Microsoft has tried to put "active" items on the Windows desktop for near a decade. Finally, with Vista's Sidebar success sees within withincept. Stability problems that dogged previous versions are not as readily apparent – which is to say, Sidebar does not crash almost as often as, say, Active desktop in Windows XP – and the items it offers actually help.
The items in the sidebar, termed Gadgets, can interact with you, with Windows, with files and folders, with your network, and with other Gadgets. Vista ships with a handy of moderately interesting gadgets – a clock (you can put more than one clock on your desktop, each set to a different time zone).
Many other features – Put Vista head and shoulders above XP. The standout features include the following:
o Improved backup (although no backup exists in the Home Basic Edition).
o Photo management (via Photo Gallery, not in Home Basic).
o Second monitor support
o Easy wireless networking.
o Vista also helps you burn DVDs, but watch out for the digital rights
Microsoft Windows Vista provides several accessories for Tablet PCs, including Input Panel, Snipping Tool, Sticky Notes, and Windows Journal. All of these accessories use Tablet PC pens, which improve accessibility by making it easier to work with computers. Additionally, people who might not be able to use a computer keyboard and mouse might be able to use a Tablet PC pen as an alternative input device.
As in earlier versions of Microsoft Windows, Windows Vista includes many other features that improve accessibility, including the Filter Keys, Sticky Keys, and High Contrast functions and the Narrator, Magnifier, and On-Screen Keyboard utilities. In Windows Vista, these features have all been enhanced, and most have completely redesigned interfaces. Windows Vista also includes speech recognition software. Using speech recognition, you can dictate documents and e-mail messages, and you can use your voice to control programs and browse the Web.