As you learned in Chapter 1, “Introducing Windows Vista,” Microsoft Windows Vista is different from earlier versions of Windows, especially when it comes to user accounts and shutdown procedures. Prior to performing tasks that require administrator privileges, users are prompted for a password if they are using a standard user account or confirmation if they are using a computer administrator account. When you turn off a computer running Windows Vista, the computer typically enters a sleep state instead of completely powering down. You must, in fact, shut down the computer to power down completely. Beyond these important differences, you’ll find many other interface differences between Windows Vista and earlier versions of Windows, and examining these differences so that you can effectively work with Windows Vista is the subject of this chapter.
The primary means of getting around in Windows Vista are the taskbar and the menu system. The entryway to the menu system is the Start button on the taskbar. You use the Start button to display the Start menu, which in turn allows you to run programs, open folders, get help, and find the items you want to work with. From the Start menu, you can access the All Programs menu, which provides access to all the programs and tools on the computer and to Control Panel, which provides access to utilities for working with system settings.
With all the new taskbar and menu features, you might want to finally stop using Classic View for Control Panel, Classic Start menu, and double-click to open an item. Why? The answer is twofold. First, it’s so much easier to get around in Windows Vista using the standard configuration, and going back to the classic configuration means losing some of the most powerful features in Windows Vista. Second, it’s so much more intuitive to use single-clicking to open items because Windows Vista makes extensive use of links in its consoles and dialog boxes, and these links open items with single clicks.
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.