Windows Vista Operating System Features Computer Science Essay

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Most will agree that the Windows XP operating system and the Windows Vista operating system have a lot of big differences between them, yet are very similar to each other as far as operating systems go. But the question here is, what exactly does Windows Vista bring to the table that XP didn't have already set out for us? Well for one thing, Windows Vista includes some fresh new security and safety features. These features include, but are not limited to, User Account Control, Windows firewall, and Windows Defender. Windows Vista also offers us a mind blowing, and easy to use, new desktop experience when using your computer. And Windows Vista also has loads of new communications features, most of which make connecting to and communicating over the internet much easier and more enjoyable. So when it comes down to useful and enjoyable Operating System features, Windows Vista has you covered, and then some.

With all new hackers, worms, and viruses constantly popping up all over the internet, Microsoft is sure to be quick in finding ways to protect their customers computers from all this maliciousness. Vista certainly has the gear to keep you safer than ever before with brand new security and safety features. For instance, the User Account Control (or UAC) is a brand new feature which allows the user of a computer to surf the internet with the secure comfortableness of a standard user, but have access to administrative privileges when need be. The way this works is, when you are surfing the net or browsing your own computer, and try to access something like a program, if Windows isn't 100% sure that you are the one who is trying to access the program it will first ask you for your permission to access that particular program before it launches it for you. Also, if the program needs administrative privileges to run, the User Account Control will ask you for the administrative password, so that you don't need to select the "run as" option or switch users to run that program, but also keeps out those who do not know your administrative password. The UAC does all of this to prevent such things as having your important programs or files opened, modified, or deleted by any malware or viruses you may have picked up while searching the internet from happening. Other programs that come with Vista such as the Windows Firewall and Windows Defender are great defenses against many kinds of malware, worms, and virus' that may be roaming the internet. The Windows Firewall is different because its monitors the incoming and outgoing information going back and forth while using the internet, instead of just the incoming like other firewalls that have come before it, and when grouped up with an anti-virus security software such as McAfee, and Windows Defender which is an additional software that helps detect and keep out spyware, it helps to provide a very solid defense for your computer. So if you're worried about security when using Windows Vista, just remember to keep that UAC setting on, keep the firewall and defender up and running, and make sure you have a decent antivirus program under your belt and you won't have very much to worry about when it comes to protecting your computer.

We know that we are very thoroughly protected when we use Vista, so what about the Desktop, how is it any different from the previous versions of Windows? Windows has made it much easier to find and organize your files, and roaming around in your computer with the new windows desktop vista offers is much more fun too. Provided with certain versions of Windows Vista, such as Home Premium and Business editions, is the Windows Aero feature. Besides offering the Flip and Flip 3D views, Aero provides the user with a nice see-through border of programs and documents (which greatly helps you to keep focus on what's inside the window), great desktop animation graphics, and a light visual effect of the desktop. Also, with Windows Flip, you can pull up a bar showing you the windows you currently have open, minimized or otherwise, and with the Flip3D, you can view all your open windows in a view-from-the-side three dimensional angle that has pictures of the open windows float by you, or float into your view, as you scroll between them. Navigating your computer has also never been easier, one little nifty tool that is a great help, is the Start Search Box found in the start menu. This little search box will begin searching for whatever it is you are looking for as soon as you begin typing by searching the name of the program/folder/file itself, the description of it, and even the content that is inside of it, then will display the most likely results in less than a few seconds for you. Windows Explorer has also been made to be much simpler to use in Vista. Such files as video files and picture files will usually display a picture of the content as the thumbnail icon, instead of just a picture of a paintbrush or something. There are also many more nifty tools such as the navigation sidebar on the left side of Windows Explorer, which lets you search for various folders by searching through the directory folders that lead to them without actually making your Explorer take you through all of those folders leading up to it. And not to mention, every time you click a file or folder to select it in the Explorer, details about that item such as the date it was created and how big it is in size is displayed in the space provided at the bottom of the Explorer. So Microsoft has done all that it takes to make the experience of navigating the desktop and folders on your computer both incredibly easy, and fun to do as well.

Security and a great desktop experience are nice, but Vista didn't forget what most people have a computer for in the first place, the internet. Vista makes it incredibly simple to connect and socialize over the internet. Protocols, interfaces, etc. are all Vista's problem to deal with now, not the users, so the user doesn't have to worry about managing any of those things. Through means as displaying a network web so you can see the access from you to the internet, automatically adding devices and creating networks, and making it easy to import more wireless devices, setting up a network of devices in your house is a cinch with Vista. Also with Parental controls, you are able to block content, and even set time limits for certain users to have for their online access. Even Windows Live has been stepped up with better features and utilities. Being able to send messages that will appear as texts on one's cell phone, and being able to receive that persons reply is a big help when you need to communicate with someone who isn't currently at their computer. Then not to mention there are the sharing features Windows Live provides so you and your friends can share files and folders between your computers, but you also get free camera and voice calling over the internet through Windows Live, it's more fun and much less costly than a normal house phone. So Windows Vista has improved a great deal of its features and functions, including your internet browsing experience itself.

In conclusion, the Vista operating system has had some major changes and upgrades from the Windows XP Operating system. A lot of bumps and new features in security has made Vista one of the safest Operating systems to surf the net on. The new layout and desktop experience Vista provides is both fun to explore with, and easy to use and understand. And surfing the web and communicating with friends has never been easier. So Windows Vista is definitely an exceptional Operating system for anybody, especially the inexperienced computer users, to run their computer on.