Overview Requirements Reviews The best Windows ever keeps getting better Windows 10 is fundamentally fast and familiar, safer and more secure, and has features that allow you to be more creative and productive. An experience you know and more to love The Start menu and search bar make it easy to find things quickly. Organize, edit, and share your photos and videos easily.
But if they do, then it's mostly good news for Windows customers. There's no price increase for Home Basic. Home Premium, the Vista version. Windows Vista Home Basic Upgrade: $ Windows Vista Home Basic Full ( Additional License Only): $ Windows Vista Home Basic. 45 products Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic SP1 Upgrade Best offer: $ From Home Premium SP1 Best offer: $ From 0 stores Compare Prices.
End-user[ edit ] Windows Aero: Laptop users report, however, that enabling Aero shortens battery life   and reduces performance. Windows shell: The new Windows shell offers a new range of organization, navigation, and search capabilities: Task panes in Windows Explorer are removed, integrating the relevant task options into the toolbar. A "Favorite links" pane has been added, enabling one-click access to common directories.
A search box appears in every Explorer window. The address bar has been replaced with a breadcrumb navigation bar. The preview pane allows users to see thumbnails of various files and view the contents of documents. The details pane shows information such as file size and type, and allows viewing and editing of embedded tags in supported file formats. The Start menu has changed as well; incorporating an instant search box, and the All Programs list uses a horizontal scroll bar instead of the cascading flyout menu seen in Windows XP.
The word "Start" itself has been removed in favor of a blue orb that bears the Windows logo. Windows Search: A new search component of Windows Vista, it features instant search also known as search as you type , which provides instant search results, thus finding files more quickly than the search features found in previous versions of Windows and can search the contents of recognized file types.
Windows Sidebar: A transparent panel, anchored to the right side of the screen, wherein a user can place Desktop Gadgets , which are small applets designed for a specialized purpose such as displaying the weather or sports scores. Gadgets can also be placed on the desktop. New user interface, tabbed browsing , RSS , a search box, improved printing,  Page Zoom, Quick Tabs thumbnails of all open tabs , Anti-Phishing filter, a number of new security protection features, Internationalized Domain Name support IDN , and improved web standards support.
IE7 in Windows Vista runs in isolation from other applications in the operating system protected mode ; exploits and malicious software are restricted from writing to any location beyond Temporary Internet Files without explicit user consent. Windows Media Player 11 , a major revamp of Microsoft's program for playing and organizing music and video.
New features in this version include word wheeling incremental search or "search as you type" , a new GUI for the media library, photo display and organization, the ability to share music libraries over a network with other Windows Vista machines, Xbox integration, and support for other Media Center Extenders.
Windows Defender: An antispyware program with several real-time protection agents. It includes a software explorer feature, which provides access to startup programs, and allows one to view currently running software, network connected applications, and Winsock providers Winsock LSPs. Backup and Restore Center: Includes a backup and restore application that gives users the ability to schedule periodic backups of files on their computer, as well as recovery from previous backups.
Backups are incremental, storing only the changes made each time, minimizing disk usage. Complete PC Backup can automatically recreate a machine setup onto new hardware or hard disk in case of any hardware failures. Windows Mail: A replacement for Outlook Express that includes a new mail store that improves stability,  and features integrated instant search. It has the Phishing Filter like Internet Explorer 7 and Junk mail filtering that is enhanced through regular updates via Windows Update.
It is compatible with various calendar file types, such as the popular iCalendar. Windows Photo Gallery , a photo and movie library management application. It can import from digital cameras, tag and rate individual items, adjust colors and exposure, create and display slideshows with pan and fade effects through Direct3D and burn slideshows to a DVD.
Users can design a DVD with title, menus, video, soundtrack, pan and zoom motion effects on pictures or slides. Most of the standard computer games included in previous versions of Windows have been redesigned to showcase Vista's new graphical capabilities. New games available in Windows Vista are Chess Titans 3D Chess game , Mahjong Titans 3D Mahjong game , and Purble Place a small collection of games, oriented towards younger children, including a matching game, a cake-creator game, and a dress-up puzzle game.
InkBall is available for Home Premium or better users. Games Explorer: A new special folder called "Games" exposes installed video games and information about them. These metadata may be updated from the Internet. Windows Fax and Scan Allows computers with fax modems to send and receive fax documents, as well as scan documents. It is not available in the Home versions of Windows Vista, but is available in the Business, Enterprise and Ultimate editions.
Windows Meeting Space replaces NetMeeting. Users can share applications or their entire desktop with other users on the local network, or over the Internet using peer-to-peer technology higher versions than Starter and Home Basic can take advantage of hosting capabilities, Starter and Home Basic editions are limited to "join" mode only Windows HotStart enables compatible computers to start applications directly from operating system startup or resume by the press of a button—this enables what Microsoft has described as appliance-like availability, which allows computers to function in a manner similar to a consumer electronics device such as a DVD player ;  the feature was also designed to provide the instant-on feature availability that is traditionally associated with mobile devices.
Users can also create "shadow copies" by setting a System Protection Point using the System Protection tab in the System control panel. The user can view multiple versions of a file throughout a limited history and be allowed to restore, delete, or copy those versions.
This feature is available only in the Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions of Windows Vista and is inherited from Windows Server Software and security updates have been simplified,  now operating solely via a control panel instead of as a web application. Windows Mail's spam filter and Windows Defender's definitions are updated automatically via Windows Update.
Users who choose the recommended setting for Automatic Updates will have the latest drivers installed and available when they add a new device. Parental controls: Allows administrators to monitor and restrict user activity, as well as control which websites, programs and games each Standard user can use and install. This feature is not included in the Business or Enterprise editions of Vista. Windows SideShow: Enables the auxiliary displays on newer laptops or on supported Windows Mobile devices.
It is meant to be used to display device gadgets while the computer is on or off. Speech recognition is integrated into Vista. In addition, it currently supports several languages: ClearType has also been enhanced and enabled by default. Improved audio controls allow the system-wide volume or volume of individual audio devices and even individual applications to be controlled separately.
New audio functionalities such as room correction, bass management, speaker fill, and headphone virtualization have also been incorporated. Problem Reports and Solutions , a feature that allows users to check for solutions to problems or view previously sent problems for any solutions or additional information, if available.
Windows System Assessment Tool is a tool used to benchmark system performance. Software such as games can retrieve this rating and modify its own behavior at runtime to improve performance. The Ultimate edition of Windows Vista provides, via Windows Update, access to some additional features. On April 21, , Microsoft launched two more Ultimate Extras; three new Windows sound schemes, and a content pack for Dreamscene.
Reliability and Performance Monitor includes various tools for tuning and monitoring system performance and resources activities of CPU , disks, network, memory and other resources. It shows the operations on files, the opened connections, etc. Anytime Upgrade permits users to upgrade without having their programs and data erased, and is cheaper than replacing the existing installation of Windows. Anytime Upgrade is no longer available for Vista. A program that facilitated access to downloads and purchases from the Windows Marketplace digital distribution platform.
Technical features new to Windows Vista Vista includes technologies such as ReadyBoost  and ReadyDrive , which employ fast flash memory located on USB flash drives and hybrid hard disk drives to improve system performance by caching commonly used programs and data.
This manifests itself in improved battery life on notebook computers as well, since a hybrid drive can be spun down when not in use. It uses almost all the extra RAM as disk cache. The new driver model facilitates the new Desktop Window Manager , which provides the tearing -free desktop and special effects that are the cornerstones of Windows Aero.
Direct3D 10, developed in conjunction with major graphics card manufacturers, is a new architecture with more advanced shader support, and allows the graphics processing unit to render more complex scenes without assistance from the CPU.
It does this by making it easy to connect to external monitors, providing for protected HD video playback and increasing overall video playback quality.
For the first time in Windows, graphics processing unit GPU multitasking is possible, enabling users to run more than one GPU-intensive application simultaneously. The Heap Manager implements additional features such as integrity checking in order to improve robustness and defend against buffer overflow security exploits , although this comes at the price of breaking backward compatibility with some legacy applications.
Security and safety features new to Windows Vista Improved security was a primary design goal for Vista. UAC is a security technology that makes it possible for users to use their computer with fewer privileges by default, with a view to stopping malware from making unauthorized changes to the system.
This was often difficult in previous versions of Windows, as the previous "limited" user accounts proved too restrictive and incompatible with a large proportion of application software, and even prevented some basic operations such as looking at the calendar from the notification tray. Regular use of the computer such as running programs, printing, or surfing the Internet does not trigger UAC prompts.
User Account Control asks for credentials in a Secure Desktop mode, in which the entire screen is dimmed, and only the authorization window is active and highlighted. The intent is to stop a malicious program misleading the user by interfering with the authorization window, and to hint to the user the importance of the prompt.
Symantec used over 2, active malware samples, consisting of backdoors , keyloggers , rootkits , mass mailers, trojan horses , spyware , adware , and various other samples.
Each was executed on a default Windows Vista installation within a standard user account. UAC effectively blocked over 50 percent of each threat , excluding rootkits. For added security, ActiveX controls are disabled by default. Also, Internet Explorer operates in a protected mode, which operates with lower permissions than the user and runs in isolation from other applications in the operating system, preventing it from accessing or modifying anything besides the Temporary Internet Files directory.
Changes to various system configuration settings such as new auto-starting applications are blocked unless the user gives consent. Whereas prior releases of Windows supported per-file encryption using Encrypting File System , the Enterprise and Ultimate editions of Vista include BitLocker Drive Encryption , which can protect entire volumes , notably the operating system volume.
However, BitLocker requires approximately a 1. In normal circumstances, the only time this partition is accessed is when the computer is booting, or when there is a Windows update that changes files in this area, which is a legitimate reason to access this section of the drive. The area can be a potential security issue, because a hexadecimal editor such as dskprobe. An example is the concept of "integrity levels" in user processes, whereby a process with a lower integrity level cannot interact with processes of a higher integrity level and cannot perform DLL—injection to a processes of a higher integrity level.
The security restrictions of Windows services are more fine-grained, so that services especially those listening on the network have no ability to interact with parts of the operating system they do not need to. Obfuscation techniques such as address space layout randomization are used to increase the amount of effort required of malware before successful infiltration of a system.