Fine-Tuning Windows Vista’s Appearance
Never before has there been a release of Windows in which appearance and perfor-
mance were so closely tied together. However, not only is the way Windows Vista
looks and behaves integral and inseparable, but also you must often make a careful
trade-off between the two to achieve the desired result. Because of this, fine-tuning
Windows Vista’s appearance and performance is often a balancing act, especially if you
want your computer to remain responsive under the widest circumstances possible.
Of the many interlinked appearance and performance features, the ones over which
you have the most control are:
• Experience scoring
• Account controls
• Personalization settings
• Performance options
In this chapter, you’ll learn how to fine-tune these features while maintaining the
balance between appearance and performance.
Balancing Appearance and Performance
Since Windows Vista has a scalable user experience, there needed to be a way to
determine the capabilities of a computer. The solution Microsoft developed was to
capture a performance baseline based on specific performance metrics during instal-
lation of the operating system.
Getting Your Windows Experience Index Score
During installation, Windows Vista assigned your computer a Windows Experience
Index. This index is a relative rating of your computer’s capabilities with regard to its: