Windows Vista: Your Favorite Features

Discussion in 'Windows Desktop Systems' started by NetRyder, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. NetRyder

    NetRyder Tech Junkie Folding Team

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    This thread was partly "inspired" by a poll, asking existing Windows XP users when they plan to upgrade to Vista, if ever.

    My intention is to use this thread as a place where Vista's early-adopters can write about features new to Windows Vista that they find useful, fun or interesting.

    In order to keep things organized, I propose that we follow a one-post-per-feature format. In each post, list one feature or aspect of Windows Vista that you like, give a brief description (and a screenshot or two, if you think it might help), why you enjoy using it, and/or how it makes you more productive.

    Adding to a feature that someone else has already written about is fine; just include a link to the existing post so that it's easy to refer back.

    Let's get started. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2006
  2. NetRyder

    NetRyder Tech Junkie Folding Team

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    Re: Windows Vista: The things that you like...

    Previous Versions:

    My first contribution comes from a blog post that I wrote back in August.

    Screenshot:

    [​IMG]

    The Explorer window in the background shows the current Gaim directory on my disk. The Explorer window in the foreground shows a snapshot of the Gaim directory from the previous day. I can choose to selectively restore specific files, completely restore the entire directory, or copy the snapshot to some other location as a permanent backup.

    I should add that if there are disk space usage or privacy concerns associated with using Previous Versions, it can be disabled easily by turning off System Restore.
     
  3. Admiral Michael

    Admiral Michael Michaelsoft Systems CEO Folding Team

    Re: Windows Vista: The things that you like...

    Even tho I hate Vista I'm going to say one thing I do like:

    Per application volume control.

    That is all...
     
  4. kcnychief

    kcnychief █▄█ ▀█▄ █ Political User Folding Team

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    Re: Windows Vista: The things that you like...

    Per Application Audio Control:

    (Nice suggestion AM)

    [​IMG]

    This feature really is great - as you can see, the ability to control audio per program is available and really nifty. This comes in handy when you are BLASTING some Yuletide tunes, and don't want the LOUD messages that would go with it when someone sends you an IM or another program makes a sound.

    I'll add more features at a later time, but I wanted to voice my love for this one as well :D
     
  5. Grandmaster

    Grandmaster Electronica Addict Political User Folding Team

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    Re: Windows Vista: The things that you like...

    That is one of the most annoying things ever! I might actually enable message sounds again when I get on Vista.
     
  6. Khayman

    Khayman I'm sorry Hal... Political User Folding Team

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    Re: Windows Vista: The things that you like...

    The reliability monitor. I found out about it from Paul Thurott's SuperSite, so i'll leave the explanation to him, needless to say its excellent addition to windows
     

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  7. NetRyder

    NetRyder Tech Junkie Folding Team

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    Re: Windows Vista: The things that you like...

    Nice ones, chief and Khay! Keep 'em coming.

    Network Profiles:

    This is a great feature for fellow mobile users who regularly switch between different wired/wireless networks. For each network, Vista saves your configuration settings (DHCP/Static IP, DNS servers, etc.) and restores them automatically when you connect to the same network again.

    When you first define a network profile, you also specify whether it's a Public or Private network (see screenshot). File/printer sharing automatically gets turned off when you connect to a Private network, and gets re-enabled when you connect to a Public one. This means that you no longer have to disable all your file shares before you connect to that wireless network at the cafe or airport, and turn them all back on manually when you come back home. Windows Firewall in Vista is also profile-aware, so applications that are allowed to pass through the firewall on a Private network are not automatically granted access on a new Public network.

    A very handy feature that makes working with multiple networks less of a chore. :)

    Screenshot:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. madmatt

    madmatt Bow Down to the King Political User

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    Re: Windows Vista: The things that you like...

    One of my the features that I really like is the "Network and Sharing Center" and the "Network Map" feature. It allows you to view information about your network including IP addresses, MAC addresses, etc.

    You can use this feature to view other computers and devices on your network and to diagnose and repair your connection.

    Screenshot of the "Network Map" feature:

    [​IMG]

    The above screenshot is from Vista Ultimate running on VPC 2007
     
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  9. NetRyder

    NetRyder Tech Junkie Folding Team

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    Re: Windows Vista: The things that you like...

    Just some additional info regarding this feature - by default, only Vista machines appear on the network map since this feature uses the new Link Layer Topology Discovery (LLTD) protocol. If you have XP machines on the same local network, you can install the LLTD responder provided by Microsoft so that they appear on the map as well.

    Here's another screenshot showing two Vista machines on the map, with one XP box and one Windows 2003 server that don't have the LLTD responder installed (which is why they cannot be placed on the map).

    [​IMG]
     
  10. kcnychief

    kcnychief █▄█ ▀█▄ █ Political User Folding Team

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    Internet Explorer 7 (Differences of Vista version vs. StandAlone)

    This is something that I feel may get overlooked, since IE7 is available for Windows XP/2003, but there are two crucial security features that the Vista version has, that other versions will not.

    Parental Controls are always something that people with children have to keep in mind, and Microsoft has gone and added an amazing product to their operating system. Parental Controls can be applied to any Standard User account, and must be applied from an Administrator's account. Some of the more documented features include Activity Reporting, Web Filtering, Time Limits, Games (monitoring ESRB ratings), and Application Restrictions.

    I have personally implemented these on a machine within my immediate family, and am rather satisfied with the results - especially of the Activity Reporting.

    Protected Mode throws Internet Explorer into a state where it has much fewer rights than other running applications, taking leaps and bounds against protecting your system from many different types of attacks. This particular addition is especially beneficial, since attacks that come in through the browser generally run under the rights of the logged in user. As a result of the limited rights IE runs with, this will technically restrict, or block, whatever these attacks try to accomplish.

    Great features indeed, if you want more in depth explanations I would suggest reading Paul Thurott's review, Section 5e, Windows Vista Security Features
     
  11. American Zombie

    American Zombie Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    Protected mode only works if UAC is turned on and since UAC is so annoying I feel many will turn it off. Not sure if turning off UAC affects parental controls.
     
  12. Mecham

    Mecham Vista bug finder

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    The ultimate part of Vista has to be the 3D affect for cascading files, just blows me away.

    Not sure why but it does... :lick:

    The snapshot looks a little naff because it's a little blocky because of the snapshot for some reason. Never mind it still looks good.

    Just in case anybody wants the background I attached it to the thread.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 31, 2006
  13. j79zlr

    j79zlr Glaanies script monkey Political User

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  14. omg its nlm

    omg its nlm lvl 17 Hax Folding Team

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  15. kcnychief

    kcnychief █▄█ ▀█▄ █ Political User Folding Team

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    It's not.

    Please keep this thread to things people like about Vista. If you want to bash/compare/comment on how it relates versus similar technology on other platforms, please do so in another thread.
     
  16. Cosmin

    Cosmin Graphic Designer

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    That's cool ;)
     
  17. NetRyder

    NetRyder Tech Junkie Folding Team

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    Here's another one from today's blog post for fellow desktop-search fans. :)

    Natural Language Search:

    Screenshot:

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Electronic Punk

    Electronic Punk Administrator Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    Motion Desktop seems to be wowing people, I mean DreamScene.

    As I am not under NDA but do have a copy -- that damn racoon is driving me nuts now, seems to crash the com surrogate (whatever the hell that is) when I try browisng my motion desktops.

    Oh and great gadget Netz, might inspire me to reinstall the client :)
     
  19. kcnychief

    kcnychief █▄█ ▀█▄ █ Political User Folding Team

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    I am rather fond of the new and improved Event Viewer. I'll post some screenshots and more details when I return home next week, as my work laptop doesn't yet have "the pleasure" of running Vista.

    Rubbish!
     
  20. madmatt

    madmatt Bow Down to the King Political User

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    The new Management Console is a huge improvement.