When a new product comes to the marketplace that replaces a previous generation, it is in the best interest of that company to enhance it with features, value-added additions and improvements over the previous version. In some cases, it is good to keep the changes of a product to a minimum as some consumers like the original, such as Coca-Cola or the Ford Mustang. In the technological arena, consumers demand improvements with a sense of familiarity. Vista in many regards is XP with a facelift with enhancements and series of new tools.
Using gadgets in your sidebar menu, you can get the latest news... even if it is a headline like "Snakes on Planes."
For those looking for better productivity or more gizmos, the sidebar has a place with which you can download more things to fill your space, such as stock tickers, address books, calculators and even games like pong.
Aside from the desktop, windows can become transparent, translucent or whatever you want them to be. Operating in a 3D space allows the user to customize the OS to look as he or she pleases. The greatest desktop feature I found is the option that allows you to view the contents of a tab without going to it. A small thumbnail of the window will appear above the tab as you mouse over it. The other is the option to stack windows within 3D space and see a piece of each window.