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(ARA) — Home computing technology evolves at a dizzying pace. For consumers who want to get the most value out of the latest technology, wading through the options can seem overwhelming.

“Technology has the ability to make everyday tasks easier and more enjoyable only if it’s really something a consumer can and will use,” said Craig Cincotta, senior product manager for Windows Vista at Microsoft Corp., which recently launched its new Windows Vista operating system for homes and businesses. “The most exciting features will ultimately fail to please a home PC user if they don’t meet a real-life need for the user.”

Here are five technology trends for real-life home computer users:

* Multitasking. Do you find yourself with three or more files or programs open on your PC at one time? Expanding and collapsing windows can be time-consuming. To alleviate multitasking challenges, a new type of visual environment, Windows Aero, makes program or file windows transparent to reveal otherwise hidden objects, or you can display multiple active windows in a 3-D stack of file folders.

* Digital photo galleries. Digital cameras have quickly become the photo-taking method of choice for many families, which leads to thousands of unsorted photos. Programs that help you organize your digital photo gallery are essential. Windows Vista Video Import Wizard prompts you to assign subject-, scene- or event-related descriptive names for photos when you import them to your PC.

* Search and organize. How much time do you spend every day searching for a file you know you have stored somewhere on your PC’s hard drive? Instant searches now allow you to look for a file with a word, phrase, title, author’s name or other term that you know is in the file, to launch a fast, on-the-fly search.

* Parental controls. Keeping kids safe on the Internet is a vital issue for every family that uses a PC. New parental control features allow parents to take charge of when the computer is used and what Web sites, programs or games each family member may access. Activity reports can also be automatically generated.

* Stronger security. Fending off worms, spyware, other malware and snooping hackers that may infect your systems via the Internet is a constant battle. The beefed-up firewall technology (designed to help block out the incoming bad stuff automatically) and the new Windows Defender will automatically scan your PC for infections.

Some product features are available only in certain Windows Vista editions and may require advanced or additional hardware and Internet service. (Provider subscription or other service fees may apply.) For details, and to learn more about Windows Vista and hot new home computing trends, visit http://www.windowsvista.com. You can also see all the new features, determine the right version of Windows Vista to fit your family’s needs, and download the Upgrade Advisor to identify elements you may need to upgrade on your PC. And, if you’re shopping for a new PC, go for one with Windows Vista already installed.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

Author: Andy