Windows Vista: A Basic Introduction

by hmiller 28. January 2010 10:57

If you are still using Windows XP or an older version of a Microsoft Windows operating system (OS), you will be in for quite a change when you upgrade. While Windows Vista is well known for its drastically different layout, there’s a lot more about Vista to discover.

Released to the public in January of 2007, Vista set out to make some needed changes to the previous OS’s. Windows XP, the predecessor to Vista was highly criticized for its safety vulnerability. All user accounts are automatically set up as an administrator, giving them full access to all the programs, files, and system information. Vista set out to combat this and other security issues with a high level of security measures in place.

User Account Control is the primary security feature built into Vista. When certain changes are attempted to be made, a window will pop up asking for your permission to continue (you have probably noticed this many times if you have a Vista OS) and even ask for your password if you have one set up. Ironically, this is one of the highest complaints Vista gets from users—the ubiquity of User Account Control popup windows.

Another major change in the operating system is the graphical user interface (GUI). The sleek new layout, called Windows Aero, actually somewhat resembles the Macintosh OS’s design, according to many users. The new look is sharper and offers many “user-friendly” options, renames a few Control Panel options, and a few other things that are great for computer newbies, but confusing to people accustomed to older Windows OS’s.

Another change in the graphical features is the applications that you can run on your desktop on the new Windows Sidebar.  You can customize your sidebar by choosing from the Desktop Gadgets gallery, including a calendar, clock, weather forecaster, and picture puzzle.

One helpful new feature is located in the start menu. There is now a search bar in the bottom of the start menu that will allow you to type the name of any system component (like Control Panel), personal files, and programs. This will help you quickly locate things if you’re not sure where to find them! To learn more about the features and details about Vista, go to

Overall, Vista has received many negative reviews by both users and computer technicians for being confusing and/or unstable. As for the confusing new layout, that is to be expected, since Microsoft hadn’t released a new version of Windows in five years when Vista was released. This is the longest span of time for no new versions to be introduced. Needless to say, millions of people have become quite accustomed to XP. Even today, the majority of computer users are running an XP operating system—even more than all other OS ever made, combined!

Windows 7, the latest version of Microsoft OS’s was released in 2009 and is said to resolve many of the security and stability issues Vista had. If you have Windows Vista now because you recently bought a new computer, you might want to check out Microsoft’s website to see how you can upgrade to Windows 7. If you have a Windows XP or older and would like to upgrade to something more recent, try Windows 7. You can find out more by going to 


Written by Hannah Miller, Online Marketing Representative and Customer Service, is a nationwide Internet services provider that is all-American owned and operated. Call today, 1-800-336-3318 or sign up online at! Check out my blog for more articles!

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About the author

Hannah Miller is an Online Marketing Representative for - America's best provider for Dial-Up Internet Service since 1997.

Hannah has been a Customer Service and Tech Support agent for since 2007, which has supplemented her knowledge of dial-up, computers, and the Internet. The entries that are posted in this blog are professional articles relating to our industry. Email your questions, suggestions, and other comments to

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