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Microsoft® Windows Vista Ultimate (SP 1)

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Product Description

If you use the same computer at home and for your daily work, Windows Vista Ultimate is an excellent choice. You can smoothly shift between the things you want to do and the things you need to do. For fun, you'll love the extensive options you get for music, images, live and recorded TV, and online entertainment. For work, you'll find improved document sharing and networking support. If your PC is a laptop, you'll appreciate how easily you can manage and extend your battery life. And you'll get the most advanced, layered security protection of any Windows release yet.


See what you're doing, find what you need

The first things you'll notice about Windows Vista Ultimate are its elegant looks and how it helps you with essential tasks. It's easier to work with and visualize your information with Windows Aero. You can conveniently arrange and manage your open windows using Windows Flip and Flip 3D. And you won't have to click to see your content because live taskbar thumbnails reveal it.

Windows Aero helps you quickly locate the window you need.

Every day you have to hit the ground running at full speed. Now, with Instant Search, you have a faster way to find whatever you need on your PC, on your network, or on the Internet. Whether you're looking for an e-mail from a colleague, a picture of your mom, a spreadsheet from last quarter, or the website for your kid's homework, you only need to start typing in the Search box on the Start menu.

As soon as you start typing, Instant Search begins showing results containing the letters you've entered.

It's easier and faster to find anything, no matter where you may have saved it, with the consistent, streamlined menus, toolbars, and preview panes in the improved Explorers in Windows Vista. Explorers include Search boxes too, so you can search within a particular type of information, such as all your documents.

Explorers include Search boxes so you can find what you need fast.

You can organize your files any way that you want and immediately sort and filter information based on file type, saved date, or the name of the file creator. Watch this demo to see how Windows Vista helps you find and organize information.

Back up without fuss, roll back file changes

If you've used a PC for long, chances are good that you know the sick feeling you get in your stomach after you've accidentally deleted a picture or a document you spent hours writing. And you know you can avoid that feeling by routinely backing up your files. But you can find yourself procrastinating because it seems like it will take a lot of time and trouble.

Now you can avoid the procrastination because you can easily use the Windows Backup and Restore Center. If you want to back up just your files and data, you can choose Automatic Backup. Or you can choose Windows Complete PC Backup and Restore, which can get your entire PC back to normal in one easy step if you experience a catastrophic hardware failure.

The Backup and Restore Center makes this essential task simple to do.

What do you do if you've made a lot of changes to a document and realize you want to go back to a previous version? In the past, you had only the version you'd most recently saved. Now, Shadow Copy automatically creates and archives copies of your files as you work on them. So if you accidentally saved over a document or a document becomes corrupted, you can easily retrieve any previous version of that file.

Use multiple languages

Windows Vista Ultimate is available in 35 languages—simultaneously. If you have a multilingual household or are learning a new language, you can install as many languages as you want and even switch between them as easily as logging off and back on again. And if your family shares a single PC, each family member can use his or her preferred language to interact with the PC.

Easily fax and scan

Once in a while you might need to send or receive a fax or scan a document or image. You have flexible, integrated faxing and scanning capabilities in one convenient location with Windows Fax and Scan. For faxing, you don't need a fax machine. And if you have a locally connected or network-connected scanner, you can scan documents and images with a single click.

Create, send, and receive faxes, documents, and images from one spot.

Enjoy easier setup and simplified maintenance

If being an IT support person isn't your idea of fun, you can relax. For one thing, you can get up and running fast using Windows Easy Transfer to automatically copy your files, photos, music, e-mail, and settings from your old PC to your new Windows Vista–based PC.

After your computer is set up, you will be pleased that system disruptions are kept to a minimum with little or no effort on your part. Built-in diagnostics alert you to disk failure, defective memory, and other potential issues so they can be resolved before affecting your everyday tasks.

Behind the scenes, new self-healing technology can automatically identify and fix problems as they occur. And your system's performance is more consistent with Windows SuperFetch, which tracks when you use programs and ensures that you have faster access to them.

Smaller home and business networks can use the Network and Sharing Center to visually check the connection status of PCs and devices and troubleshoot connection problems. No additional IT support is required.


Benefit from advanced security features

It is likely that safety is one of your chief concerns. We have worked very hard on this area in the years since we developed Windows XP, and the result of that work is the most secure version of Windows yet.

You know that there are thousands of advertisers and spammers out there, so it's good to know that you can take steps to help protect your PC from many types of malicious software. Your first line of defense in Windows Vista is the more easily configured, automatically running Windows Firewall. And Windows Defender can help you reduce the number of pop-up ads and lessen the security threats caused by spyware and other unwanted software.

Automatically avoid unwanted software with Windows Defender.

Feel safer on the web

The news stories about phishing scams, hackers, viruses, and worms may leave you feeling that your PC is a constant target. But you can help decrease these online security threats by taking advantage of the new capabilities in Windows Internet Explorer 7 that provide:

  • Anti-phishing technology, which helps protect your personal information from fraudulent websites.

  • Dynamic security protection that helps lower the risk of your system being damaged or disrupted.

  • Internet Explorer protected mode, which helps reduce the likelihood of hackers taking over your browser and delivering malware to your system.

Anti-phishing technology in Internet Explorer 7 can help protect your personal information.

Help protect your family and your PC

If you share your PC with your family, you probably have concerns that your kids could accidentally install malicious software or change something important, such as deleting all your favorites. With User Account Control, you can set up a user account for each family member, so a child will be prompted for a password when attempting to change system settings, install any additional software, or to use certain websites or games. And each family member can have their own set of favorites and desktop layouts.

You want to be able to supervise what your kids are doing on their computer without feeling like you’re the PC police. With Parental Controls, you can set time limits for your children's computer use and manage their access to the web and to PC games. And you can tailor the controls to suit the age level and personal interests of each child.

Use Parental Controls to easily oversee your children's computer use.

Help protect confidential information

If you have confidential information on your laptop, you want to do everything possible to safeguard it with the help of multiple layers of protection in Windows Vista Ultimate. For one thing, to help prevent sensitive business information and data from being shared outside of your company, you can password-protect shared documents with the Encrypting File System.

And you can help ensure the integrity of valuable information on your PC with Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption. Your entire hard drive is encrypted so that only you can access that information—even if your PC is lost, stolen, or decommissioned.

Help protect your business

Windows Vista Ultimate includes support for joining a network domain—a standard business networking feature that enables improved security and manageability for business PCs. An updated Group Policy infrastructure helps system administrators save time and reduce security risks by configuring wireless network settings, removable storage devices, printers, Internet Explorer, and even power-management settings centrally and automatically.

In addition, Windows Vista Ultimate includes the essential IT infrastructure features found in Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Enterprise so that your PCs and IT infrastructure can grow along with your business.

More entertaining

Explore all your digital home entertainment options

You spend a lot of your time working hard, so you want it to be simple to relax and have fun in your home. You can easily make your PC the center of a complete home entertainment experience with Windows Vista Ultimate.

Did you know you don't need to buy a special box or pay a monthly fee to record TV? With a TV tuner and a cable connection, you're ready to go. And that's just one part of how you can enjoy your entire digital entertainment library on your PC or on your television with Windows Media Center.

Use your mouse or an optional remote control to easily play DVDs, download movies, and even try something different like viewing your photos in a cinematic slide show or browsing your music collection by cover art.

Enjoy all your digital entertainment with the simplicity of Windows Media Center.

Best of all, you're not limited to staying in the room where you keep your PC. With Xbox 360 support and other consumer electronics connected to your home network, you can stream your movies and music to TVs throughout your home.

Get more pleasure from your digital images

You love your digital camera and you've probably taken hundreds of digital photos representing just as many memories. Maybe you've even downloaded most of them to your PC. But have you looked at them much since you did that? Would it be easy to find specific ones from that amazing Switzerland trip with your best friend two years ago?

Now, with Windows Photo Gallery, you have better and more flexible ways to make the most of your digital photos and home videos. For one thing, you can create keyword "tags" and a star rating system to manage and organize them, and then use built-in Instant Search to find them again quickly.

You can easily crop them, fix red eye, and even adjust the exposure and color. And the coolest thing is being able to choose from several themes and templates to create slide shows of your still photos and videos, set them to music, and even watch them on your TV.

Organize, fix, and enjoy your digital photos.

Share the fun and enjoy it on the go

Your mom is turning 75 in a couple of months. She insists that she doesn't need any more stuff. So what can you do for a gift? She recently spent a week with you and you got some great photos and videos of her with your kids. You can easily create a photo slide show and burn it to a professional-looking video DVD with Windows DVD Maker. Then you'll all have a great time watching it on her DVD player at her party.

You also can capture, edit, and publish your digital home movies in standard or high-definition format with the updated Windows Movie Maker and Windows Movie Maker HD.

Get deep into your games

You used to wonder how people can be so obsessed with computer games. But lately you've been bonding with your daughter over her favorite game, The Sims 2. And now you've taken to playing FreeCell on your lunch breaks. Welcome to habitual fun and to improved gaming support in Windows Vista Ultimate.

For one thing, you and your kids will be impressed with the hyper-realistic visuals and incredible performance. For another, you'll be able to fully explore next generation gaming options: with a DirectX 10 graphics card and the technology built into the operating system, only Windows Vista can run the latest, most graphically advanced PC games in the market.

Eye-popping graphics in Microsoft Flight Simulator X.

A seemingly limitless choice of games compatible with Windows is great, but it could sometimes be challenging to find and launch them. Now, you can conveniently access all of your games, and information about them, in a single location on your PC using the Games Explorer.

Look for Games for Windows branded titles—from the simple to the spectacular—for every age and ability. Plus, have more fun with old favorites on your PC such as Spider Solitaire and Minesweeper, as well as three new premium games: Mahjong Titans, Chess Titans, and InkBall.

Windows Vista Ultimate has three premium games, including Chess Titans.

Better connected

Stay productive and entertained with your mobile PC

If you're like many people, you have a laptop at work and sometimes take it home or on the road with you. You'll appreciate how Windows Vista Ultimate helps you get the most from your mobile PC while you're on the go.

You'll especially appreciate not worrying about battery life. With Fast Sleep and Resume, you can go for extended periods of time without fully shutting down your laptop. Simply press the power button to pause and then resume your computer session in just seconds while conserving your battery life in sleep mode.

Putting your PC to sleep can save time and power and protect your documents.

If you often have to leave your office for meetings, it can seem like you're constantly managing transitions between being plugged in, using battery power, and using wireless. You can save time and worry by using one location, the Windows Mobility Center, to quickly access and set key mobile system settings. You can even adjust power options to maximize your PC's battery life.

Find all your mobile system settings in one place: Windows Mobility Center.

Improved wireless networking and support for the most up-to-date wireless security standards helps you connect to wireless networks in the workplace, at home, or in public hotspots with more confidence, privacy, and ease.

Take your Tablet PC further

If your mobile computing is done on a Tablet PC, you'll notice significant improvements in pen-and-ink functionality, navigation, and handwriting recognition. For instance, pen flicks make it easier to scroll down webpages. You won't have to write out URLs and e-mail addresses you've used before because AutoComplete lists possible matches from previous letters or series of letters. And you'll find built-in support for touch screens.

Get more done, quickly, with a Tablet PC.

Access one computer from another one, virtually anywhere

If you use both a desktop PC and a laptop, it's likely that at some point you'll need to get something off your desktop computer when you're on the road with your laptop. You can use the Remote Desktop Connection feature to more easily and securely access your documents and programs remotely. When you're able to gain remote access from across your home network, a work network, or across the Internet from another computer, you can get work done wherever you have a network connection.

Keep in touch, in sync, and informed

You probably depend on network connectivity pretty regularly. Now, keeping connected is easier. If there is a problem with your network connectivity, the new Network Diagnostics tool is designed to help you identify and solve the problem quickly and easily. In fact, most common problems are automatically fixed for you.

When you're collaborating on a project with a small group of Windows Vista users, you can use Windows Meeting Space to meet face to face and share documents over a wired network, a wireless local area network, or an ad hoc wireless network.

If you're like a lot of people, you don't use just a PC. You probably have a cell phone and maybe other devices or servers for your information. So you know it can be a challenge trying to keep all the information synchronized. The new Sync Center in Windows Vista Ultimate offers one convenient place where you can easily keep other PCs, server shares, shared documents, digital media devices, Smartphones, Pocket PCs, and other devices synchronized with your PC.

eep all your information synchronized from one place.

Take your entertainment on the go

If you have a ton of digital music, photos, and video stored on your PC, you'll value new features in Windows Media Player 11 that can help you manage your media collection and easily connect to a variety of portable players so you can take it all with you.

More to offer

Enhance your PC experience with extra features

Sometimes you feel like a grown-up kid. You love gadgets and anything that makes your computer more interactive. Windows Vista Ultimate Extras offer you additional security features and games that make Windows more fun and easier to use.

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