I have been a full time user of Windows Vista on my laptop since RC1 and I thought I would share what I like and what don't like, the items are not presented in any particular order.
What I like in Vista
- Snipping Tool, this is a tools which allows you to capture free-form, rectangular, window or full-screen screen shots and then save them to disk as JPEG or to the clipboard. I really like this tool and feel that it gives me real value, specifically when writing documentation (and blogs 🙂 it makes it very easy to capture an area of the screen. I have previously used a tool called SnagIt which has more advanced capturing functionality but I have found myself using it less and less, so when I reinstalled the machine with Vista RTM I did not even bother to install SnagIt...
- The Task Manager has been extended to include a Services tab. This is great as I run a lot of services on my laptop, e.g. SQL, BizTalk, Virtual Server, and there is sometimes a need to start/stop them. Previously I always used the Computer Management MMC to do this, but I can now save several mouse clicks (and time) by using Task Manager instead.
- IE7, while it is also available outside Vista it is to me a Vista feature.
- The Weather gadget is cool, having run this for a couple of month now I still find it interesting that it has such accurate data for my home town on Upplands Väsby, Sweden.
- Typing application names in the Start-menu and finding them quickly. If you don't know about this feature it is easily understood by looking at the picture below of the Start menu in Vista. This is to me the number one productivity feature in Vista, it makes it so much easier and quicker to access your programs. As you can see in the picture below it not only searches for programs but also many other types of artifacts on your disk. Simply ingenious!
What I don't like in Vista
- I'm a big fan of drag-and-drop file and directory names to the Command Prompt, I use it a lot in XP. However, I just cannot get it to work in Vista. I wonder if this has been turned off due to security?!
- I find it hard to quickly see which application is active my looking in the Taskbar. The difference in the Taskbar between the active application and other applications is simply too small.
- Short-cuts have changes, I specifically think about Alt+V+H in Explorer which previously gave me Thumbnails. The new keystroke to achieve thumbnails of the same size as before is Alt+V+R, but R is not unique in the View menu so it requires pressing Enter to confirm the selection. I now have more options to choose from with regard to presentations, but I will have to relearn...
- Some programs that I use doesn't work by default under Vista, one of them has even blocked installation but that could be resolved by setting the Compatibility mode to XP SP2. That is really primarily not a problem with Vista, but when running Vista my user experience is disturbed. I have in contacted the vendor from whom I bought these program about the problems.