Windows Vista Ultimate Version Free

Until June 2007 at least… Microsoft has released a free Release Candidate version of their new operating system for people to try out on their site. All you have to do is visit the site, register for a key and then either order the demo disc or download the ISO.

Vista Score

I didn’t manage to get it to install on my main desktop PC for some reason but, I did get it to install on my slower Centrino laptop. I haven’t tried any of the previous betas so this is the first version I’ve come across and so far, I like what I see. Things seem to chug along nicely on my 1.6GHz Pentium M, 512MB DDR, Radeon X600 64MB machine depite the low index score.

The new Windows makes use of 3D graphics cards now but the new “Windows Aero” theme isn’t actually turned on by default. The basic theme still looks fairly good, though.

No Aero Theme here.

And once you do turn it on, you can see the windows turn transparent like glass and you can view thumbnails of the window’s content if you hover over the button in the taskbar.

And now you have glass windows.

And of course, if you hold down the Windows Key and Tab to cycle through the windows, you can see them all tilted sideways like this. Cool, eh? :P

Cycling through 3D windows.

Lots of people like using addons such as “Widgets” to display items such as To Do Lists, News Headlines, Calendars and Weather like me. Now Microsoft has its own array of “Gadgets” to offer here. One of them being a big analogue clock on the right hand side of your desktop. You can see there’s a few more other Gadgets too.

Microsoft Gadgets.

It’s not all a cosmetic makeover of course. The main new feature I like is the searchable Task Menu because I have a lot of programs installed on my machines. It’s saves me from trawling through huge cascaded menus. You can find out all the other features yourself and by visiting the official site ;)

Searchable Task Menu.

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