After a gap of nearly 5 years, Microsoft released the latest version of Windows which is named as Vista. With a name change from Longhorn to Vista, the stable version of Windows is expected to be released during November 2006. The beta version of this software is already available as a free download. If you have a lot of patience or a very high speed internet connection then you can download Vista which is nearly 2.5 GB in size.
Microsoft promises that Vista will have plenty of new features which includes updated graphical user interface (GUI), Windows DVD Maker – a new creation tool for multimedia – and totally revamped audio, print and networking sub-systems. Vista will make use of peer-to-peer technology to make file sharing between networked computers easier. With the inclusion of Virtual PC in Vista, Microsoft claims that running previous versions of Windows simultaneously on the same machine will not be a problem.
The developers can make use of the Net Framework version 3.0 introduced in Vista. This version is claimed to be easier to work with than the traditional Windows API.
The most common criticism of Windows XP is its unstable security and its inability to protect the system from buffer overflows, viruses and malware. The stated goal of Vista is to improve the security considerably and make the system protected from the invasion of malwares and virus threats.
Vista comes with improved performance of Windows Shell, easier and faster search functions, a sidebar resembling Apple’s Spotlight, desktop gadgets for applets, the latest version of Internet Explorer – the controversial web browser of Microsoft -, Windows Media Player 11, specialized User Account Control, built in Firewall to control and monitor outgoing and incoming traffic, Windows Defender, a Windows version of anti-spyware and Windows mail which will replace the existing Outlook Express.
Microsoft claims Vista will help in improving the performance of the PC in certain key areas which includes starting up, response to user actions, and waking up. The start up is going to be very quick and while background processing of scripts and applications are executed, the other desired tasks can be performed by the users.
The new sleep state provision in Vista has combined features for standby mode, data protection and low power usage during hibernation.
If you want to try Vista on your desktop computer then your system should have a processor which should be at least 800MHZ speed, 512 MB RAM and have the latest version of any good graphic card capable of executing DirectX version 9 or above. This is only a minimum requirement. For optimum results a better processor – above 1.2GHZ is needed.