Office 12 & Windows Vista

Office 12
Office 12 Screenshots:
      The next version of Microsoft Corp.’s Office software will feature simpler graphics and try to anticipate users’ tasks as the company hopes to make the product easier to use, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has said. We need to make it easier for people to visualize information that comes from different directions.
      The Office redesign is meant to make it easier on the eyes, with the myriad of menu boxes fading in and out of view depending on what tools are being used. The idea is part of an industrywide trend toward personalizing technology based on user habits.
Windows Vista
Windows Vista Screenshots:
      Quite simply, the new OS looks cool. Vista’s "aero glass" see-through window frames and green liquid-like progress bars resemble effects that Mac users have enjoyed for years. Conscious of the security and reliability concerns that have plagued previous Windows releases, Microsoft is trying hard to overcome people’s resistance to upgrading by proving that with Vista, things have changed.
      Microsoft’s reviewer’s guide promises a host of new security and reliability features–for example, the abilities to detect imminent component failure and recommend responses such as immediate data backup, as well as to detect during startup whether a system has been tampered with. While many of these features, along with improvements in deployment, troubleshooting, and management, are directed primarily at IT departments, they are sure to benefit users, too. One of the more helpful changes: Context-sensitive search windows appear everywhere in Vista.
      The Start menu, which in most respects looks much like its counterpart in XP (and can be reset to resemble the old Windows 95/98 Start menu. Along with Beta 1 of Windows Vista, Microsoft has produced not one but two beta versions of Internet Explorer 7–one for Windows XP, and one in the Vista beta. The most exciting (and long overdue) innovation in both is tabbed browsing, which lets you open multiple Web pages in one browser window. You switch between the pages by clicking tabs in the IE 7 window. (The free MSN Search Toolbar adds tabs to IE 6.) Tabs have long been in Opera, and they’re an attraction in Mozilla Firefox. Microsoft’s promised support for RSS feeds –which are confusingly called both "Feeds" and "Web Feeds"–appears in rudimentary form as a button with radio waves emanating from a point. The grayed-out graphic turns red on sites that have correctly tagged RSS feeds; clicking a feed displays its contents as a Web page



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