Five years ago, Microsoft released its latest and greatest generation of operating system, Windows XP, it was the first major operating system it had offered since Windows 98 and included a variety of pieces of software so that consumers would have more functionality in their computer out of the box. Microsoft will be doing the same thing with Windows Vista and bundling a number of free pieces of software designed to make you more productive. Read on to know what software will already be on your computer when you install Windows Vista.

Microsoft will be retiring Outlook Express in Windows Vista and instead you will have a program called “Windows Mail.” The new software will feature a Bayesian SPAM filter, which is very effective at stopping spam over time. The mail client will come with a great new interface as well as a phishing filter which will help spot scam emails which are trying to steal your personal information for purposes of identity theft.

Entirely new to the operating system will be Microsoft Windows Calendar. The software will be able to read from and publish to web-based calendars so you can view your schedule from anywhere. The calendar software also features support for the “iCalendar” format.

Built into Windows Explorer will be a program called “Windows Photo Gallery,” which will do a lot of things that programs such as Google Picasa do. It is essentially a photo-album for your computer, and users will be able to sort, categorize, title and rate images.

Microsoft Windows Movie Maker will receive a welcome upgrade and will be able to burn DVDs of the movies you make with it through a program called Windows DVD Maker. The new version of the Movie Maker will feature a number of interface enhancements and additional effects.

Windows Media Center will come standard as part of Windows Vista. Previously it was only available through Windows XP Media Center Edition. The software helps you categorize and sort your music and movies, as well as allows you to watch and record live TV with a video capture card. It acts as a “home entertainment hub” and works well on televisions.

And last but not least, we are getting new games! Microsoft decided that its fifteen year old version of solitaire needed a revision, so it decided to re-do all of its included games with its advanced new graphics. New games added include Chess, Mahjong, and a title called “Purble Place,” which is a children’s game.

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