well,with my new laptop i've decided to use Vista as my main OS on it since it runs Vista very nicely/like vista should be ran. (which is kind of funny cuz vista is like xp was; us users were unwilling to spend more money to upgrade our hardware for the OS. however once we did, we realized it wasn't that bad of an OS and now are finally loving, ie windows xp).
vista seems to rely more on metadata tags for searching. the os as a whole integrates its ability to read this metadata very nicely. i'll give you a quick example of my just recent use/waste of my time tagging every digital photo i had (prob around 8,500 only).Â this process took me about a week to do off and on. i am using vista's built in photo manager (it is a pretty decent one, i used to use picasa in xp but vista's native app is pretty good) to tag the photos and organize; photoshop cs3 of course is my flavor of editing software...
initially have tagged my photos in more general catergories such as family, friends, landscapes, sunsets, etc.
this allows me to start breaking down the mass numbers into smaller subgroups and in turn making managing such files so much easier; a very basic/fundamental concept in computing, imo.
after creating the general categories, watching slide shows in Media Center was a breeze; i could just select a tag and bam, instantly have a slideshow w/music going. the same being true in media player and in windows explorer. the photo screensaver can also display all photos except specific tags (which is very nice if you have some more 'private' photos).
yes, tagging my photos was painful to do and mind numbing. however the fruits of one's labor are totally worth it.
you'll thank me in the end. :)