Vista Basic and Others
If you do not have a display card with a GPU, Vista Basic is what you will see when you run Windows Vista. It doesn’t have all the see-through effects, the 3D flip or the live taskbar preview screen.
But other than that, you aren't missing out much. The colour scheme remains the same. The icons are the same. However, not having a proper graphics card also means that Windows applications that explicitly depend on it will not run. An example would be Windows DVD Maker.
For those who have always wanted it simple and plain, the classic Windows 2000 theme is still available to choose from.
The Start Menu has become more interesting. It now sports a new orb-like button with a Windows logo on it. That takes up less space, compared to the Start button in Windows XP.
At first glance, you may think that this was the same Start Menu as the one found in Windows XP. It does look like it, but there are some differences. The main difference is that they removed the cascading menu and hid it in the “Recently Used Applications” pane.
To access your installed applications, you move your mouse over to “All Programs” and after about 1-2 seconds, the cascading menu that houses all your application links will appear.
Some blog sites commented that this new method is better, but we can’t see how. It’s still a cascading menu that requires more clicks than necessary to access the application you want. At least in Windows XP, it's faster and more intuitive. In contrast, Vista requires you to click on the folder to reveal the applications stored within a folder.
The good news is that the Classic Start Menu is just an option away. The bad news is that the Classic Start Menu doesn’t support transparency and was imported from Windows 2000. The new Start Menu is much neater though. We would have liked to have an option to retain this menu but at the same time, allow activation of the cascading menu.
The main plus point of this new Start Menu is that you can initiate a search directly from a text box underneath the application list. It also functions as an application finder – just start typing the title of any application into it. Any related applications will show up automatically in the program list.
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