Hi there everyone,
As I promised a week or so ago, I’ll be providing you with some of the highlights of Windows Vista and Office 2007. So, here we go…
The four snapshots that I’m showing here are the “Glass” effects. For those who don’t know, “Glass” is the 3-D and transparencies that Microsoft has built into Vista. There’s more to it (such as animated tooltips and animated Alt+Tab selection, and the “Windows Flip”) but for now, I’ll show you these four things. In the weeks to come, I’ll provide snapshots of the tooltips and the flip.
I’ll point out here that there is definitely more to Vista then just the fancy looks. The security is definitely more noticeable then in Windows 9x,2000/XP/2003. But, that will come as a separate post. You are able to edit the metadata for files and folders. And, this edited metadata will show up when you go into “My Computer”. And more….. But, we’re here to see “Glass” today, so lets see some “Glass”.
Here is a quick shot of the title bars in Glass. If you look closely, you’ll notice that the title bar in the foreground is transparent, and you’re able to see the toolbar from Outlook in the background. Also, the main thing you’ll have to get used to is the red “X”. The “X” that is glowing the brightest, is the window which has focus (the active window). Also, you’ll notice the Outlook Title bar is showing my desktop icons in the background. One drawback to this is that if you have windows on top of windows (where the title bars are on top of each other) it can get confusing trying to read what’s what.
The systray is also transparent, as you can tell. The main things that you’ll notice are the newly designed “Start” button (which is the Windows Vista logo) and the slightly transparent look. One thing that wasn’t shown here is, if you hover your mouse over a title on the systray, it will glow blue. And, if the window changes (or requires your attention) it will glow orange. As in XP, when you open enough windows (such as notepad windows or Web browser windows) it will group them. And you have the “hide inactive icons” like you had in XP.
Here’s a closer look at the Start button and the Quick Launch toolbar….
You can also see how the systray is transparent in this view. Behind the Quick Launch toolbar is the blogger.com website in Firefox. Everything works the same, it just looks a little different. Mainly, if you don’t have a video card that is “Glass Capable”, you’ll lose the transparency effects, windows flip, and the animated tooltips/Alt+Tab selection.
Finally, I’ll show you the Sidebar. This is one of the items that Microsoft was pointing out as an awesome feature. I will definitely say it’s nice. And, I’ll say that it has improved in the various builds that I’ve tested. You can add whatever “Widgets” are available (at this time, there aren’t a whole lot of them configured to run on Beta 2). It’s similar to the extensions in Firefox.
You’ll notice that it too is transparent. And, you’ll also notice that the stock ticker updates in real-time (as does the RSS feed reader). The CPU meter shows both your Percentage of CPU Usage, and your Percentage of Memory Usage. And finally, the egg-shaped thing is a timer. Which for people (Geeks) like me, is a good thing, since I usually sit at the computer while I’m cooking things.
I’ll post one more picture in a separate blog post (because of the size and the fact that I have to drag them all into the location that they are to be placed). That picture will be what Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 looks like in Glass. The other thing is, it also shows the people who like MSN Chat, what their rooms will look like in Vista. Not much of a difference, but it’s a nod to some of my friends (making them famous).
Until next time, have a great weekend/week everyonne.