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New features of Windows Vista include an updated graphical user interface and visual style dubbed Aero, a new search component called Windows Search, redesigned networking, audio, print and display sub-systems, and new multimedia tools such as Windows DVD Maker.
Vista aimed to increase the level of communication between machines on a home network, using peer-to-peer technology to simplify sharing files and media between computers and devices. NET Framework, allowing software developers to write applications without traditional Windows APIs.
At the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (Win HEC) in May 2003, Microsoft gave their first public demonstrations of the new Desktop Window Manager and Aero.
The demonstrations were done on a revised build 4015 which was never released.
Many of Microsoft's developers were also re-tasked to build updates to Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 to strengthen security.
Typically, a team working on a certain feature or subsystem would generate their own working builds which developers would test with, and when the code was deemed stable, all the changes would be incorporated back into the main development tree at once.The Windows XP-style task pane was almost completely replaced with a large horizontal pane that appeared under the toolbars.A new search interface allowed for filtering of results, searching of Windows help, and natural-language queries that would be used to integrate with Win FS. The "view modes" were also replaced with a single slider that would resize the icons in real-time, in list, thumbnail, or details mode, depending on where the slider was.Some builds (such as Beta 1 and Beta 2) only display the build label in the version information dialog (Winver).The icons used in these builds are from Windows XP.