Posted by: Kim | March 11, 2007

Impressions of Windows Vista after 7 days

I thought this commercial was funny before I became a Vista user; I find it even funnier now.  And for those of you wondering, here’s what that “security dude” looks like in Vista:

Vista security

First off, let me state that this little security feature was a big pain in the backside as I was installing all of my software, taking updates and transferring files from my old laptop.  Now that I’m in a fairly stable state, I don’t really see this all that often.  I do have one offending program (MasterCook 9) that causes this dialog box to pop ever time I launch the program, but it hasn’t been the end of the world.

Now that that issue is out of the way, let’s move on to the desktop and some basic navigation shots.  I am going to keep this very high level, as I haven’t really dug in after only seven days, but I have discovered some things I really like with Vista that I’d love to share.

First off, the desktop is very similar to Windows XP with a Recycle Bin icon, as well as user-added icons for My Computer, etc.  The default graphics (shown below) are pleasant to the eye.  One of the coolest updates (in my opinion) is the addition of Gadgets (over to the right side).

Vista DesktopVista Gadgets

There are various gadgets that can be added from Vista, as well as custom gadgets posted on the web by users.  I’ve chosen the clock, calendar, three weather locations (which change throughout the day as long as you’re connected to the Internet), and the notepad.  One of the default gadgets that I thought was great was an RSS feed, but you’re only able to select from default feeds set up my Microsoft.  So, it’s not one of my gadget choices.

The Start menu is very similar to the XP version, although now you can list more recently accessed programs and there is a field for searching at the bottom (very handy).

Vista Start

From a navigation perspective, the window layout for moving through the folders is very different.  You can now either navigate to your favorite links in the left pane, or you can bounce through the folder structure directly through the “address bar” at the top of the window.  I’ve found this to be very useful when you’re moving around in your structures by more than one level at a time.  The icons for the folders have also been retooled so that they show you a small preview of the folder contents.

Vista folder navigation

Last but not least, Vista now includes a “Windows Media Center” which allows the user to navigate and play/view photos, videos, TV recordings, DVDs and CDs.  I haven’t had a chance to really roll my sleeves up on this, but my first impressions are favorable.  I’ll post on this feature at a later date.

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