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Windows Vista Beta 2 Up Close and Personal
Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


Besides the new bundled applications described in the previous section, Windows Vista Beta 2 also comes with new accessories.

Snipping Tool

The Snipping Tool (see Figure 13) is a screen capture tool that simplifies the task of taking screenshots.

Figure 13
Figure 13. The Snipping Tool

With Snipping Tool, you simply highlight the portion of the screen that you want to capture (see Figure 14) and it will then automatically copy the highlighted screen onto the clipboard. You can paste the copied screenshot into your own application, or save the picture to file.

Figure 14
Figure 14. Using the Snipping Tool for capturing screenshots

Input Panel

If you have a Tablet PC (or a tablet, such as those from Wacom), you can use the Input Panel functionality (located under Accessories-->Tablet PC) for pen inputs (see Figure 15). The Input Panel has three styles for input -- Writing Pad, Character Pad, and On-screen keyboard.

Figure 15
Figure 15. Input Panels

Media Center

Finally, in Windows Vista Beta 2, you can transform your PC into a Media Center (see Figure 16).

Figure 16
Figure 16. Media Center

Equipped with a TV tuner card and a sufficiently powerful graphics card, you can now turn your desktop/notebook into an entertainment center (see Figure 17).

Figure 17
Figure 17. Playing music using Media Center


In this article, I have shown you some new features in Windows Vista Beta 2. As the launch date of Windows Vista gets nearer, additional features will be added and the existing features will be refined. As of now, Windows Vista shows a lot of promise.

Wei-Meng Lee (Microsoft MVP) is a technologist and founder of Developer Learning Solutions, a technology company specializing in hands-on training on the latest Microsoft technologies.

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