Vista is finally done, and Microsoft has sent it out to manufacturers.
Retiring Windows chief Jim Allchin has said that his favorite feature in the new operating system is a security improvement: it makes Vista machines each look a little different on a network, making it harder for mass-mailing worms to spread.
Now that the code is done and the reviews are in, we asked our Vista Views panel, made up of ordinary readers, this question: What's your favorite thing about Vista?
David Colon is a software developer in the QA department of a medium-size government Web site application development company.
Add to that the games and 3D-rendering programs which will be able to take advantage of the advanced graphics features exposed through WPF, and what we will see over the next couple of years is sure to be truly amazing.
Jeff Rosado is the owner of a computer consulting company providing tech support and training to businesses and individuals in Pensacola, Fla.
I have to say that having Windows Media Center as an integral part of Home Premium and Ultimate is exciting, and CableCard support for HDTV inside Windows Media Center is a feature that I love.
I love the new Network Center. The new Windows Rally technologies will become apparent as hardware vendors release new residential networking equipment next year, and these features are exciting, too. Networking is getting better and better.
There are a lot of teams at Microsoft who worked hard to make improvements in almost every area. From stunning user experience enhancements to improving the digital imaging experience to vastly improved security, this is a very "together" operating system.
Barb Bowman is a product development manager for Comcast high-speed Internet who also writes about technology for the Microsoft Windows XP Expert Zone and the Microsoft Vista community.
Someday, I hope to have a Media Center PC in a closet somewhere with six DCRs and a few terabytes of storage, connected to a network of other Vista machines and Extenders throughout my house...my own personal on-demand entertainment system. That would be sweet.
Robert McLaws is an IT consultant, community leader and Vista enthusiast. He has been running Vista enthusiast site Longhornblogs.com since 2002.
Brian Clarke, a student at Shippensburg University, says he has reinstalled Windows more times than he cares to remember.
I have run into a few problems with certain programs disabling Aero Glass because they didn't render graphics in a manner compatible with the new graphic system. With that being said, I think Aero Glass has a lot of potential, and it's definitely an improvement over the old blue-and-green theme of Windows XP.
Specifically, I enjoy the ability that alt-tab and its new 3-D Windows Flip alternative show of live images of the application windows, including video as it is playing in the application! This is also true when a user hovers over the program in the taskbar. The translucent effects are good, and it's fun to play around with. It's a good start that definitely has potential.
Brian Lambert is a law student at Southern Illinois University.
It displays context menus without disk trashing, it offers more choices when replacing files, shows a nifty breadcrumb navigation bar, has integrated search, doesn't hang over bad network connections and does many more things.
Simon Felix works in theoretical computer science, application programming and low-level hardware coding for a small engineering office in Switzerland, where he is writing his diploma thesis. He has developed his own operating system.
It is nice that Vista is complete. My favorite thing about Vista is the added security and parental controls in Vista.
Jason Klomps of Tucson, Ariz., works in IT support for a call center.
Some people will argue that Vista is XP with a new UI. However, that is so obviously not true. There are loads of new features or improvements over XP, and while many of these features are available for XP, Vista is a new product that many people will be desperate to get their hands on.
Barty Lambert is a high-school student who lives in London.
My favorite Vista feature is Expose--er?Windows Flip.
John Kneeland is an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is majoring in international relations and East Asian studies.
The Vista Views panel is being brought together by CNET News.com to discover what people on the street think about Microsoft's new operating system.
We're looking for a range of perspectives--from beta testers to business buyers to home PC owners.
Interested in joining the panel pool? Here's how it works:
Whenever key Vista news breaks, we'll e-mail a question to contributors. Sometimes, we'll ask a yes/no question and use the answers for a simple poll. Other times, we'll look for more in-depth feedback on Vista events. It doesn't matter whether you send us two pages or two sentences--we value your comments. And if you don't have an opinion on a particular story, or you don't have time to respond, that's fine too.
The feedback will often reach our readers. Our writers may quote panel remarks in stories. Or we may pull together comments--your two cents--in an article of their own. Occasionally, we'll ask contributors to take part in a weekly podcast to discuss their views with News.com editors and industry experts.
We want to know what our readers think, as Microsoft gets ready for one of its most important launches in years. If you haven't signed up yet, send an e-mail to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Design: Gautama Swamy
Production: Kristina Wood