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Author Topic: Bundled Applications  (Read 3296 times)

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Bundled Applications
« on: 11. July 2007., 23:21:22 »
An operating system by itself is a lonely thing -- simply opening and closing windows and tweaking your system gets old after a while. And so Windows Vista includes a slew of built-in applications, more than Windows XP. You'll find the old standbys, such as Notepad, WordPad, and Paint, and they're pretty much unchanged. If you've seen them in Windows XP, you've seen them in Windows Vista. But there are plenty of new ones as well. Following are the high (and low) points of the most notable apps.

Sidebar and gadgets
Either you're a software gadget person or you're not, and that distinction will go a long way toward determining whether you think Windows Vista's Sidebar and its accompanying gadgets are exceedingly cool and useful, or simply a waste of screen real estate. We fall into the pro-gadget side, and we use them all day long.

Gadgets are mini-apps that can grab and display information from the Internet, from a network, or from your computer. They can display stock quotes, the weather, your current RAM use, and so on. There's no two ways about it; they're direct rip-offs of Mac OS X's widgets. But if you're going to steal something, why not steal from the best?
Gadgets live in the Windows Sidebar, the right-most portion of the screen, although you can drag them anywhere you want on the desktop. The 10 or so gadgets that ship with Windows Vista are not a formidable bunch. As you might expect, there's a clock, stock tracker, weather tracker, note taker, and so on.

But two are extremely useful -- the CPU Meter that displays your CPU and RAM use, and a very good Feed Headlines gadget that gathers all of the RSS feeds you've subscribed to in Internet Explorer and scrolls through them as they arrive. The RSS gadget in particular is a great one. You need do nothing at all to get the latest news and blog posts; they just scroll by on your screen all day. Click one to see a summary; click again to go to the Web site for the full post.
Some people might think that because few useful gadgets ship with Windows Vista, it means the feature is a bomb. Not so. You can go online to get more gadgets, and over time, you'll most likely see a very robust community dedicated to building them. Within a year of Vista's ship date, don't be surprised if there are plenty of useful gadgets there waiting for you.

Windows Calendar
This may be the best new application that ships with Windows Vista. It's remarkably easy to use, yet offers surprisingly advanced features, including the ability to send out invitations to meetings directly from within the program, set reminders and create to-do lists. You can create group calendars to share with others who use the same computer, and you can publish your calendar on the Web as well. Best of all is that it's compatible with iCalendar, the main group calendar standard. So when you send or receive invitations, you can automatically sync your calendar with others, and you can subscribe to calendars posted on the Web.

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Bundled Applications
« on: 11. July 2007., 23:21:22 »


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