Windows Vista’s control panel has gotten considerably more complex. This complexity is masked by the friendly categories (similar to XP):
Control Panel New and Old
But if one switches to classic view, the number of applets is actually somewhat daunting:
A Lot of Applets
And this is with no third party applets installed. The staggering number of applets gives some insight into the under-the-hood additions Microsoft has made to Vista.
One of the major additions in this area is the concept of centers, similar to the Security Center added to Windows XP with Service Pack 2. Windows Vista has five centers:
· Mobility Center
· Network Center
· Performance Center
· Sync Center
· Security Center
Centers are intended to act as an easy to use status and management area. For example, the Network Center looks like this:
Here we can see some basic status information, presented in a clear and concise diagram, as well as a number of links to common management tasks and property pages.
Formerly Microsoft AntiSpyware, Windows Defender is the built-in spyware blocker in Windows Vista:
Windows Defender is an improved version of Microsoft AntiSpyware, and sports a simpler interface and very rapid access to scanning. I was able to perform a full scan on a fresh install with a few programs installed in 59 seconds. It remains to be seen how quickly a scan will take on a 6-month-old and 1-year-old install.