Inside Windows Vista: Windows Mobile Device Center and Sync Center
The New Windows
Lets take a quick look at some of the new eye-candy features in Windows Vista.
Figure 16: Windows Vista will greets its users with this Welcome Center upon login. Click on the image for the high resolution image. (98KB)
Figure 17: Check out the thumbnail preview for minimized applications. Click on the image for the high resolution image. (412KB)
What I like the most about this feature is that it is a live representation of the application window. If you minimize a video player window and hover the mouse over the minimized application, the thumbnail will show the actual video.
Figure 18: The Internet Explorer 7 now sports tabs. Click on the image for the high resolution image. (433KB)
Figure 19: The Quick Tabs feature. Click on the image for the high resolution image. (168KB)
The Quick Tabs button in the tab bar provides the user with a quick preview of all the open tabs. So if you have too many tabs open and don't know which one to switch to, Quick Tabs can help you.
Figure 20: SideShow Control Panel applet. Click on the image for the high resolution image. (80KB)
SideShow enables the new secondary or external screens on the laptops to display emails and play MP3 songs. I was surprised to see this Control Panel applet because the PC on which I am running Windows Vista does not have an auxiliary display.
Figure 21: The Network Center. Click on the image for the high resolution image. (94KB)
Just like the Windows Mobile Device Center, the Network Center is the one stop shop for all the networking related tasks. Unlike the Windows Mobile Device Center applet, the Network Center applet seems to be fully functional. I did have a tough time figuring out the new screens, to get the wireless network card to connect to my home wireless network.
Figure 22: The Windows Vista desktop. Click on the image for the high resolution image. (361KB)
The desktop with the Sidebar gadgets, check out the Smartphone Thoughts RSS feed in the Sidebar. Windows Vista Performance and Rating Tool lets you rate and improve system performance. Not sure if the tool can really help improve the performance, but I am sure it can present a score that can help you decide whether or not you want to buy new system or not.
Since the complete details are not available on how to configure a partnership, similar to the current ActiveSync based ones in the new Sync Center, we cannot really decide if Windows Vista really helps us or not. Hopefully Microsoft will soon release the documentation and the missing software components; it could be in the form of ActiveSync 5.0 for Windows Vista, which will enable the testers to fully test the Windows Mobile device support in Windows Vista. Whatever it is, the new enhancements in Windows Vista for portable devices are not revolutionary. But it seems like a step in the right direction.
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