Decisions: Finding the Right Windows Vista for You

Before rushing out to buy it, let’s narrow the Vista versions to find the one that is the best fit for you. See below for an in-depth look at the versions that Microsoft offers.
All versions of Vista share certain features such as:

    • User Account Control
    • Windows Firewall/Defender
    • Internet Explorer 7 with phishing filter
    • Instant Search
    • Backup and Recovery
    • SuperFetch
    • Media Player 11
    • PhotoGallery
    • Speech Recognition
    • Maximum supported RAM 4GB

Below is a detailed look of each version and the features that will tailor a version to your needs.

Windows Vista Home Basic
Built for your basic home-computing needs, Windows Vista Home Basic includes the necessities for your PC experience. This version contains a limited remote desktop and has perfected its search features so that the instant desktop search feature looks across all files on your computer for fast and easy viewing. This version includes automatic program defenses to protect your system from malicious software and websites. Additionally, this Home Basic package includes parent control to ensure that children’s eyes do not stray into inappropriate internet material.

Windows Vista Home Premium
Looking to beef up the Home Basic version? If so, the Home Premium package is the one for you. This version includes Windows Media Center (with HGTV/cablecord support), Aero, scheduled backups, Movie Maker (with HD support), “Premium” games, limited remote desktop, Tablet PC functionality, Slide show and DVD Maker. The most preferred edition for the home desktop and mobile PCs, Vista Home Premium delivers the basic security and reliability with some extras such as Windows Media Center for making and storing photos, DVDs, music, recorded TV and home movies. This version also contains new features that simplify the transfer of data and settings from an old PC to a newer Vista-run system.

Windows Vista Business
A great alternative to Windows Vista Ultimate is Windows Vista Business. Ideal for a small business owner, Vista Business includes Aero, scheduled backups, “Premium” games, remote desktop, offline files/folders, Tablet PC functionality, Slide show and fax and scan.
This is the first Windows operating system specifically tailored to meet the needs of a small business. Touting an improved interface to make information searches simpler, Windows Vista Business will streamline any small business with powerful and safe features. Included in this particular version are several mobile computing enhancements that keep you connected with your business while on the go or in the office. Now you and your business can share a complimentary rhythm, upon which location will have no bearing.

Windows Vista Enterprise
The premium business edition of Windows Vista, Enterprise is ideal for large-scale, global organizations with complex IT infrastructures. This version will streamline businesses by lowering costs and reducing risks to your networked business community. Windows Vista Enterprise includes Aero, scheduled backups, BitLocker, “Premium” games, remote desktop, offline files/folders, Tablet PC functionality, Slide show, and fax and scan capabilities. Additionally, Enterprise provides built-in tools to improve application compatibility with previous versions of Microsoft operating systems and is available in all interface languages.

Windows Vista Ultimate
Do your worlds of business and pleasure overlap? No worries, Microsoft will take care of you with the most complete edition–Windows Vista Ultimate.
This version of Windows Vista includes all features found within Windows Vista Premium, namely, Windows Media Center (with HGTV/cablecord support), Aero, scheduled backups, Movie Maker (with HD support), BitLocker, “Premium” games, remote desktop, offline files/folders, Tablet PC functionality, Slide show, fax and scan and DVD Maker.
This complete version also contains all features found in Windows Vista Business such as business networking, advanced system backup files and centralized management tools. Additionally, the Ultimate edition includes new security, data protection features and support for other features such as Windows Tablet and Touch Technology, Windows Mobitilit Center and Windows SlideShow.
Windows Vista Ultimate exclusively contains Windows Ultimate Extras. These are unique and cutting-edge programs that are available only to Windows Vista Ultimate users. Currently, these Extras include:

    • Windows Hold’em: poker game for all skill levels
    • BitLocker Drive Preparation Tool: removes the complexity of setting up you PC
    • Secure Online Key Backup: store your BitLocker password and Wnccrypted File System certificate in a digital locker.
    • Language packs for multi-lingual interface
    • DreamScene: allows looped, full-motion video as desktop wallpaper rather than a static image

If any other Extras become available, the Ultimate Extra control panel will inform you of new downloads. With Windows Vista Ultimate, you will be able to travel, work and find an excellent source of entertainment while knowing that your PC is running with the very best Windows Vista version available.

Decisions, decisions—and one is just right for you. Whether a small business owner or on the search for a source of entertainment, Windows Vista has a version for you. Choose the right one for you and prepare yourself for an amazing technological experience.

Windows Vista, Unveiled—Be Ahead of the Curve

Microsoft’s Windows Vista is designed to give you more than you expect from any operating system that you have encountered thus far. Now you are able to optimize your operating system according to your needs rather than being restricted by limiting software.
Windows Vista brings a great promise—the pledge of transparency for your world, for this operating system allows you to safely and confidently rely upon your PC. In addition, you will receive a lively multi-media experience with dynamic audio-video output, music and TV.
Most importantly, Vista unveils the priceless gift of connectivity. Stay connected to those with whom you are closest, unfettered by distance and location. For now you are able to travel far and wide with the reliability of Vista by your side.
Vista will adapt itself to your needs through the tremendous renovations that Microsoft has forged. This operating system is so complete that it provides a spring board for you, the user, to do what you have only been able to dream of in the past. It is a realization in convenience, security and luxury. As a Vista user, you can embrace, with confidence, your role as a professional, an educator, a student, and an individual as you experience the greatest computer experience available.
Stay connected, remain confident, and grab hold of your dreams today, with Microsoft’s Windows Vista.
Windows Vista is similar to the older versions of Windows XP, but has an improved compatibility and strategies for making your PC experience impactful and dynamic. A great deal has changed and I would like to take a few moments to provide a survey of the novelties that you will encounter when you begin using this newly streamlined software. This is the beginning article of a series in which, together, we will step through the Vista experience to become proficient in the software of tomorrow—today.
Before installing Windows Vista on your PC, check out Microsoft’s online Upgrade Advisor. Upon download, an Active X component will inventory your computer’s hardware to tailor-fit a version of Windows Vista that is best suited for you. The four versions are as follows:
1. Windows Vista Basic
2. Windows Vista Home Premium
3. Windows Vista Business
4. Windows Vista Ultimate
Now for a short outline of Windows Vista’s hottest components…

Windows Vista Welcome Center

Upon booting Windows Vista, first-time users are greeted with one of the newest additions, the Vista Welcome Center. This device provides tools to migrate data from another partition or hard drive as well as offering several Microsoft services. The Welcome Center allows you to connect to the Internet, add user accounts for different people, and transfer files and settings from another computer.

Sidebar Component

A new addition to Windows, the Sidebar allows you to load gadgets that streamline your PC experience. When you first boot Vista, the Sidebar will be preloaded with three gadgets: a clock, a photo-gallery slide show and an RSS feed which streams news headlines directly to your computer’s desktop. Other gadgets include: a notepad, weather forecast, calendar and an address book to name a few.

Start Menu…or Something like It

Windows has radically changed the Start menu with a more stylized menu. Formally a button with the word Start, the menu is now designated with the Windows Vista logo set within a circular button. This updated “Start” button is still conveniently located in the bottom left of your screen.
Upon accessing the menu, look closely. Microsoft has added a new feature to streamline the retrieval of your program files. You simply type the name of the application that you desire to use, and a shortcut will appear for you to click. Not a fan of the new setup? No worries, All Programs is still there, but it is located within a hierarchy with expandable sections. Now, the application list is condensed, rather than lists which build out onto the desktop.

Logical Files and Folders

A great shift has occurred within Microsoft’s conception of the organization of files and folders. No longer move files between various folders with Vista! Now you are able to create folders based on content and file type with new ways to organize your documents.

Aero Graphics

Vista Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, and Enterprise contain an Aero graphics engine with Windows Flip which allow file icons to show content. Additionally, the icon can also scale to the size of the page and you can view thumbnails of any open task across the bottom of your screen. Live taskbar thumbnail images display the actual contents of both windows that are currently open and those that are minimized in the taskbar. When you rest your mouse pointer on a tile on the taskbar, you’ll see the “live” contents of that window without having to bring it to the foreground.
Windows Flip shows you live thumbnails of your open windows instead of generic icons, making it easier to quickly identify the windows you’re looking for. Windows Flip 3D gives you a new way to find the window you want. When you press Start+TAB, Windows Flip 3D dynamically displays all the open windows on your desktop in a 3D, stacked view. In this view, you can rotate through your open windows to find the one you’re looking for.

Windows Meeting Space

Need to meet with the big cheese back at the office? Windows Vista Business includes Windows Meeting Space for you to set up secure wireless peer-to-peer meeting sessions.

Speech Recognition
Suffering from an overload of typing and clicking? Save those hands with Vista’s Speech Recognition and start verbally communicating with your PC. With this feature, you can dictate documents and email and command specific applications and the operating system. This program, located within the Control Panel of Vista is built with the latest Microsoft speech technologies with voice recognition accuracy which adapts to your unique speaking style and vocabulary.

BitLocker Drive Encryption
This program addresses very real threats of data theft or disclosure from lost, stolen or inappropriately decommissioned PC hardware with a tightly integrated solution in the Windows Operating System. BitLocker Drive Encryption protects user data and ensures that a PC running Windows Vista has not been tampered with while the system was offline data protection feature. This is available in Windows Vista Enterprise and Ultimate.

Reign in Your Children
Limit your children’s access and time spent on the Internet with a child-lock feature–included in Windows Home Basic and Windows Home Premium. These controls help parents restrict computer use, determine which games their children can play, which programs they can use, and which websites they can visit—and when.

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