Windows Presentation Foundation uses DirectX to take advantage of your 3D graphics hardware to convert the 2D windows surfaces into textures that can be rendered onto the desktop.
The new Alt-Tab feature for Vista brings up thumbnail pictures of the contents of each Window (top) as opposed to the plain Alt-Tab interface on Windows XP (bottom). Another Windows navigation feature, Flip3D, lets you organize your application windows by pulling your open windows together and arranging them into a 3D rolodex format.
Windows Vista has a new quick-search bar integrated into the start menu and folder explorer views. The search tool automatically starts returning results as soon as you type in the first letter and narrows down the results as you continue typing.
The left side of the start menu displays the most-recently used programs, and the All Programs menu selection at the bottom now transforms the entire left menu area into a program-navigation menu. Clicking on a folder in the new program-view menu expands it downward to reveal executable programs contained inside, making it easier for those using a notebook touch pad to find and run programs from the start menu.
Some of the new controls in Windows Vista allow parents to schedule computer use and control what types of games can be played on the PC.