Windows Tools

Windows Media Player 11

Windows Media Player 11 is one of the new applications included in Windows Vista. The interface is very simple and visually effective compared to version 10, the media library is organized in a better way, the performance has improved and new features were added. Overall it is the best version of Windows Media Player released by Microsoft.

In this tutorial we will show you how to customize your installation of Windows Media Player 11 and the basics about the program navigation.

Internet Explorer 7

One of the challenges Microsoft had to face when working on Windows Vista, was to upgrade the old Internet Explorer and bring it up to part with the competition. Firefox and Opera have proved to be worthy adversaries and Microsoft had to come up with something new. And they did. Compared to its predecessor, Internet Explorer 7 is a huge upgrade. Microsoft changed not only the interface but also included features such as: tabbed browsing, integrated searching, phishing filters, protected mode, add-ons and newsfeed support.

Our mission is to help people get accustomed with Windows Vista. This is why, in this article, we will try to talk about the biggest change in Internet Explorer 7 - it's interface - and explain all the new elements.

Understanding Instant Search

Instant Search is one of the most useful new tools included in Windows Vista. It allows users to search and find everything on their computer: applications, e-mail messages, documents, music, photos and any other types of content. You can find Instant Search almost anywhere within the operating system: in the Start Menu, in the Control Panel, in every Explorer and also in other programs like Windows Media Player or Windows Photo Gallery.

In order to return results quickly, Instant Search needs to build an index with the content of your computer. By default, Instant Search indexes only a small number of folders such as the Start Menu, the names of the files that have been opened, the Documents folder, and the user's e-mail. It can also be configured to index only the type of content and the locations chosen by the user.

Instant Search is contextual and it shows results based on your current activity. This is why it will display different results depending on the location where you make the search. Even though, in theory, contextual search is not very complicated, some people will need some time to get used to it. This is why, in this article, we will try to explain how Instant Search works.


ReadyBoost is a disk caching technology included in Windows that uses flash memory to boost your system performance. It can use any form of flash memory such as a USB 2.0 drive, SD card or CompactFlash.

ReadyBoost functions as a complement for SuperFetch, giving SuperFetch another place to cache data. SuperFetch is a technology included in Windows Vista which prioritizes the programs you are currently using over background tasks and adapts to the way you work. This technology tracks your computer usage behavior and intelligently preloads applications into memory. This helps improving the general performance of your system and the loading times of your core applications. While SuperFetch loads by default all the necessary files into the main memory, ReadyBoost complements it by loading data into alternate storage devices such as USB 2.0 flash memory sticks.

The complete guide to the Windows Calendar - Part 3

In the third and last part of our Windows Calendar series, we will show you how to subscribe to online calendars and publish your own calendars to remote locations such as a web host.

The complete guide to the Windows Calendar - Part 2

In the second part of our Windows Calendar series we will show you how to export and import your calendars. By using the import and export functions you can make a quick backup of your calendars or you can move them on different PC's or use them in different applications.

The complete guide to the Windows Calendar - Part 1

Windows Calendar is one of the new applications delivered with Windows Vista. This application looks like many other similar applications and offers all the expected features: support for the iCalendar file format, support for publishing or subscribing to web-based calendars, options for creating and managing tasks, several calendar views and so on. In fact many criticized this application for resembling with iCal - a personal calendar application available for MAC OS X users. Even if there is some resemblance, Windows Calendar is nonetheless a great application and the first calendar application to be included in a Microsoft Windows operating system.

We are currently working on a series of articles about Windows Calendar which will be published gradually these days. The series will serve as a complete guide on how to use and configure your Windows Calendar.

This first article covers the basic functionalities of Windows Calendar: creating personalized calendars, customizing them, creating appointments, tasks and reminders.

Windows Contacts

Windows Contacts is a new application distributed with Windows Vista, that replaces the old Windows Address Book. This application has all the features of its predecessor and some new ones such as the ability to add pictures to your contacts, a new XML based file format for storing contacts and better extensibility for integration with other applications.

As you can imagine, Windows Contacts integrates with Windows Mail. When you create an e‑mail message in Windows Mail, you select the recipient from your Contacts folder. Even if you do not use Windows Mail as your default e‑mail client, you can still use Windows Contacts to store all the contact information about the people you know.

Check your system health with the Reliability and Performance Monitor

One of the good things about Windows Vista is the fact that, compared to Windows XP, it incorporates a set of really good troubleshooting tools. You no longer have to buy third party tools or go to a specialist to learn what is wrong with your system.
Now everybody can easily check the health status of their systems. All you have to do is to use the Reliability and Performance Monitor included in Windows Vista.

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