By now everyone has heard of Microsoft’s newest operating system (OS) called Vista, which is the next OS after Windows XP. Many new exciting features in Windows Vista make it an attractive upgrade from earlier versions of Windows but before taking the plunge it is vital to learn about the different versions of Windows Vista available, and the best approach for upgrading.
This article will be the first in a series of articles exploring the different versions of Vista along with tips on upgrading. Starting the series is this article detailing the basic features of Vista Home Basic Edition that is the most basic version of Windows Vista available.
Windows Vista Home Basic Edition Features
Improved Local and Internet Searching
Search and instantly find information stored locally in documents, e-mail messages, photos and music files using Instant Search. Easily accessed from either the Start Menu or an Explorer window (Documents Explorer, Music Explorer, or Pictures Explorer) the search can be conducted by file name, a document property, text within a file and metadata.
Internet searching has been improved with the release of Internet Explorer 7, which includes a web search utility built into the browser.
Windows Sidebar and Gadgets
A gadget in Windows Vista is a small program that provides quick access to information and tools. There are many applications for gadgets, which include viewing information such as weather forecasts, notes, news updates and calendars without having to open the associated program. Windows Vista ships with a standard set of gadgets to get started with additional gadgets available for download for additional uses.
The Windows Sidebar is used to organize gadgets on the desktop. The sidebar is a window that can be positioned in different locations on the desktop depending on user preference.
A new feature of Windows Vista is live thumbnails, which displays the contents of a minimized window without having to open the window.
Windows Vista ships with a built-in set of diagnostic tools to help keep your system running at tip-top shape without out a lot of user effort. The built-in diagnostics include:
- Disk Diagnostics – detects potential disk problems or failures and alerts the user.
- Memory Diagnostics – used to detect possible computer crashes due to defective memory.
- Network Diagnostic and Troubleshooting – aids in detecting potential network connectivity issues.
- Resource Exhaustion Prevention – monitors system resources and warns when the resources are low and might cause system issues such as programs not responding or crashing.
Windows SuperFetch is used to allow Windows programs and files to load faster then in previous versions of Windows. SuperFetch is able to provide faster loading by monitor the applications most used on the system and then preloads them into memory before any other applications or utilities.
All of these features are also included in the advanced versions of Windows Vista. The next article will detail the Home Premium version of Windows Vista.