Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Windows Vista at PDC05

I never saw something from Vista before PDC so the demos and the info simply blew me away. I definitely was mighty impressed. Great things were shown:
  • My favorite keyboard combination Alt-Tab can still be used, but now you get a graphical preview of all the programs you are running

  • Search is embedded all over Vista, it is an integral part of the OS and you can use it virtually everywhere with the new searchbox

  • You get thumbnails for files - so you get a preview of the contents of word files, excel documents etc... From within explorer view you also see all the metadata of the document which you can also change without having to open the file

  • Vista introduces the notion of virtual folders - these are like prebuilt queries - e.g. show all excel files in the whole of my system, give all documents with a certain metadata field...

  • The sidebar seems to be back, I don't like most sidebars (I definitely didn't like the Office 2000 sidebar) but the one shown yesterday was pretty cool. The really good thing about it is that you can develop your own apps which run inside the sidebar. The RSS sidebar widget was a nice example.

  • Vista has some new builtin system management tools such as Superfetch - this tool enhances your virtual memory management in a significant way. Vista monitors the way you use your computer over a longer period of time (days, weeks,...) and creates a certain usage profile which for example monitors which programs you open frequently. Based on this profile it will preload your most commonly used applications. In the demo we saw they opened a number of applications in a row (Outlook, Word, Excel,...). After a cold boot, it took about 36,8 seconds, with the superfetch it only took 10,5 seconds.

  • And now.... this definitely rocks... you can now use your USB memory sticks as if they are extra virtual memory - yes I did say memory. Want to speed up your system, get some USB memory sticks... (and don't worry about security... they encrypt everything).

  • 1 comment:

    Bart Bultinck said...

    i'm using taskswitcher PRO from a free taskswitcher(ALT TAB) replacement.

    Works like a charm and is opensource.....