Windows Vista Basic

Windows Vista Basic is the entry-level desktop user experience in Windows Vista and the one you will see on Windows Vista Home Basic or in other editions if you don’t meet certain hardware requirements, which I’ll discuss shortly. From a technological perspective, Windows Vista Basic renders the Windows desktop in roughly the same way as does Windows XP, meaning it doesn’t take advantage of Vista’s new graphical prowess and enhanced stability. That said, Vista Basic still provides you with many of the unique features that make Vista special, such as integrated desktop search—available via a search box in the upper-right corner of every Explorer window—and Live Icons, which show live previews of the contents of document files.

Windows Vista Basic isn’t as attractive as Windows Aero, but there are actually some advantages to using it. For starters, it offers better performance than Aero, so it’s a good bet for lower-end computers. Notebook and Tablet PC users will notice that Vista Basic actually provides better battery life than Aero too, so if you’re on the road and not connected to a power source, Vista Basic is a thriftier choice if you’re trying to maximize runtime.

Conversely, Windows Vista Basic has a few major, if non-obvious, disadvantages. Because it uses XP-era display rendering techniques, Windows Vista Basic is not as stable and reliable as Aero and could thus lead to system crashes and even “blue screen of death” crashes because of poorly written display drivers. Aero display drivers are typically far more reliable, and the Aero display itself is inherently superior to that offered by Basic. Nor does Vista Basic enable you to use some unique Vista features, such as Flip 3D and taskbar thumbnails, that require Aero technologies.

Even if you are running Windows Aero, you may still run into the occasional issue that causes the display to fl ash and suddenly revert back to Windows Vista Basic. For example, some older applications aren’t compatible with Windows Aero; when you run such an application, the user experience will revert to Windows Vista Basic. When you close the offending application, Aero returns. In other cases, certain applications that use custom window rendering will actually display in a Windows Vista Basic style, even though all of the other windows in the system are utilizing Aero. These are the issues you have to deal with when Microsoft makes such a dramatic change to the Windows rendering engine, apparently. The good news is that these glitches are significantly less common with Windows Vista and Service Pack 1 (SP1). Most modern Windows applications work just fine with Aero.

Source of information : Wiley Windows Vista Secrets SP1 Edition

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