Read an Excerpt
Five years in the making, and here it isanother new version of Microsoft Windows.
Windows Vista is the latest in a long line of Windows operating systems, carrying the tradition first started in 1985 with the appropriately named Windows 1.0. That first version of Windows is only vaguely familiar to today's users, as Microsoft has made a lot of improvements since those humble beginnings. Of course, a lot besides Windows has changed in the past twenty years; the one constant is that a Microsoft operating system remains the face of personal computing.
It's that face users will first notice when they power on a PC running Windows Vista. Put simply, Vista looks different from previous versions of Windows. Oh, there are the expected windows and icons and taskbars and the ever-present Start menu, but they're a lot fancier in Vista than they were in Windows XP or prior operating systems. That's because Vista uses a totally new graphics engineone that harnesses the massive graphics processing power of today's PCs to create a three-dimensional desktop with glass-like windows and sophisticated animation effects. It still looks like Windows, but it's more lifelike, if such a thing can be said.
The improvements in Vista don't stop with the interface. There are a lot of new or improved utilities to be found on the Start menu, including some fairly major changes in Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player. And then there are all the changes behind-the-scenes, where Vista has been beefed up, made faster and more dependable, and given increased security against viruses, spyware, and other forms of computerattack. You won't notice a lot of changes, except in the form of fewer crashes and less worry about malicious intrusions.
As is the case anytime Microsoft releases a new version of its core operating system, there is a lot of interest about the new features in Windows Vistawhat they are and how they work. That is where this book comes in. How Windows Vista Works is a descriptive title for a book that both shows you what's new and improved in Vista and gets "under the hood" to illustrate what does what and how.
And I do mean "shows you." What's unique about this book is that it doesn't offer the typical text-based descriptions of the topics at hand; instead, it shows you what you want to know, via a series of detailed four-color illustrations. Want to know what the Aero interface looks like? Curious about how Internet Explorer protects against phishing scams? Well, this book answers all those questions and more, visually. It's the kind of sophisticated visual approach that is required to explain a sophisticated visual operating system.
To make it easier to find what you're interested in, this book is divided into 20 separate chapters, organized into 6 major sections. It's easy to go directly to any given topic; you can skip around as you like or read the book from front to backwhichever works best for you.
Part I, "What Vista Isand What It Does," explains just what it is that an operating system does, as well as how Windows Vista is similar toand differs fromprevious versions of Windows and other operating systems. Turn here to discover all the new features of Windows Vista.
Part II, "Basic Operations," gets down to the nitty-gritty of how Windows Vista controls your computer hardware and software. You'll learn how Vista manages system resources, system settings, user accounts, data, and applications.
Part III, "Windows Vista Graphics," turns a sharp eye to what makes Vista look as good as it does. You'll learn all about the Vista Aero interface, Windows Flip3D task switching, the Sidebar and Sidebar gadgets, as well as how to personalize the Vista desktop.
Part IV, "Digital Media," is all about music, movies, and photos. As a bonus, you'll learn about Windows Media Center, the so-called "ten-foot interface" that's now built into Windows Vista.
Part V, "Networking and the Internet," shows you how Vista goes online and connects with other computers. A lot of new Internet-related features are included in Vista, and they're all covered here including tabbed browsing in Internet Explorer, a new pop-up blocker and anti-phishing filter, an integrated RSS feed reader, browser-based search, and new Windows Mail and Windows Calendar applications.
Finally, Part VI, "Security and Maintenance," covers what makes Windows Vista more secureand more reliable. You'll learn about Windows Service Hardening, the Windows Firewall, the new Windows Defender anti-spyware utility, and a lot more. And you'll rediscover the Windows Backup utility, back for all to use with a lot of useful new features.
By the time you're done reading this book, you'll be acquainted with all the new features of Windows Vista and have a much better understanding about how they all work. If you're already a Vista user, you'll have a greater appreciation of how the operating system does what it does. And if you're not yet a Vista user, I guarantee that you will be soonthere's a lot to like about Windows Vista, as you'll see in the pages of this book!
© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.