Windows Vista introduces a breakthrough user experience and is designed to help you feel confident in your ability to view, find, and organize information and to control your computing experience.
The visual sophistication of Windows Vista helps streamline your computing experience by refining common window elements so you can better focus on the content on the screen rather than on how to access it. The desktop experience is more informative, intuitive, and helpful. And new tools bring better clarity to the information on your computer, so you can see what your files contain without opening them, find applications and files instantly, navigate efficiently among open windows, and use wizards and dialog boxes more confidently.
Ease of use
When you start using Windows Vista, you will recognize familiar elements such as the Start menu, which is now faster, more streamlined, and more helpful than in previous versions of Windows. The Start menu features integrated desktop search through a new feature called Instant Search which can help you find and launch almost anything on your PC. Just type in a word, a name, or a phrase, and Instant Search can find the right file for you. But more than that, the new start menu makes it very easy for you to navigate across all of the installed applications on your PC. Eliminating the slow performing, cascading "All Programs" view, the new start menu can help you get something started more quickly than ever.
Use Instant Search to quickly find the information you need.
The new Explorers are powerful yet easy-to-use tools for working with files consistently across Windows Vista. Explorers give you more information and control while simplifying how you work with your files. The experience is easy and consistent, whether you're browsing photos or documents or even using the new Control Panel.
The new Document Explorer makes working with your files a snap. Find your files more quickly with the new Live Icon feature, and see what they contain without having to open them.
Key elements of the Explorers in Windows Vista are designed to help you get to the information you need, when you need it. Instant Search is always available to help you find files instantly. The navigation pane contains the new Search Folders found in Windows Vista, as well as traditional folders that you have created on your computer. Command Bars display only the tasks that are most appropriate for the files being displayed. With new Live Icons (scalable thumbnails) used throughout Windows Vista, you can see the first page of documents, the actual image of a photo, or the album art for individual songs in your music collection, making it easier to find exactly what you are looking for.
Type keywords into the Instant Search box in the new Control Panel to find the right system setting quickly.
Windows Vista is the first Windows operating system that has a user experience that can gracefully scale to the hardware capabilities of the computer it is installed on. All computers that meet minimal hardware requirements will see the Windows Vista Basic user experience, which provides the benefits of the refined interface features already mentioned.
Windows Vista Aero provides spectacular visual effects such as glass-like interface elements that you can see through.
Windows Aero is an environment with an additional level of visual sophistication, one that is even more responsive and manageable, providing a further level of clarity and confidence to Windows users.
Live taskbar thumbnails
Resting the mouse pointer over a taskbar item displays a live thumbnail of the window, showing the content of that window. The live thumbnail is displayed whether the window is minimized or not, and whether the content of the window is a document, photo, or even a running video or process.
See thumbnail views of the items in your taskbar by resting your mouse pointer on them.
Windows Flip and Windows Flip 3D
Windows Vista provides two entirely new features to manage windows: Windows Flip and Windows Flip 3D. Flip allows you to flip through open windows (by using Alt+Tab), providing a live thumbnail of each window, rather than just a generic icon and file name. Live thumbnails make it easier to quickly identify the window you want, particularly when multiple windows of the same kind are open. With Flip 3D, you can use the scroll wheel on your mouse to flip through open windows in a stack, and quickly locate and select the one you want to work with.
Use Flip to view and navigate more easily through open windows.
Use Flip 3D to navigate through open windows using the scroll wheel on your mouse.
Windows Vista is engineered to be the most secure version of Windows yet. The new features in Windows Vista help to give you the control and confidence you need to get the most out of your PC.
Windows Vista contains a number of new security features that, taken together, are designed to make Windows Vista-based PCs more secure and your online experiences safer. The improvements are designed to help you have:
- A PC protected from viruses, worms, spyware, and other potentially unwanted software
- A safer online experience for you and your family
- An understanding of when your PC is unsafe, and the control and guidance to help improve your security
User Account Control
User Account Control in Windows Vista improves the safety and security of your computer by giving you the ability to decide if certain potentially dangerous software is allowed to make changes to your computer. It works with Windows Defender and Internet Explorer to help reduce the impact of viruses, spyware, and other threats. With User Account Control and the new Parental Controls in Windows Vista, you can easily create a separate account for each member of the family and control which websites, programs, and games each person can use and install. This helps protect your family and keeps your computer running smoothly.
Better protection from malware
Malware, such as viruses, worms, spyware, and other potentially unwanted software, can cause a wide range of problems, including theft of personal information, slower PC performance, and the appearance of unwanted advertising (such as pop-up ads). The effects of malware can range from mere annoyances to significant problems that take a considerable amount of time and money to fix.
Microsoft believes the best approach to stopping malware is to layer security features. Windows Vista contains many security features that help prevent malware from installing, and that help find and remove malware if it has already been installed:
Security alerts enable you to quickly resolve potentially damaging issues that can harm your Windows Vista PC.
- Automatic Updates and Windows Security Center can help you keep your PC up to date with the latest security patches, and also alert you when your PC needs to install an update.
- Windows Vista firewall helps protect you from hackers, viruses, and worms that try to reach your computer over the Internet.
- Windows Defender helps protect you against spyware and other potentially unwanted software.
- And the Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT), delivered through Automatic Updates, periodically scans your PC looking for known prevalent viruses.
In addition to using these built-in Windows Vista features, you should help keep your computer healthy by using antivirus software such as Windows OneCare or an antivirus solution from one of Microsoft's partners. Whichever option you choose, remember to update your antivirus software regularly. These updates are generally available through a subscription from your antivirus vendor.
Together, these tools can help you protect your PC from malicious software.
Security in Windows Vista: Setting a new standard
Get an in-depth look at how new security features and technologies in Windows Vista are designed to make PCs more secure and online experiences safer.
Search and Organization
Windows Vista gives you more flexibility when you search and organize your files. New controls, like the Instant Search box and Enhanced Column Headers, make it simple for you to manage large amounts of on-screen data in any way that you want.
With Windows Vista, you no longer have to remember where you store every file. Instead, to find a file, you need to only remember something about it, such as a word contained within a document, the artist of a song, or the date a picture was taken. Powerful, integrated desktop search capabilities help you find just about anything on your computer quickly, without having to search for it by browsing through folders. For example, in the new Start Menu, it is as simple as typing a word, a phrase, a property, or any part of a file name into the embedded Instant Search box to instantly find the file that you want.
A new yet familiar look to the Start menu in Windows Vista.
To make searching even more efficient, Windows Vista enables you to add or edit file properties or data associated with a file, like a keyword on a document, the artist of a song, or the event where a picture was taken, to make it easier for you to find in the future. For example, you could add a "graduation" keyword to photos taken at a graduation ceremony when you save them to your computer. Later, just search for "graduation" in the Instant Search box in the start menu or the Windows Photo Gallery, and all the graduation-related pictures will be displayed.
Instant Search is available in any Explorer window, giving you easy access to your information anytime you need it.
Windows Vista introduces Search Folders, a powerful new tool that makes it easy to find and organize your files—wherever they may be on your PC. A Search Folder is simply a search that you save. Opening a Search Folder instantly runs that saved search, displaying up-to-date results immediately.
For example, you could design a search for all documents that are authored by "John" and that contain the word "project." This search, titled "Author John/Keyword Project" is saved as a Search Folder. When you open this Search Folder, the search runs, and you see the results immediately. As you add more files to your computer that have the author John and contain the word "project," those files will also appear in the Search Folder alongside the other matching files, regardless of where they are physically saved on your PC. It is simple and fast.
Windows Internet Explorer 7
Windows Vista enhances the Internet Explorer experience. The upcoming release of Internet Explorer 7 not only adds important new security and privacy features, but makes everyday tasks easier through features such as tabbed browsing, inline search, and shrink-to-fit printing.
New Internet Explorer 7 features, like tabbed browsing and live previews, make it easier for you to get to the websites you want to visit.
Internet Explorer 7 also provides new tools to give you direct access to information you want, with built-in support for web feeds known as Really Simple Syndication (RSS). RSS is a technology you can use to have information sent to you, so you don't have to look for it. Through RSS subscriptions, you can automatically receive feeds (lists) of headlines from Internet sites. Internet Explorer 7 discovers these feeds on sites and allows you to preview and subscribe to them. Once you subscribe, Internet Explorer 7 systematically consolidates headlines from each feed into one list. This lets you quickly browse new information from various sites without having to visit each site separately.
Windows Vista also builds upon the User Account Protection initiative—by default, limiting Internet Explorer 7 to just enough permissions to browse the web, but not enough to modify your files or settings—keeping your PC safer from web-based attacks. This Windows Vista-only feature, known as protected mode, means that even if a malicious site attacks a potential vulnerability in Internet Explorer 7, the site's code will not have enough privileges to install software, copy files to the Startup folder, or hijack the settings for your browser's home page or search provider.
Windows Sidebar and Gadgets
As you use your computer to access more information, perform more tasks, and interact with more software applications, you increasingly face information overload. You open a web browser just to check the weather, open an application to view your calendar, and open a calculator program to simply add numbers. You need simple, specialized, and lightweight mini-applications that put information and tasks at your fingertips—no matter what you're doing.
Windows Sidebar boosts your personal productivity by providing instant access to gadgets—a wide variety of engaging, easy-to-use, and customizable mini-applications that offer information at a glance and provide easy access to frequently used tools.
Windows Sidebar gives you quick access to gadgets like picture slide shows, Windows Media Player controls, or news headlines. You pick the gadgets you want to see in Windows Sidebar.
Gadgets are mini-applications with a wide variety of possible uses. Gadgets can connect to web services to deliver weather information, news updates, traffic maps, Internet radio streams, and slide shows of online photo albums. Gadgets can also integrate with many of your applications to streamline how you interact with them. For example, a gadget can give you an at-a-glance view of all your online instant messaging contacts, the day view from your calendar, or an easy way to control your media player. Of course, gadgets can also have any number of dedicated purposes. They can be calculators, games, sticky notes, and more.
Windows Vista comes with an essential set of gadgets to get you started. You can easily download more gadgets from an online gadget gallery. This gallery hosts gadgets from a wide variety of developers and offers an extensive selection to meet your interests. If you’re a developer, you can learn about creating gadgets at Gadget Builder Depot, the developer resource site.
Windows Sidebar is a pane on the side of the Windows Vista desktop that organizes gadgets and makes them easy to access. Windows Sidebar is the perfect complement to widescreen monitors and also works seamlessly on standard displays. You can easily customize Windows Sidebar to suit how you want to interact with it—whether you want it always on top or resting below maximized windows. You can also move gadgets off the Windows Sidebar and place them anywhere on your desktop.
Windows Vista is designed to help make you more productive as you work with your PC throughout the day with new features like Sleep, Windows SuperFetch, Windows ReadyBoost, and Windows ReadyDrive.
Windows SuperFetch helps manage memory to get the most out of available RAM while Windows ReadyBoost helps make PCs more responsive by using flash memory devices (like USB thumb drives) to boost performance. Windows ReadyDrive takes advantage of new hybrid hard disks—hard disks with integrated flash memory—to help improve battery life, performance, and reliability. With Windows Vista, your system is ready when you are.
Windows Vista introduces a new power state called Sleep. The new Sleep state in Windows Vista combines the speed of Standby with the data protection features and low power consumption of Hibernate. Resuming use when your PC is in the Sleep state takes just 2-3 seconds. You can shut down and restart your computer less often by using the new Sleep state, a simple one-click on and off experience which not only reduces power consumption, but also helps protect your data.
Sleep on desktop PCs
Sleep works in a different way on Windows Vista-based desktops than it does on Windows Vista-based laptops. When you turn off a Windows Vista-based desktop, all the documents, applications, and data that are currently in use are saved in two places. First, they are saved to the memory, or RAM, where they are quickly accessible (in Windows XP this was called Standby). Simultaneously, the information is saved to the computer's hard disk (in Windows XP this was called Hibernate). In Sleep, Windows Vista simultaneously saves the current user information to both memory and the hard disk.
In Sleep, Windows Vista uses the data saved to memory to help you restart faster after extended periods of non-use. Simply move the mouse or press any key on the keyboard and the computer starts up within seconds.
The Sleep state uses the data saved to your hard disk to protect it in case of power loss. When you resume the use of your desktop after a power failure, Windows Vista will quickly restart from Sleep using the data saved to disk, with all of your data and applications intact.
Sleep on laptop PCs
On laptop PCs, you can enter the Sleep state by pressing the Power button or closing the laptop lid. Your data is saved to memory, letting you restart faster. As battery power winds down, Windows Vista quickly transitions the data to disk to help keep the data safe. Windows Vista lets you resume use of your computer more quickly and reliably than previous versions of Windows.
Windows SuperFetch, a new technology in Windows Vista, allows applications and files to load much faster than on Windows XP-based computers. In previous versions of Windows, system responsiveness could be uneven. You may have experienced sluggish behavior after booting your machine, after performing a fast user switch, or even after lunch. Although too many carbohydrates might slow you down after lunch, your computer slows down for different reasons. When you're not actively using your computer, background tasks—including automatic backup and antivirus software scans—take this opportunity to run when they will least disturb you. These background tasks can take space in system memory that your applications were using. After you start to use your PC again, it can take some time to reload your data into memory, slowing down performance.
SuperFetch understands which applications you use most, and preloads these applications into memory, so your system is more responsive. SuperFetch uses an intelligent prioritization scheme that understands which applications you use most often, and can even differentiate which applications you are likely to use at different times (for example, on the weekend versus during the week), so that your computer is ready to do what you want it to do. Windows Vista can also prioritize your applications over background tasks, so that when you return to your machine after leaving it idle, it's still responsive.
Adding system memory (RAM) is often the best way to improve your PC's performance. More memory means applications can run without needing to access the hard drive. However, upgrading memory is not always easy. You need to know what type of memory you need, purchase the memory, and open your computer to install the memory—which sometimes can invalidate your support agreement. Also, some machines have limited memory expansion capabilities, preventing you from adding RAM even if you are willing to do so.
Windows Vista introduces a new concept in adding memory to a system. Windows ReadyBoost lets users use a removable flash memory device, such as a USB thumb drive, to improve system performance without opening the box. Windows ReadyBoost can improve system performance because it can retrieve data kept on the flash memory more quickly than it can retrieve data kept on the hard disk, decreasing the time you need to wait for your PC to respond. Combined with SuperFetch technology, this can help drive impressive improvements in system responsiveness.
Windows ReadyBoost technology is reliable and provides protection of the data stored on your device. You can remove the memory device at any time without any loss of data or negative impact to the system; however, if you remove the device, your performance returns to the level you experienced without the device. Additionally, data on the removable memory device is encrypted to help prevent inappropriate access to data when the device is removed.
Windows ReadyDrive enables Windows Vista PCs equipped with a hybrid hard disk to boot up faster, resume from hibernate in less time, preserve battery power, and improve hard disk reliability. Hybrid hard disks are a new type of hard disk, with integrated non-volatile flash memory.
The hybrid disk is intended for mobile PCs running Windows Vista. Your data is written to the flash memory, which saves work for the mechanical hard disk—saving the battery power. The hybrid disk helps Windows Vista resume faster from Sleep because data can be restored from flash memory faster than from the mechanical hard disk. And since more data is written to the integrated flash memory than to the traditional hard disk, you have less risk of hardware problems with the hard disk when you're on the move. Windows Vista takes advantage of hybrid hard disk to save battery life, resume use faster from hibernation, and improve reliability.
Windows Vista provides valuable new innovations to help ensure you never lose information that is important to you. Windows Vista offers multiple layers of backup and restore protection from hardware failure, user error, or other issues. These innovations include system restore enhancements, a new feature called Windows Backup, and a related feature: Previous Versions, based on the Volume Shadow Copy technology which was first introduced with the Windows Server product family. These features are presented in a single, unified Windows Backup and Restore Center.
Backup and Restore Center
Windows Vista Provides a single destination where you can access all of the related Backup and Restore features.
The Backup and Restore Center gives you one place where you can work with all the backup-related features available in your edition of Windows Vista. For example, the File and Folder backup and restore wizards are prominently displayed for easy access.
System Restore was introduced in Windows XP to allow people to restore their computers to a previous state without losing personal data files (for example, Microsoft Office Word documents, graphics files, and e-mail messages). You don't have to worry about taking system snapshots with System Restore—it automatically creates easily identifiable restore points, which you can use to revert your system to the way it was at a previous time. Restore points are created both at the time of significant system events (such as when you install applications or drivers) and periodically (each day). You can also create and name restore points at any time.
System Restore in Windows XP is based on a file filter that watches file changes for a certain set of file extensions, and copies files before they are overwritten. If you encounter a problem, you can roll back the system files and the registry to those from a previous date when the system was known to have worked properly.
In Windows Vista, System Restore allows recovery from a greater range of changes than in Windows XP. The file filter system for system restore used in previous versions of Windows is replaced with a new approach: Now, when a restore point is requested, a shadow copy of a file or folder is created. A shadow copy is essentially a previous version of the file or folder at a specific point. Windows Vista can request restore points automatically, or do so when you ask. When the system needs to be restored, files and settings are copied from the shadow copy to the live volume used by Windows Vista. This improves integration with other aspects of backup and recovery and makes System Restore even more usable.
Windows Vista helps you easily back up PC settings, files, and applications when and where you choose, with the convenience of automated scheduling.
Windows Vista provides a backup experience that is more comprehensive and even easier to use than the basic backup utility included in Windows XP. The new Windows Backup feature gives you more choices for storing your backed-up information. You can choose to back up to CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, an external hard disk connected to your PC by USB or IEEE 1394, another hard disk on your PC, or to another PC or server connected to your network.
Windows Vista makes the backup process even easier than it is in Windows XP. You no longer have to remember to regularly back up your data. You can use a simple wizard to schedule when and where you want it backed up.
Of course, backup is only as useful as the recovery experience, which has been expanded in scope and usefulness in Windows Vista. A wizard helps you select the files or folders to restore and prompts you for restore media. Then it restores the files you select.
The Previous Version feature lets you quickly recover a file you accidentally lost or changed.
Have you ever accidentally saved over a file you were working on? Accidental file deletion or modification is a common cause of data loss. Windows Vista includes another useful innovation to help you protect your data: Previous Versions. This feature automatically creates point-in-time copies of files as you work, so you can quickly and easily retrieve versions of a document you may have accidentally deleted.
Windows Vista includes new networking features that make your network easier to set up, easier to use, and more secure and reliable. Connect wirelessly to your company's network, share an Internet connection and printers, copy files between computers, or enjoy your favorite entertainment around your home. Whether at home, a small business, or a large enterprise, Windows Vista makes connectivity easier so you can focus on what matters to you.
Windows Vista puts you in control of your network experience with the Network Center—the central place for all your networking needs. Network Center informs you about the network your computer is connected to and verifies whether it can successfully reach the Internet. It even presents this information in a summary in the Network Map so you can immediately see your connectivity to the network and Internet. If a PC on the network loses Internet connectivity, you can graphically see that the link is down, and then use Network Diagnostics to help determine the cause of the problem and get a suggestion for a solution.
Check your connection status, see your network visually, or troubleshoot a connection problem in the Network Center.
Network Center also allows you to quickly connect to other available networks, or create entirely new connections. You can view and configure your most important network settings in one place. And for less frequently accessed settings, Network Center provides direct links so you can easily find what you're looking for.
Network Center also makes it easy to connect your workplace network from home.
Easily connect to your workplace from home using the Network Center.
With Windows Vista, setting up a network between multiple PCs and devices (including printers, music players, and game systems) is simple and intuitive. The Network Setup Wizard allows you to set up wired or wireless networks by identifying unconfigured network devices and adding them to the network. The Network Setup Wizard also automates the process of adding new devices to your network. It automatically generates secure network settings to keep your network safe from intruders.
Network settings can also be saved to a portable USB flash drive to make adding PCs and devices to the network a quick and easy process. Simply insert the USB flash drive into a PC or device and it will automatically read the data and ready itself to join the network. File and printer sharing is also easily enabled on each PC on the network from the Network Setup Wizard, so you can share documents, photos, music, and other files across your network.
Once a network is set up, you need to be able to easily browse content on networked PCs, devices, and printers. The new Network Explorer in Windows Vista makes it easy to share files and take advantage of the connectivity that a network provides. It presents a view of all PCs, devices, and printers on the network, and is significantly faster and more reliable than My Network Places in Windows XP. The Network Explorer is even able to use custom, representative icons for different devices (when enabled by manufacturers). You can also directly interact with select devices—adjust settings or control music playback, for example.
Create networks to share files, printers, and other devices.
When people have multiple computers and devices on a network, with a combination of wireless and wired connections, it can be difficult to understand how everything is connected. Windows Vista provides a new feature called Network Map which shows you an easy-to-understand, graphical view of everything on the network, and how everything is connected. This helps you optimize your network for the best performance and easily locate any problems.
Network Map in a home environment showing a broken connection to a wireless router.
Windows Vista improves the wireless network experience in a number of ways. The new Network Awareness feature in Windows Vista keeps your applications aware of and optimized for the network's changing capabilities. Your data is also more secure with enhanced support for the latest wireless security protocols, including WPA2. Windows Vista helps you avoid connecting to fraudulent wireless networks which seem like legitimate hotspots but, in fact, are not. Windows Vista also provides an easy way to create ad-hoc wireless networks to use peer-to-peer applications such as file sharing and application collaboration.
Network Awareness provides the ability to report changes in network connectivity to applications in order to provide a more seamless connected experience. As you connect to different networks, the change is communicated to Network Awareness-supported applications, which can then take appropriate actions for your connection to that network. For example, when you switch from your home office to your corporate network, firewall settings can be configured to open the ports needed to allow the use of IT management tools. Group Policy will detect the reconnection to the corporate network and automatically begin processing policy changes instead of waiting for the next detection cycle.
It's easy to become frustrated over network connection failures, especially when there's a lack of information and guidance on how to solve the problem. That's why Windows Vista provides Network Diagnostics to analyze the situation and present either immediate solutions or a list of possible causes and solutions so that you can fix the problem yourself.
Network Diagnostics will either solve your problem automatically or walk you through the process to solve it. For example, a common error that occurs when you're browsing the Internet is that a web page will not load. An error message indicates the failure to complete the task (such as, "Page cannot be displayed" or "Server is not available") and prompts you to run Network Diagnostics. Within a few moments, a Network Diagnostics dialog box will display a description of the actual error and provide a recommendation on how to fix it.
Network Diagnostics helps you solve your own problems by giving you a list of potential causes and solutions.
Networking Optimized for Speed
Windows Vista automatically tunes itself to receive more data at any given time by detecting the speed of your Internet connection and the amount of bandwidth available to you. As a result, you can download files and stream multimedia clips much faster with your existing high-speed Internet access, which means you spend more time working with your content and less time waiting for it to arrive.
If you use a laptop computer, you know that starting up your laptop just to check a message or find an address or phone number isn't always practical.
Windows Vista SideShow technology enables laptop manufacturers to include a secondary or auxiliary display in future laptop designs. This display can be used to easily view the critical information you need, whether the laptop is on, off, or in sleep mode. The convenience provided by these auxiliary displays will save time and battery life by allowing you to quickly view meeting schedules, phone numbers, addresses, and recent e-mail messages without having to start up your laptop.
Quickly access the key information you need like appointments, key e-mails, or notes without turning on your laptop using Windows SideShow.
The Windows Vista SideShow platform will also enable hardware manufacturers to build auxiliary displays in a wide range of peripheral devices such as keyboards, LCD display casings, remote controls, and cell phones. These devices can then display information received from a Windows Vista-based PC, providing even more convenience to your everyday computing.
Speech Recognition in Windows Vista
Windows Speech Recognition, a new feature in Windows Vista, lets you interact with your computer using your voice. It was designed for people who want to use their mouse and keyboard less, yet maintain—or even increase—their overall productivity. You can dictate documents and e-mails in commonly used programs, and use voice commands to start and switch between applications, control the operating system, and even fill out forms on the web.
Windows Speech Recognition lets you quickly and easily dictate documents and e-mails—even notes to yourself.
Windows Speech Recognition was built using the latest Microsoft speech technologies. It adapts to your speaking style and vocabulary, so the accuracy with which Windows Vista recognizes your speech improves each time you use it. Windows Vista supports speech recognition in a number of languages, including English (United States), English (United Kingdom), German (Germany), French (France), Spanish (Spain), Japanese, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese.
With Windows Speech Recognition, you are empowered right from the start; a guided setup and an interactive training experience familiarize you with key concepts and commands.
Speech recognition in Windows Vista also features an innovative, intuitive user interface that efficiently assists you in controlling your computer by voice. Whether you're starting an application, selecting a word, or correcting a sentence, you are always in control; Windows Speech Recognition smoothly guides you to successfully complete the task at hand.
|User interface improvements
||A redesigned user interface provides a simple and efficient experience for dictating and editing text, correcting mistakes, and controlling your computer by voice.|
||Dictate e-mails and documents. Make corrections and save your work by voice.|
||Ongoing adaptation to both your speaking style and accent continually improves speech-recognition accuracy.|
||Efficiently fix incorrectly recognized words by selecting from alternatives for the dictated phrase or word, or by spelling the word.|
||Easily resolve ambiguous situations with a user interface for clarification. When you say a command that can be interpreted in multiple ways, the system asks for clarification on what you intended.|
||The interactive speech-recognition tutorial teaches you how to use Windows Speech Recognition and teaches the recognition system what your voice sounds like.|
||"Say what you see" commands allow you to naturally control applications and complete tasks, such as formatting and saving documents; opening and switching between applications; and opening, copying, and deleting files. You can even browse the Internet by saying the names of links.|
|"How do I" Help (English [United States] only)
||You can say, "How do I" followed by a task you want to perform to have that Help topic displayed on the screen. (For example, "How do I change my desktop background?").|
|Support for multiple languages
||Windows Speech Recognition is available in eight languages/dialects.|
Help and Feedback
With a number of features to streamline problem resolution, Windows Vista is designed to provide better self-help and improve centralized tools for support professionals.
Windows Vista itself detects, diagnoses, and helps you respond to common problems. But when incidents that require support do occur, Windows Vista provides centralized support tools and resources to quickly diagnose and resolve issues.
With Remote Assistance, you can get help from a support professional or other trusted user, even if that person is in a remote location. With your permission, Remote Assistance allows a trusted helper to share control of your computer and help you resolve issues.
In Windows Vista, Remote Assistance is greatly enhanced, featuring faster performance and the ability to assist users whether they are at home, on the road, or at a remote location. Remote Assistance is now a standalone application, providing markedly faster startup and connectivity, and has been optimized to use less network bandwidth.
Updated Remote Assistance makes it easier to get the help you need when you need it.
For business users, Remote Assistance includes session logging (on the computers of both the helper and the person being assisted) to help track the information and processes used to correct a problem. Remote Assistance also allows users to chat and transfer files between their two machines, making the remote help experience much smoother. In Windows Vista, Remote Assistance can be implemented through Instant Messenger and is also compatible with Remote Assistance in Windows XP.
Windows Update keeps your computer up to date and more secure by automatically providing software updates to Microsoft Windows Vista. Updates can include upgrades to Windows Vista features, updates that improve reliability and performance, and updates that provide new security protections against malware and other potentially unwanted software.
Windows Update makes updating easy and minimizes disruption to your work. It's easy to start updating—when you set up Windows Vista, you can set options that enable Windows Update to automatically download and install updates for you—so you can "set it and forget it."
You can customize Windows Update settings and actions to ensure convenient updating, with the flexibility to decide when those updates occur.
Advances in Windows Update
Windows Update not only makes updating your computer easy—it updates without interfering with your work.
Easy: Windows Update in Windows Vista can automatically download and install both important and recommended updates. Previously, only updates classified as important could be installed automatically, and users had to manually select and download other available updates.
Less disruptive: Updating occurs in the background, and you have flexible options to choose from to complete the process. If an update requires a restart to complete installation, you can schedule this for a time when it won't disrupt your work. You can also postpone a previously scheduled restart if the time isn't convenient for you. Additionally, if your computer is in standby mode at the time you've configured it for automatic updating, Windows Vista will wake it up in order to install the updates at the specified time to help ensure that your computer stays up to date.
Some product features are only available in certain editions of Windows Vista and may require advanced or additional hardware.