Microsoft Windows Vista is the latest workstation version of the Windows operating system and is designed for both home and business users. MSN Encarta describes a vista as a scenic or panoramic view, and that’s exactly what Windows Vista provides. Not only does Windows Vista have an all-new look, complete with stylish graphical visualizations, easier-to-navigate menus, and enhanced personalization capabilities, but the operating system is also the first version of Windows in which the user experience scales to the hardware capabilities of the computer on which Windows Vista is installed. Although the graphical bells and whistles are excellent, many of the most powerful features in Windows Vista are those that you won’t see at first glance, including the many enhancements for reliability, security, usability, and mobility.
In this chapter, we’ll look at the issues and features you’ll need to know about to start using Windows Vista effectively. The chapter begins with a look at the versions of Windows Vista that are available and then continues with a discussion of getting started using Windows Vista. Next, the chapter discusses using Windows Vista in workgroup and domain configurations, focusing on the differences between these environments and how permissions for user accounts have changed between this and previous versions of Windows. Last, the chapter discusses the important procedure changes for turning off and shutting down computers running Windows Vista.
This book was written using the Windows Vista Beta to provide an early introduction to the operating system. More so than any other area of Windows Vista, the security features discussed in this book are subject to change. Some of the features might not be included in the final product, and some of the features might be changed substantially.