From HowToGeekWindows Aero graphical interface and UAC prompts for modifying system options.
- Windows Aero: The new interface in Windows Vista provides transparencies, live thumbnails, animations and live icons.
- User Account Control: A new security technology where the regular user account runs as a limited user for security reasons, and the user is prompted with a security dialog before being able to make any system changes.
- Windows Sidebar: A new panel on the side of the screen that can host Desktop Gadgets, small applications that can be placed on the sidebar or dragged onto the desktop.
- Windows Calendar: a simple but useful calendar application, the first calendar integrated with Windows.
- Windows Defender: the anti-spyware application is bundled by default in Vista.
- Windows DVD Maker
- Windows Photo Gallery: a photo library application.
- Windows Mail: Instead of Outlook Express bundled with prior versions of Windows, Windows Mail is a completely new application with many improvements.
- Windows Meeting Space
- Windows Mobility Center
- Shadow Copy
- BitLocker: Hard drive encryption included in the Ultimate version of Vista.
- Internet Explorer 7: The latest version of Internet Explorer has tabs, RSS reader support, an Anti-Phishing filter, an integrated search box and a Protected Mode designed to improve security.
- Backup and Restore: Windows Vista includes a new backup application that lets you schedule incremental backups. The Ultimate and Business versions also include an image-based backup called Complete PC Backup, which backs up the entire computer to an image file.
- Windows Update
- Windows Media Center
- Windows Media Player 11: The new version of Windows Media Player has an enhanced user interface and the ability to share music with other computers also running Windows Vista.
- DirectX 10
Service Pack 1
Windows Vista Service Pack 1 was released on February 4th, 2008 and includes a large number of performance and problem fixes. Some of the visible changes include:
- Desktop search was removed from the Start Menu and Windows Explorer context menus.
- Disk Defragmenter now includes the ability to select which drives are automatically included or manually selected.
- File Copying speed is improved.
- There aren't as many UAC prompts when making changes to folders that require admin rights.
- A "non-genuine" version of Windows is no longer completely deactivated, but only displays an annoying message.