskbar, you get a graphical presentation of each open document.
Windows Sidebar is a sidebar that runs on your desktop that allows you to add gadgets. It is identical to dashboard widgets in Apple’s OS X Tiger. On my desktop, I have a calendar, notepad, stocks, headlines and weather gadgets running. I can also go online and download more gadgets that are helpful to me. This is a feature I am really enjoying.
On the backend, all profiles are no longer stored in documents and settings. You now have a users directory and each profile is stored within this directory. Microsoft has also done away with “My”. There are no longer My Documents, My Pictures, etc. It has been replaced simply with Contacts, Documents, Desktops, Downloads, Music, Pictures, etc.
These are just some of the features I have come to love about Windows Vista. Vista has so much more to offer. I believe other people might see value in other areas of Vista such as Windows Mail, Windows DVD Maker, Windows Games, Windows Media Player, Parental Controls, and/or Windows Photo.
These are areas I have yet to explore but as each day goes by that I use Windows Vista, I find myself unlocking more of its mysteries. The more time I spend in Vista, the more I become impressed with what it has to offer.
Steven Warren is an IT consultant for the Ultimate Software Group and a freelance technical writer who has been a regular contributor to TechRepublic, TechProGuild, CNET, ZDNET, DatabaseJournal.com and, now, CIO Update. He the author of “The VMware Workstation 5.0 Handbook” and holds the following certifications: MCDBA, MCSE, MCSA, CCA, CIW-SA, CIW-MA, Network+, and i-Net+.