Vista Gets Serious About WYSIWYG
Even when new software provides improvements and additions, it takes some time to learn your way around an updated interface. Windows Vista has a familiar appearance, but with enough new aspects to require some hunting for favorite handy features.
Its multimedia capabilities--in both small and more significant touches--are among the first things that will catch a new user's eye. Clicking around a bit will reveal some of the new features (and also uncover some of the old favorites).
Squint Here for Video
Is that thumbnail in the Taskbar actually playing video?
Yes! Hover your mouse over any window minimized to the Taskbar, and a "live" thumbnail will pop up showing the exact contents of that window, including any live video.
Find Familiar Commands, Meet New Ones
What happened to Alt-Tab?
Microsoft made it useful. It's now called Windows Flip, and it shows you thumbnails of all your windows as you flip through them, so you can quickly choose the exact window you want to open.
What's this 3D task-switching thing?
Now you're talking about some serious eye candy. Windows Flip 3D (Windows-Tab) is Windows Flip with a membership in the Flying Walendas.
It stacks your windows in three dimensions, and lets you scroll through them with your mouse or click one to select it. It adds up to sort of a poor man's Expose (from Mac OS X Tiger).
Next: Meet the Revamped Windows Explorer.