I fall into the camp of those guilty of thinking that all that’s new in Vista is the eye candy. However, Tech Republic says that ain’t so:
Myth #4: The only thing new about Vista is the eye candy
Your first impression of an operating system, like your first impression when meeting another person, is often based on appearance. And Vista’s appearance does make an impression. With Aero Glass turned on, the transparent window borders, 3 D animations, and other visual effects make it clear (no pun intended) that this is a whole new Windows.
However, the changes to Vista amount to more than just a pretty interface. In addition to the security improvements discussed above, many aspects of the operating system have been reworked to improve usability and provide new functionality. For example:
- The search capabilities have been greatly expanded, so that you can easily find documents, programs, and other objects, and even run applications, from a single box in the Start menu.
- New productivity applications are built into Vista, including a calendaring/task list program called Windows Calendar and a new, improved address book called Windows Contacts. Together with Windows Mail (the replacement for Outlook Express), these provide much of the same functionality as Outlook, without the need to purchase Office. There are other new built-in applications, too, such as the Snipping Tool that makes it easy to do a screen capture of any desired area without installing third-party software such as SnagIt.
- Changes to Windows Explorer make it easier to organize and view your files, with more options. For example, you can see thumbnails of all files (not just graphics) and view their contents in the preview pane without opening them, as shown in Figure A […]
You can preview files in Windows Explorer without opening them.
Explorer also features automatic horizontal scrolling when needed, and you can select multiple files using check boxes instead of the old method of holding down the [Ctrl] key. Many little things make the user experience less frustrating; for example, when you select to rename a file in Explorer, only the filename is changed; by default the extension remains the same.
These are only a few of the new Vista features that can be enjoyed with or without the Aero Glass interface.
Of course, the real reason I want to upgrade to Vista is so that I can start playing with IIS 7, what with its new extensibility, easy management, and gooey modular goodness. Alas, with Sagara 2.0 on the way, an OS upgrade is suddenly not as high of a priority. 😉