Sharing Files and Folders
For home users of Windows Vista, Microsoft offers a convenient and easy way to share data with other users of your machine. Similar to previous versions, Windows Vista can create multiple accounts for one PC. Unlike previous versions, Windows Vista allows you to limit what folders and files are shared, adding only the users you specify. And network administrators always have the option of not allowing individuals to share any files.
There are two methods for sharing files and folders. Within Windows Explorer, simply move a selected file into one of the Public folders listed in the left-hand navigation directory tree. By right-clicking any Public folder, you can manage shared rights to that folder or any of the individual files, allowing some users the right to only read the content, but others the right to edit and save the content. This right-click function can be accomplished without the more complicated digital rights management tools found within Microsoft Office 2007. Unfortunately, you cannot protect a shared file or folder within a password, although you can limit network access to your public folders by enabling password-protected sharing within Windows Vista.
For large volumes of photographs, for example, you might instead want to create permissions within the archive folder without dragging all the files into the Public folder. Simply select the files you want to share from within the folder where you normally keep them and right-click. One downside to this method is you might forget other people still have access to the files. Always keeping shared files in a Public folder will serve as a reminder.
A similar sharing convenience can be found within Windows Meeting Space, where you can temporarily allow access to an application or a file to an ad-hoc group of up to 10 users. Once the session terminates, the sharing capabilities end. Of course, you can always share files the old-school way via e-mail or an instant-messenging application or by simply transferring them to removable media.