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Top 10 things to try with Windows Vista

Here are a few of the top things you can do to evaluate Windows Vista for your organization, plan your deployment, and make yourself more productive.

  1. Plan an easier deployment: Get the Business Desktop Deployment (BDD 2007) and install the latest deployment tools and guidance on deploying Windows Vista and the 2007 Office system. In addition, you can use this step-by-step guide to familiarize yourself with some of the major tools and technologies to help you with deployments. Our guidance will show you how to build an image using ImageX, configure it, and create an unattend.xml file using the Windows System Image Manager. Then, configure Windows Deployment Services to deploy the customized image to test machines in your organization. Explore the full range of innovations we've developed to make deployment simpler, including updating an image in an offline state and customizing the Windows preinstallation environment.

    To get the BDD 2007, visit the Desktop Deployment Center on TechNet.
  2. Improve security and compliance: Encrypt your drive using BitLocker drive encryption. Take advantage of User Account Control and deploy a test group as standard users and see how much easier they are to support. Apply group policy settings that prevent data transfers to removable media like flash drives and CD-Rs. Run as a standard user on your own PC. On Windows Vista, everyday activities like browsing the Web with Internet Explorer 7 will be more secure because of the built-in anti-phishing filter and Protected Mode.
  3. Manage your PC: Explore more than 500 new group policies to see everything you can manage centrally. New policies include the ability to control installation of device and power management settings, which can help you save energy costs on each PC. Use the Event Viewer to get a consolidated view of all of the events on your system. (Just type "Event Viewer" in the Quick Search menu to bring it up.) You can right-click any event to schedule a task that will start automatically the next time that event happens.
  4. Optimize your network: Restrict authorized use of the network by configure the new outbound blocking capabilities of the Windows Firewall. You can use the same integrated MMC Firewall snap-in to configure server and domain isolation using IPSec. See how Quality of Service policies can help you manage the use of precious bandwidth and define the priority of traffic for applications. If you ever have trouble connecting to a network, just right-click on the connection icon in your system tray and choose "Diagnose." Windows Vista will help you identify the problem and guide you through the solution.
  5. Test your applications: Downloadand use the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.0. Take inventory of the applications in your environment, record any issues you find, and synchronize your findings with other testers using the Microsoft Compatibility Exchange. The tool will also find issues with Web sites you are visiting and applications that may not work well for standard users.
  6. Be more productive: With the Windows Aero user experience, the windows feature a transparent glass effect that makes it is easier to manage your open windows with less distraction. Press Windows+Tab to experience the dynamic "Flip 3D" window management feature. Use Instant Search, which is built right into the Start menu to easily find your documents, e-mails, Web sites, and even applications. Insert a ReadyBoost-capable storage device, such as a USB 2.0 memory drive with at least 512 MB capacity. When prompted, click "Speed up my system" to get an extra boost of performance.
  7. Go mobile: Windows Vista is designed to work especially well on mobile hardware, so install it on your laptop or Tablet PC, too. Press Windows+X to start the Windows Mobility Center, which puts the most frequently used mobile PC settings in a single location. With the Sync Center, it is easy to keep your files, data, and devices in sync and move seamlessly between online and offline states. You can also configure Folder Redirection so roaming users can access any folder, not just the five that could be roamed in Windows XP. If you are using a Tablet PC, you'll notice that improved handwriting recognition, cursors, visual feedback, and new Pen Flicks will make it even easier to use.
  8. Share information and collaborate: Try Windows Meeting Space (previously known as Windows Collaboration) to collaborate with a co-worker who is also using Windows Vista. You can share your screen with others and take turns working on a file. Use Microsoft's new read-only XML-Paper Specification (XPS)archival file format to store and share documents in a more secure way. To create an XPS document, simply print it and chose "Microsoft XPS Document Writer" as the printer. You can share the XPS document with other Windows Vista users or with Windows XP users who have installed the .NET Framework 3.0.
  9. Use the Web more effectively: With Internet Explorer 7 on Windows Vista, you can browse the Web more easily and securely. Right-click a link and chose "Open in New Tab" to experience the new tabbed browsing. Press Ctrl+Q to open the Quick Tabs (thumbnail view) of all your open tabs. Even printing is improved—select “Shrink to Fit” printing and the sides of your Web pages won't be cut off. You can use the built-in RSS reader to subscribe to the Windows Vista Blog or other feeds to get the latest information.
  10. Join the community: Share your experiences in a blog, get help from other users, and share tips you discover—there are a number of ways you can interact with others around the world who are using Windows Vista. TechNet offers managed forums where you can ask questions and get support from your peers. In the Windows Vista Start menu, you will also find links to community resources and support options in the Help and Support section.

Windows Vista is designed to work well with Microsoft Office 2007. Visit the 2007 Office system site and take a test drive to see how they work better together.

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