LEFT: How would you start the calculator under Windows XP? RIGHT: (fumbling for words) I'd go to Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> Calculator -- It takes too long. LEFT: Well, check this out.Left clicks on the Start menu, types "calc" and up comes the calculator at the top of the Start Menu.
LEFT: See? You don't even have to type the whole thing!The trouble with this exchange is that the filename for the calculator application is, in fact, calc.exe. So when you type "calc" into the start bar, it's finding calc.exe, not necessarily the term "Calculator." The same affect can be achieved by clicking Start -> Run and typing "calc" in Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, XP, and even Vista. Though this demonstration is flawed, I still will admit to the usefulness of the Start menu search function. It really does work pretty well, but only if you have the Windows File Indexing service on all the time, which can be taxing on the proc and memory of your computer. It's something I ordinarily turn off because, well, I know where I keep my files. I have organization and don't rely on my computer for such. There are other new features involved, and you can watch all these demos at the website. There are some really cool things that Vista can do, but the long and short of it is that it's way too heavy on your hardware to be considered a useful operating system. For instance, when Vista creates thumbnail images for pictures on your hard drive or thumb drive or whatever storage medium you've chosen, it keeps the full-size image in memory, then performs a shrink command on it, then displays the shrunken image in the explorer window, keeping the larger image in memory. This created a problem for me when I was looking through photos taken with a professional camera. Each image occupied 15-20 MB depending on the color range in the picture. Instead of taking the images one at a time, shrinking them, then keeping the shrunken version in memory, it tried to load several hundred 15-20 MB images in memory at once. 1GB of memory couldn't hold it all. It fell back on Page File. I had to force reboot the PC to get out of the function due to the interconnected design of the OS and double my computer's memory just to be able to browse. My point is that you should go ahead and try Vista if you want, but for God's sake don't pay for it first. Microsoft is running an extremely dishonest advertisement to overcome a lot of their software's completely valid detractions. They're not fixing much because to do so would involve writing an entirely new OS, and they'll be damned if they'll do that and not ask for another $200. It's bad enough that they're asking for that right now for an OS that is inferior in many ways to a great deal of free-of-charge operating systems. Just see my link list at the top-right for more information on this type of stuff.