[justify]Windows Vista is a line of operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, Tablet PCs, and media center PCs. Prior to its announcement on July 22, 2005, Windows Vista was known by its codename Longhorn. Development was completed on November 8, 2006; over the following three months it was released in stages to computer hardware and software manufacturers, business customers, and retail channels. On January 30, 2007, it was released worldwide, and was made available for purchase and download from Microsoft's website. The release of Windows Vista came more than five years after the introduction of its predecessor, Windows XP, the longest time span between successive releases of Microsoft Windows.
Windows Vista contains many changes and new features, including an updated graphical user interface and visual style dubbed Windows Aero, improved searching features, new multimedia creation tools such as Windows DVD Maker, and redesigned networking, audio, print, and display sub-systems. Vista also aims to increase the level of communication between machines on a home network, using peer-to-peer technology to simplify sharing files and digital media between computers and devices. Windows Vista includes version 3.0 of the .NET Framework, which aims to make it significantly easier for software developers to write applications than with the traditional Windows API.
Microsoft's primary stated objective with Windows Vista, however, has been to improve the state of security in the Windows operating system. One common criticism of Windows XP and its predecessors has been their commonly exploited security vulnerabilities and overall susceptibility to malware, viruses and buffer overflows. In light of this, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates announced in early 2002 a company-wide "Trustworthy Computing initiative" which aims to incorporate security work into every aspect of software development at the company. Microsoft stated that it prioritized improving the security of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 above finishing Windows Vista, thus delaying its completion. While these new features and security improvements have garnered positive reviews, Vista has also been the target of much criticism and negative press. Criticism of Windows Vista has targeted high system requirements, its more restrictive licensing terms, the inclusion of a number of new digital rights management technologies aimed at restricting the copying of protected digital media, lack of compatibility with certain pre-Vista hardware and software, and the number of authorization prompts for User Account Control. As a result of these and other issues, Windows Vista has seen adoption and satisfaction rates lower than Windows XP.
Hard disk space is cheap these days, so everyone has a ton of it. Many people have thousands of files stored in all the space, organized into many folders and subfolders. Navigating up and down through folders all the time gets old. Vista has quite a few new tricks up its sleeve to help with that. Probably the most important trick is the breadcrumb trail (also called an eyebrow menu) in the Address bar at the top of every folder. Some of you may recognize the concept from Web sites that offer similar navigation. In Vista’s eyebrow menu, you can click the name of any folder you see in the trail to go to that folder. But there’s much more to it than that. You can also click the arrow that appears next to any item in the trail to see other items at that same level in the folder hierarchy, like in figure. The eyebrow menu is worth its weight in gold. But it’s not the only improvement. There’s an optional navigation pane at the left side of every folder that contains quick links to common places. The links you see under Favorite Links are just examples. You can put links to any folders you like in there, and remove them just as easily. So you can constantly customize to reflect the folder you’re using most. The trusty Folders list is still available, too. You might not see it at first. To bring it up, just click the arrow next to Folders at the bottom of the navigation pane.[/justify]