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Windows Top 10 Tips and Tricks


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Windows Top 10 Tips and Tricks

Search & Organize

1. Instant Search

Looking for specific applications, Web sites, and e-mails is faster than ever with the streamlined Windows Vista Start Menu. To find a specific application or file, click the Windows key on the keyboard (or open the Start menu) and enter the file name in the Instant Search field. As you type, Windows Vista dynamically searches filenames, metadata, and the full text of all files and displays the choices by file type. For example, to find the Calculator application, simply type “cal” in the Instant Search field, and Windows Vista would display a shortcut to all applications that start with “cal”. Calculator will be the top option.

2. Integrated Search

Every explorer window in Windows Vista contains an integrated Instant Search field in which you can enter a word, part of a word, or a phrase. Try filtering by type using the Search Pane and selecting “Documents.” Next choose to see your files in another way, via the new Stack view. Select the author column header control drop down menu, and choose the option to “Stack by author”. Explore all the documents by a particular author by double clicking on an author’s stack. Now, save that search as a new Search Folder. Choose the option “Save Search” found on the top Command Bar and name and save your Search Folder. In the future, to re-run it, simply select the “Searches” folder link on the left side Navigation Pane, and double click on your Search Folder.

3. Aero

Windows Aero offers you a premium user experience. The glass windows create an open, energizing environment, and enable you to better focus on your content, rather than on the surrounding interface. If your PC supports the Windows Aero user experience, open multiple files and see how easy it is to locate the right open window using the breakthrough Windows Flip (simply ALT+TAB) or Flip 3D (Windows key+TAB).

Security & Protection

4. Overall Security

All of your computer’s security needs are now bundled in one easy-to-find, easy-to-monitor location. The Windows Security Center helps make your PC more secure by alerting you when your security software is out of date or when your security settings should be strengthened. The Security Center also tells you whether your PC is set up to receive automatic software updates from Microsoft. Windows Vista, along with Internet Explorer 7, contains many security features to safeguard you and your organization from threats, while keeping your intellectual property protected.

5. Windows Defender

One of the key tools in the Security Center is Windows Defender. It works with Internet Explorer 7 to help protect your computer against pop-ups, slow performance, and security threats caused by spyware and other unwanted software, often defined as malware. By leveraging superior platform enhancements in Windows Vista, which include improved caching technology for faster scans and removal technologies, using up-to-date spyware definitions created by Microsoft, Windows Defender provides an always-on protection that monitors key system locations, watching for changes that signal the presence of spyware. The "Scan on execute" functionality provides an added layer of Protection by scanning downloaded files before they are saved and executed, reducing the chance that spyware might be installed by accident.

6. BitLocker

BitLocker Drive Encryption protects the information stored on your computer from hackers or thieves who might obtain access to your machine. It is a full disk encryption feature included with Microsoft's Windows Vista designed to protect data by providing encryption for entire volumes. By encrypting the entire Windows system volume, data is better protected. Ideally a v1.2 Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip is the preferred method of encryption key storage. BitLocker Drive Encryption is tightly integrated into Windows Vista and provides a seamless, secure, and manageable data protection solution for you.

7. Automated Backup

The new backup and restore functionality in Windows Vista makes it easier to keep your data and computer safe from user error, hardware failure, and any other issue that could result in data loss. The Windows Backup and Restore Center gives you one place to manage all backup and restore features. Two particularly useful Automatic Backup features are the ability to do a scheduled backup and the ability to back up your files to an external hard drive, secondary hard drive, writable CD or DVD, or to a network location.

Mobility & Collaboration

8. Mobility

Windows Vista has multiple tools and features to help you be productive when you’re on-the-go. It provides a centralized location to access all of the relevant information you will need within the Mobility Center. You no longer need to go to various menus and folders. This tool provides options for handling your wireless connection and synching your devices, along with various choices needed for presenting.

9. Meeting Space

Windows Meeting Space enables face-to-face collaboration among small groups of Windows Vista users—virtually anytime, anywhere. Useful for both business and personal purposes, this tool enables you to share work on computer based projects with other people more easily and comfortably. With Windows Meeting Space, you can collaborate with one person or as many as nine others over a wired network, a wireless local area network (WLAN), or an ad hoc (PC-to-PC) wireless network.

10. XPS

XPS Documents are a new archiving format perfect for preserving content and for securely sharing information in an application independent way. To create an XPS Document, open any document in virtually any application, and select the print option. In the printer selection menu, choose “Microsoft XPS Document Writer” and save the file. Double click on the file, which should open it in the XPS Viewer, which is hosted by Internet Explorer 7. The XPS Document is a pixel perfect rendition of the original source material.

Other Windows Vista Tips

Share a folder or file directly from your PC.

Windows Vista improves on the Windows network folder sharing experience first introduced with Windows XP by giving you more flexibility in what you can share with other people and improving the setup process. With Windows Vista you can now share folders and individual files with any other user on the same corporate network. From any Explorer, select a file or folder and on the Command Bar choose the option to Share. Enter the name of another user on the same network, and give them appropriate rights of access – reader, co-owner, etc.

PC Performance

SP1 will contain changes focused on addressing specific reliability and performance issues, supporting new types of hardware, and adding support for several emerging standards. SP1 also continues to improve upon the IT administration experience.

Source: Microsoft Corporation

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