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Product: Windows Vista (32 & 64-bit)
Company: Microsoft
See Pricing  Purchase at
Review By: Andre Da Costa

with Byron Hinson & Fernando Fhualpa contributing


Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: Pricing & System Requirements
Setup & Installation
4: Initial Impressions
5: Windows Activation 2 & Daily Usage
6: Connectivity & Networking
7: Application Compatibility, Control Panel, & Security
8: Windows Defender
9: Windows Internet Explorer 7
10: Windows Calendar, Mail, Meeting Space

11: Multimedia & Media Center
12: Windows Photo Gallery
13: Windows DVD Maker
14: Gaming in Windows Vista
15: DirectX 10 & Open AL
16: Graphic Card Performance & Misc Gaming
17: Windows Media Player 11
18: Windows Sidebar
19: Advanced Features

20: Backup, System Restore & Recovery
21: Windows ReadyBoost
22: Diagnostics & Performance Tools
23: Help/Support, Themes
24: The Forgotten Children
25: Developer Technologies in Vista
26: Developer Technologies 2
27: Memory Performance
28: Conclusion & Online Resources

Our aim is not to turn this article into a monolithic review, but rather to just provide an essential look at some new and interesting features of Windows Vista that are likely to be regularly used by the average Windows user. Also, the review is meant to give a user perspective of some aspects of Vista and how it stands out in comparison to Windows XP.

We hope you find this review useful and enlightening, be sure to send us your feedback and comments! Also, please tell us what you think of Windows Vista if you already have had a chance to use it. Thank you.

Interesting Facts

  • 28 months of Development

  • 15 Test Releases

  • 15 months of Technical Testing

  • 30,000 Technical Testers

Windows Vista is finally here for everyone  and is soon to be made available on store shelves and pre-loaded on new PC’s. Windows Vista has been five years in the making; throughout that time we have witnessed Microsoft reschedule the release of this “major upgrade” over and over and over again. Microsoft, however, throughout that tumultuous time did manage to pick up the pieces and move forward.

Microsoft has released Vista in two phases; one for Volume License Customers (businesses) launched November 2006 and another for consumers at the end of January. The ActiveWin Team has been testing the RTM release of the OS for the past couple of months now and it must be noted that the final product has shown tremendous improvements in areas such as stability and performance, which gives us the confidence to say, its definitely ready for daily usage. The general feel of the OS is more responsive and applications also launch quickly. Yes, there are some issues, but it’s nothing that has held us back at this point and if its hardware related, it’s most likely an IHV (Independent Hardware Vendor) issue and we should start seeing more stable and updated drivers appear soon. Like its predecessor Windows XP, Vista has improved deployment options and device driver detection; these improvements have proven to be very user friendly and reduced the time it takes to get Windows up and running.

Vista is not without its demons, areas of the OS such as compatibility still remains an issue and users will encounter cases of some of their favorite applications and/or hardware devices either not working properly or not working at all. Other parts of the user interface Microsoft claims to be new and improved feel like extra steps to accomplish simple task. A new feature User Access Control is sure to cause more annoyance than its intended purpose, which is to protect users although it has been lax since BETA 1 to provide a convenient response to actions executed by the user. Windows Vista will be available in six editions, please note this review also contains information about the BETA 2 (build 5384), July CTP (build 5472) and the RC1 (build 5600) releases.

  Pricing & System Requirements »

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