I have spent the past couple of days unplugged from the world, on vacation at my brothers house, and playing with the disconnected features of my Dell laptop. One of the big things I have noticed is how impressed I am with the usability of Vista.
Their are three features in particular that I think make using Vista worth while. I am not certain if these features will warrant my upgrading my home desktop to Vista, but I think that on any machine made for Vista these features would make it a better buy than XP.
- Tagging: The interface for tagging in Vista could use a little work, and the inability to tag absolutely every file is a bit of a problem, but the ability to tag office documents, pictures and music is a good start.
- Start Menu searching: This is really THE killer feature for Vista. I don’t know how I ever lived without the ability to hit the Windows key, type a keyword and find what I am looking for.
- Saved Searches: This is a nice way to put together virtual folders. I have created folders for pictures of Iain, gaming PDF’s and a few other collections of things I like to find quickly. I am thinking I will also expand out some of the time based searches. An added bonus with a saved search is to search within that subset for more specific details. All of this searching happens quite fast on my Dell 1420.
Lets go back to Start Menu searching though. How did this feature get left out of Windows for so long? I use Launchy on my XP machine, and I like it. However, it is just not as cool as the feature built in to Windows. I think the thing I like most about the Windows search is that it is so nicely integrated into the system. One of these little tidbits of Integration is the ability to Right Click and item and get a full context menu for that item. I can open the item, open the folder containing the item, or do anything else to the item that I can normally do from the start menu.
The menu is not perfect, it would be nice to be able to select and open or work with multiple items. I would also love to be able to specify only folders results when I search. It is kinda nice to bring up folders only (can I do this with a type: command or something??) Still, it is a great improvement, and for a digital pack rat like me worth the cost of Vista.