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2/21/2007

Vista: A close look



Microsoft finally launched Vista, its latest operating system, on January 30 this year, with promises of easy operability and a faster, more secure experience . We tried out the operating system (OS) to see if it lives up to the promise.


To begin with, the OS - which has been in development for almost six years - looks good. It’s simple to install; the whole process gets completed with just a few clicks.

Once installed, Vista looks good with its new graphical user interface, ‘Aero’.

It includes Flip 3D feature that stacks open windows diagonally when you press the ‘Windows +tab’ key combination. And the addition of the sidebar makes the desktop just that little bit easier to use. But that’s pretty much where the list of positives ends

Apart from a few new features, Vista does not have much to offer. We are not saying there isn’t anything new in this OS - there is Windows Defender that checks for spam, Media centre is included along with an innovative calendar and there’s faster search.


But if you are looking for a path-breaking never-before seen feature, you won’t find it. The interface is reminiscent of Apple’s Mac OS X. The additional tools like DVD burning capabilities and image viewer are not enough for Vista to qualify as an OS that lets you do a lot more.

Plus its newer security features and higher system requirements could give users a few hiccups.



Let’s begin with security feature: Now users will be prompted with a dialogue box whenever they install a new software application or action anything that could impact the system’s security.



Vista’s user account control system now keeps an eye on all system activity and to access critical areas or install applications, you (as administrator ) will need to authorise the action via the dialogue box. This could get annoying, as sometimes the dialogue box comes up even for accessing simple features like ‘Display Properties’ that enables one to change the screen resolution for example


Then there’s the high system specifications required to run Vista in all its glory - high enough to burn holes in your pocket. The Aero graphics user interface is a power hog, so older machines with onboard graphics might find it difficult to run Vista. In this case, be prepared to buy a separate graphics card to run the OS in its full splendour.


And forget about running new 3D games on a low-end system (512 MB system memory and 64 MB graphics card) running Vista.

You will require approximately 2 GB of system memory along with a separate graphics card with at least 256 MB of onboard memory to run newer games like Quake 4, NFS Carbon and Elder Scrolls 4 - Oblivion at high quality settings.

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