Understanding the Windows Vista User Experience

When the first PC hit the streets over 20 years ago, users were saddled with an unfriendly,
no intuitive user interface based on the MS-DOS command line and its ubiquitous C:\
prompt. Since then, computer user interfaces have come a long way, first with the advent
of the mouse-driven graphical user interface (GUI) on the Macintosh and later in
Windows, and then with the proliferation of Internet connectivity in the late 1990s, which
blurred the line between local and remote content.
Over the years, Microsoft has done much to evolve the state of the art of computer GUIs
for the masses. Windows 95 introduced the notion of right-clicking on objects to discover
context-sensitive options. Windows 98 introduced a shell, Explorer, that was based on
the same code found in Internet Explorer. And Windows XP began a trend toward task oriented
user interfaces, with folder views that changed based on the content you were
viewing or selected.
In Windows Vista, the Windows user interface, or as Microsoft likes to call it, the Windows
user experience, has evolved yet again. Assuming you are running the proper Vista product
edition (Windows Vista Home Basic and Starter editions need not apply) and have the
right kind of display hardware, you’ll be presented with a translucent, glass-like interface
that takes the Windows user interface metaphor to its logical conclusion. That’s right: In
Windows Vista, windows actually appear to be made of glass just like real windows.
At a higher level, however, it may be comforting to understand that much in Windows
Vista has not changed. That is, you still press a Start button to launch the Start Menu,
from where you can perform tasks such as launching applications, accessing the Control
Panel, networking features, and other related functionality, and turn off the system. A
taskbar still runs along the bottom of the Windows Vista desktop, containing buttons for
each open window and application. A system tray still sits in the lower-right corner of the
screen, full of notification icons and the system clock. The desktop still contains icons and
shortcuts. Windows still appear to float above this desktop, and all of your familiar applications
and documents will still work. The high-end Windows Vista Aero user experience
is shown Below

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