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Latest Vista Build Making Real Progress 263

Posted by Zonk
from the better-build dept.
feminazi writes "Computerworld's Scot Finnie has reviewed the newest Vista build and found some significant improvements over Beta 2, which he had previously criticized in pretty strong terms. There's improved performance, greatly reduced installation time, four network control panels and some wizards have all been combined into one nicely organized Network and Sharing Center. Microsoft is also reducing the number of annoying User Access Control (UAC) prompts. There are some minor improvements in the way Media Center handles windows, but it's still buggy."
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Latest Vista Build Making Real Progress

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  • by elzurawka (671029) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @03:58PM (#15752579)
    The sun is HOT!

    Seriously, New Beta is more stable then Old Beta. A company takes the advice from beta testers and fixes issues the everyone complaines about.
    Congratulations M$, you have amazed us all again!
    • by B2382F29 (742174)

      The sun is HOT!

      Gee, thanks for reminding me... [wetter.com]

    • by Datalanche (987331)
      Agreed. Right now, the dev team is still working full time on Vista because they can make any change they want and not worry about it breaking a few hundred million installs, because of course, Microsoft would NEVER do that. *cough*WGA*cough* Once Vista is released, development will slow down, new bugs and exploits will be found, and they'll be so overwhelmed that we will return to our regularly scheduled Windows updates.
    • by Surt (22457) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @04:12PM (#15752694) Homepage Journal
      It's news because when you're dealing with MS software, you can't take forward progress for granted. Compare win98se to winME.
      • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday July 20, 2006 @05:24PM (#15753153) Homepage Journal

        How is this a troll? WinME was a horrible crashfest that was actually less reliable than Windows 98, and ran less software. It's pretty hilarious to me that they eliminated the 16 bit system in an effort to make it more reliable, and failed completely, only accomplishing a dramatic reduction of backwards compatibility.

        If you were going to give the parent comment a negative mod, it would be flamebait. The difference between a troll and flamebait is that you believe your flamebait, but trolling by definition means you are expressing a view that you yourself do not believe in order to elicit a desired response. However, I consider it to be a salient point given Microsoft's track record. WinME isn't the only example, either, I can remember a service pack for NT4 and another one for Win2k that both screwed things ALL up.

        • Even more so, I wouldn't expect that a position criticizing MS would amount to flamebait on slashdot. Probably the best criticism of my post might be to call it karma-whoring, since you might expect it to elicit positive mods. I'd say neither troll nor flamebait is really a match.
        • trolling by definition means you are expressing a view that you yourself do not believe in order to elicit a desired response.

          More or less, but I'd say that your personal beliefs are irrelevant to the difference between a troll and flamebait. What is important is intent.

          Every few months, somebody posts to debian-legal asking whether the GPL violates the Debian Free Software Guidelines. This has been discussed before, and the concensus is that it does not, for various reasons. If the Debian mailing li

    • by IAmTheDave (746256)

      Seriously, New Beta is more stable then Old Beta. A company takes the advice from beta testers and fixes issues the everyone complaines about. Congratulations M$, you have amazed us all again!

      Jeeze - MS releases their new OS to lots of beta testers and takes their advice and bugs and fixes them - and you are a sarcastic asshole. It's not news that the new beta is better than the old... but do you have to hate on MS just to try to fit in here?

      I'm surprised you didn't compare how easy networking is in L

    • Re:In other news... (Score:3, Informative)

      by permaculture (567540)
      Microsoft can't even stick to their own rules. Some windows you can to paste, some you can't, some will accept as well as or instead of . To search you go , or , or sometimes you have to right-click to get the context sensitive menu which includes the search option.

      The command to create a new folder actually MOVES around the Explorer menu! And this is a GUI! Graphical User Interfaces are intuitive because you can remember the location of things. But not if the bastards move them about, like when the supe
      • Graphical User Interfaces are intuitive because you can remember the location of things.

        1: No, they're not. GUIs are intuitive because the human brain was hard-wired to operate in a universe where there are blocks and shapes and stuff. DOS 5 had a GUI of sorts, that was every bit as intuitive as Windows or Mac could ever be.

        2: Folders and files, which move, aren't the sort of things they were talking about. Windows has at least three ways to make a command or folder always in the same location -- which is
        • Re:In other news... (Score:5, Informative)

          by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday July 20, 2006 @05:31PM (#15753200) Homepage Journal
          Graphical User Interfaces are intuitive because you can remember the location of things.
          1: No, they're not. GUIs are intuitive because the human brain was hard-wired to operate in a universe where there are blocks and shapes and stuff. DOS 5 had a GUI of sorts, that was every bit as intuitive as Windows or Mac could ever be.

          Actually, GUIs aren't intuitive regardless. Sit the average person without any computer experience (an oxymoron today, but anyway) down in front of a computer with or without a GUI and they will be more or less equally confused. The only computers that are even close to intuitive are the turnkey devices like iPods, or the Mailstation e-mail appliance.

          However, one thing we do know (from researching the subject) is that if things move around the GUI they become harder to find, whether we're talking text labels, images, or both, because you can no longer use "muscle memory" to locate them. Muscle memory is a very real phenomenon and is the primary reason why repetitive training of any kind is helpful. The brain likes to follow existing patterns that it already follows, which is also why habits are, well, habit-forming.

          Folders and files, which move, aren't the sort of things they were talking about. Windows has at least three ways to make a command or folder always in the same location -- which is something most folk don't want, so it's not used very often.

          I'm sorry, I don't understand this sentence. Three ways to make a command or folder always in the same location? Are you trying to say that there are three ways to make a command or folder that are always in their customary locations? It's not quite what you said and I only want to clarify, I am not trying to be a smartass (for once.)

          Anyway I haven't had many problems with the muscle training issue on Windows. Where I do see the issue is on the Mac. They went from the very nice, simple, functional Dock on NeXTStep to the stupid, eye-candy, glitz-only Dock on OSX. The primary difference? The new one looks slick, and the old one's elements are always in the same damned place.

          • The only computers that are even close to intuitive are the turnkey devices like iPods

            Really? I challenge you to find someone who has never used an iPod before who can work out how turn the damn thing OFF in less than a minute of pointless poking and pushing. "Oh, I know! You push the play/pause button, and hold it down for a few seconds! It's so intuitive!"

            • Well, to my credit, I didn't say including the iPod, I said like iPods. I've actually never used an iPod of any description. I don't think I've even picked one up. I do plan to buy one, but only to use as a changer with my kenwood stereo (for which a reliable and functional interface is offered.)
            • Re:In other news... (Score:3, Interesting)

              by JonathanBoyd (644397)
              That's the least important thing you need to learn for an iPod. In fact, they're designed to run without being manually switched off as they go to sleep after not being used for a while. Why not critique the actual using of the device, such as finding, selecting, playing, pausing, fast-forwarding trakcs, etc - the important functions that determine if it's intuitive? Would it be because these functions actually are intuitive?
              • See, that's the thing. You don't /intuitively/ know that, either. So you finish using it, and you go to switch it off, like 95% of consumer electronic devices. Doesn't matter that it's designed to sleep automatically - you'd still waste time.

                As for the other functions? Most of them are only "intuitive" because they're how most walkmans/discmans/audio systems have worked for the last 20+ years (ie holding the 'next' button to fast forward) - I'd still argue that they're fairly learned behaviours, they just f

                • Exactly. I can remember as a child seeing a cassette player and wondering what on Earth 'Fast Foward' could mean. I had absolutely no framework for understanding tape transport.
          • Actually, GUIs aren't intuitive regardless.

            They're certainly more intuitive than CLIs.

            Sit the average person without any computer experience (an oxymoron today, but anyway) down in front of a computer with or without a GUI and they will be more or less equally confused.

            Certainly. However, they're far more likely to discover the relationship between the physical mouse and the on-screen mouse pointer and that clicking the mouse buttons can achieve [useful] things, than they are (after discovering what t

      • by fm6 (162816) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @05:07PM (#15753040) Homepage Journal
        Graphical User Interfaces are intuitive because you can remember the location of things.
        GUIs were intuitive, back when they were invented. That's no longer considered important. Now, the purpose of GUIs is to look cool [microsoft.com].
      • Graphical User Interfaces are intuitive because you can remember the location of things.

        No, they're intuitive because instead of expecting the user to know exactly what they want to do and how to do it, they give the user a range of options to choose from.

    • by peterfa (941523)
      Did they really say that Beta software has bugs? That's like saying Alpha software isn't released. Life sure throws curveballs sometimes.
    • This doesn't surprise me at all. When I was beta testing Windows 98, I got ahold of the Beta 3, and it was horrible, and I do mean horrible. It took hours to install, it took several minutes to boot, every app was slow as hell, and it used a ton of memory. Two days after I got my copy of Beta 3 installed over Beta 2 (or rather, reformatted and reinstalled to fix the colossal fuck-ups that the 'upgrade' caused), I got a copy of RC1. The difference was like night and day.

      It booted in seconds rather than minut
      • by grcumb (781340) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @05:40PM (#15753251) Homepage Journal
        "[Windows 98 RC1] was stable, it was reliable, and it stayed running for days without problems, instead of crashing every six to twelve hours."

        Man, some days, the jokes just write themselves. 8^)

        For those who haven't had their coffee yet: the statements 'stable', 'reliable' and 'runs for days without problems' are not exactly synonymous.

    • The sun is HOT!

      Seriously, New Beta is more stable then Old Beta. A company takes the advice from beta testers and fixes issues the everyone complaines about.
      Congratulations M$, you have amazed us all again!


      Actually it is a bit Hot... Not only Microsoft, but I have been involved with a lot of betas where builds would go down hill several times during the development cycle...

      And there is also the stunning WindowsME example, it never got better. :)
  • PRINT View (Score:5, Informative)

    by in2mind (988476) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @03:59PM (#15752593) Homepage
  • by alpinerod (970358) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @04:02PM (#15752624)
    I wonder how much time is really spent on fixing bugs and improving the system overall, as opposed to putting in various limitations and DRM compliance. Maybe I'm going on a limb out here, but I've lost trust in Windows platform ever since the WGA hit the news. Most likely XP is going to be the last MS-based _personal_ use OS I will ever use (hopefully).
    • WGA is only a problem for people who've purchased Windows. If you're a decent copyright infringer (the poster of this statement does not recommend or endorse circumvention of copyright blah blah blah) you'll infringe a non-activation VLE of Windows and use Autopatcher or similar to keep it up to date, and probably firewall off www.microsoft.com so you don't have to worry about it hassling you ever again, and use a decent firewall and A/V scanner to keep your system virus free (I'm going to assume that ther
      • by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithy@gmailSLACKWARE.com minus distro> on Thursday July 20, 2006 @09:11PM (#15754201)
        WGA is only a problem for people who've purchased Windows.

        Actually, it's far more of a problem for casual, non-technical pirates than the handful of legitimate customers who have been misidentified.

        I personally know of at least half a dozen people who have subsequently either a) purchased a legitimate copy of Windows, b) downgraded back to their older, legitimate version or c) bought a Mac, because they lack the technical knowledge to keep up with the WGA arms race.

        WGA is certainly going to reduce the level of Windows piracy. Unfortunately for Microsoft, it's going to do so because some people will move away from Windows altogether.

        Now if you have a legitimate activation required license of Windows, that is when you have to deal with WGA spying on your every keypress and sending the data off to Redmond with your credit card number.

        Yay for ignorant hyperbole ! Also, don't forget to mention that WGA kills puppies...

        Simple fact is that WGA is utterly transparent and utterly irrelevant to most legitimate users, and even those it isn't, it isn't an issue for very long.

    • by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @09:13PM (#15754211)
      Where the hell do comments like yours even come from? There is so much negative PR around Vista that I guess people just ignore the reality of the system.

      Download Beta 2 (you can get it for free), install it, use it for 20 minutes, and you'll see just how stupid a lot of the FUD is. Vista is very, very much like XP in terms of DRM, restrictions, and the like. TPM support is minimal (only used for BitLocker), you can still install unsigned drivers, uTorrent and Azureus still run fine, K-Lite Mega Codec Pack still installs fine and XVID movies still work.

      I guess the most annoying thing about posts like yours is that they are so nondescript. Which DRM features are you referring to? What limitations are you referring to? I see an OS that is no more restricted than XP. The new DRM features don't mean a thing to me because I don't buy WMV-DRM movies.

      Vista is making real progress and is shaping up to be a substantial, albeit not revolutionary, upgrade from XP. Slashdot doesn't like that.
  • Highlights (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 20, 2006 @04:06PM (#15752642)
    The server is pretty sluggish right now, so here are some choice tidbits:

    "... when powering up the hardware required by Vista, we had a brownout affecting neighboring homes -- a massive improvement over the four-city-block blackout resulting from the prior build. This is likely because I was able to pull several pre-release Xeon 5100 boards out of the render farm for Aero ..."

    " ... license verification now involves a latex glove for Microsoft's safety, and astro-glide for customer comfort, a major improvement over ..."

    "While it was annoying to have to confirm my Firefox download 18 times, Microsoft graciously refrained from sending another squad of Khazak mercenaries to 'verify safe uninstall of hacker tools.'"

    "Vist has not yet drowned the remaining kitten."
  • by bano (410) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @04:06PM (#15752648) Homepage Journal
    taco needs to create windersvistabeta.slashdot.org for all this shit.
    Seriously why does a friggin beta need so much coverage here.
    • --Seriously why does a friggin beta need so much coverage here.-- Ever hear of Google son ?
    • Re:Beta Coverage (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Pengo (28814) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @04:29PM (#15752798) Journal
      "Seriously why does a friggin beta need so much coverage here."

      Hmm, lets think about this Einstein. Maybe because the Windows franchise is the most widely used consumer desktop OS on the planet?

      Quit being such a fuck-tart, you don't have to click and read the story if you don't like it. Filter the MS related news if you don't want to read it. Based on the number of responses this story gets, I imagine that a number of people are genuinely interested in what progress is being made on a OS that will be shoved down all our throats over the next 5-10 years.

    • Maybe because it's going to be a big change to an OS that millions of people will be using a year from now? Maybe because some of us actually are interested? Given your low slashdot uid, it's disappointing to see you've not learnt much while you've been here.
    • It's so that Slashdot posters can beta-test their latest anti-Microsoft talking points!
    • by Tim (686) <timr@NoSpam.alumni.washington.edu> on Thursday July 20, 2006 @04:52PM (#15752952) Homepage
      taco needs to create windersvistabeta.slashdot.org for all this shit.

      Nah...they just need to give it its own icon. A panoramic view of a landfill seems appropriate....
    • Seriously why does a friggin beta need so much coverage here

      Would you care to look back to see how many open source projects still in alpha get coverage here?

    • This is a new platform that many of us will have to develop for. We'd like to see how it evolves.
  • wrappers (Score:3, Funny)

    by happyfrogcow (708359) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @04:09PM (#15752673)
    I wonder if this build was delivered wrapped in hundred dollar bills.
  • by ben there... (946946) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @04:11PM (#15752688) Journal
    FTA:
    One of the most mystifying UAC behaviors in Vista Beta 2 caused a prompt to appear when you tried to delete some desktop program shortcuts. If the program was installed for use by all accounts in Vista, then UAC blocked the deletion of the icon in Beta 2 with a permission prompt. If the program was only installed for the current account, then deletion of the same program shortcut would occur normally. Since there's no way for Windows users to know which way the program was installed, even experienced beta testers were confused. For Build 5472, so long as the running account has administrator privileges, then icons installed "on the public desktop" will be deleted without issue when you drop them into the Recycle Bin.

    That's an odd criticism of UAC. With XP, if you run as a limited-access user, it simply prevents you from deleting the All Users shortcuts at all. Of course Vista's UAC would require a password for that. You don't have permission to modify that folder.

    Apparently the criticism must be coming from people who never ran XP securely. That said, it's probably more convenient now. No right-clicking Windows Explorer and having to hit Run As like you do in XP to delete All Users shortcuts.
    • The 'right' way to make that feature work would seem to be to never have shortcuts be installed for 'all users' but instead have that type of item replicate to all users. Then you can delete your desktop shortcut if you want.

      • The main reason there are seperate folders combined at the last minute is for roaming profiles. A user profile contains their personal shortcuts to programs, but those programs may not be installed on every machine the person logs on to. When the local and user shortcut directories are used proprely, the user always sees the correct combination of programs available; the user profile contains only things available anywhere on the network or part of the OS, and the machine's "All Users" profile contains thin
    • That's an odd criticism of UAC. With XP, if you run as a limited-access user, it simply prevents you from deleting the All Users shortcuts at all. Of course Vista's UAC would require a password for that. You don't have permission to modify that folder.

      Yes, you would think that somebody would realise that the problem is that it's impossible to differentiate between things on your personal desktop, and things on every desktop. They need some sort of visual flair on items that apply to all users. Likewise, i

      • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday July 20, 2006 @05:36PM (#15753225) Homepage

        That was my thought exactly. Beta testers revealed that the OS behavior was stupid, and sure enough, Microsoft changed the behavior-- to a different stupid behavior.

        Seriously, there's just something a little wrong with the way Microsoft handles the "All users" profile. It's a pretty good idea-- to have a place where if you change the settings, it changes for all users. However, it's more complicated of a situation than Microsoft's handling of it implies.

        There are your criticisms, and others besides, of Microsofts methods, but I think their solution should entail at least 3 features:

        • Administrators should be able to create an "All users" profile as default settings.
        • Individual users should be able to override these settings without changing the "All users" profile
        • Administrators should be able to block non-admin users from overriding invdividual settings in the profile.

        Creating the administrator interface for this behavior might be a bit complicated, but that's how it should work.

        • Microsoft can't win on this one. They're pivoting on the axis of Usability vs. Security.

          If they lean towards security, vast numbers of gibbering idiots in the community will lambast them for poor usability.
          If they lean towards usability, vast numbers of gibbering idiots in the community will lambast them for poor security.

          Because Microsoft is so big, the publicity they get in either case is tremendous and negative. Still... the only thing worse than being talked about...
          • Administrators should be able to create an "All users" profile as default settings.
          • Individual users should be able to override these settings without changing the "All users" profile
          • Administrators should be able to block non-admin users from overriding invdividual settings in the profile.

          Well, as things stand in XP, the first and second of these can be handled by adjusting the invisible "Default user" profile -- yes, there's yet another profile just to make things ultra-complicated -- but the third c

      • When the seperate common and user specific program shortcuts were introduced in NT 3.1, the different types of program groups did in fact have different icons. Fig 1 [imageshack.us]. When the new "Chicago" Win95 shell was created (originally 95 didn't even support multiple profiles) that concept was lost, even when multiple profile support was eventually added and the shell was ported to NT4.

        It's inconvenient, but you can find out where the shortcut is located in its general properties (right click).
    • Much better would be to delete the icon only for your account, so the result would be an icon al the desktop for all users, except your desktop where it was removed.
    • It makes sense if you know the cause, but I doubt that most users even know that things can appear in the start menu for just them (located in Documents an Settings\Start Menu) or everyone (in D&S\All Users). There's also, as the article says, no immediate indication of which is which for any given start menu entry. (In 2K wasn't all users above a separater bar and user-specific stuff below?) So if you don't know the root cause, it doesn't make sense: sometimes deleting stuff works, sometimes it doesn't
  • by Foofoobar (318279) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @04:11PM (#15752689)
    I find it interesting that Bill Gates at a recent symposium told Microsoft affiliates that there is a 20% chance that Vista would slip again. Since I live in Seattle, I have friends who are developers over there who swear it will never make the January deadline.

    I love it when they are already talking about the new release slipping when they have already made promises through their teeth for the last 3 years.
    • Man, I really want it to ship. I'm ready to buy a pile of puts on MSFT at the time the press starts to report on how thoroughly mediocre it is after six years of waiting..

      -jcr
    • I find it interesting that Bill Gates at a recent symposium told Microsoft affiliates that there is a 20% chance that Vista would slip again. Since I live in Seattle, I have friends who are developers over there who swear it will never make the January deadline.

      Ah yes, the real world - where Engineering and Marketing collide.
      Your friends are probably correct in that it shouldn't be released in January, but Marketing knows they can't keep making excuses for why it slipped again without the analysts/custo
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It is kind of bizarre to read the reactions to Vista's progress towards release from Linux and OS X fans.

    It's like there is an underlying bitterness that Vista is coming together that is attempted to be covered up with sarcasm directed at Microsoft.

    I guess it is dawning on people who hoped that Vista would crash and burn and Microsoft customers would come fleeing to their favorite niche OS that that simply won't be happening.

    Regardless, golf clap for Microsoft for taking so fucking long just to get a system
  • by ndykman (659315) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @04:27PM (#15752795)
    Am I the only one that is hoping that Microsoft can deliver a better OS? Like it or not (or for most ./ers), it's widely used, it will be in use at some point, and frankly, if it is an improvement, then doesn't that help everybody out. Less windows problems and better windows software seems to mean less headaches for everybody all round. Wouldn't three major (okay, 3.5 Sorry BSD folks 8-) great OS choices be better than two? Personally I don't think XP/2003 is all that bad, I use them everyday.

    I just don't buy the whole Microsoft is hurting Linux/Apple/BSD etc. because all of those systems are growing and getting better all the time. Linux is getting better and better, OS X is super cool, and so on.

    Sure, I think some people would hope that a awful Vista will sink MS. Well, it won't. because if ME didn't, I can't see Vista doing it. So, maybe it's best to hope for a good OS from MS, more secure, less bugs, less @#$@#$@#%%^ spyware/adware infections for us to all fix, etc. etc, and then just focus on using what we like.

    • by peragrin (659227) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @04:45PM (#15752904)
      i personally had high hopes for vista. Back when they were talking about how the entire thing was rewritten from the ground up. How features like IE were removed from the Kernel, and turned into ordinary apps. I was looking forward to the fact that MSFT would finally fore users and developers to deal with multiple users per computer in a proper way. That the mess that was win32 would be tossed completely in favor of ONLY Aero's .NET setup. I was hoping beyond hope that MSFT's purchase of VPC was a sign that they were going to do a VPC version of win32 inside of Vista so that Vista code ould be stab le and yet still maintain backward compatibility(ala wine, or Classic mode for OS X)

      Then when in Jan. after the first beta was released and the WMF flaw was found not only in XP but Vista as well, and MSFt's excuse was that they hadn't yet checked that dll I knew MSFt was going down hill. Win32 code is still present and merely thrown on top. no separate layer just direct cross calling. no sand boxing old apps properly just an ugly hack to keep everything working. Then with Beta 2 MSFT has to "fine Tune" UAC means that the system doesn't work right. That security will be to complicated for the average users and weak admins which make up 75% of MSFT's install base. MSFT never learned the KISS principal creates a stronger security layer, and then you add on more complicated layers for fine grained control ala selinux, and the other systems designed for hardening a computer, but aren't needed by say my mother.

      UAC can be tightened up well, and MSFT and real admins will do so for Servers and other important machines. But the home user will only get frustrated at it's complexity and find ways to disable it like they have already begun to do in the betas.

      While I had High hopes for Vista, the above combined with the outrageous hardware requirements to deliver the same features found in OS X running on literally a 1/3 of the hardware has found my hope for vista gone. i have converted my brother to OS X If I can get my mother then all will be good. My brother could switch to linux if he desired, and my mother isn't a tech person.
      • Uhhh.... hate to say it, but you're pretty badly misinformed.

        Microsoft never talked about a ground-up rewrite of Windows for Longhorn/Vista -- ever. Their intention all along has been to build on the existing NT 5.x kernel and core architecture. You're welcome to provide links to prove me wrong on that, but it's pretty unlikely you'll find anything more than speculation.

        Internet Explorer has never been part of the NT kernel -- ever. Where'd you get that idea from, Slashdot? IE's rendering engine (MSHTML
        • First there was the Windows API, then there was COM and ActiveX and MFC, next there was .NET and WindowsForms.

          What is this Windows Presentation Foundation? Do I want to learn it or should I go off and do Java and be done with Windows dependency? What is this Windows Presentation Foundation offering for the developer in terms of features to make it worth the while? WindowsForms actually offered fewer features apart from the more streamlined object-oriented framework.

        • Um, device drivers certainly DO NOT depend on Win32. Win32 is an environment subsystem that sits on top of the NT native API [sysinternals.com], which combined with other kernel mode functions, are what device drivers use. Up until NT4, Win32 was implemented entirely in user mode; drivers couldn't call into Win32 then and they don't now. There is no interface to call Win32 functions from kernel mode; there are no Win32 headers in the DDK [microsoft.com]. The new UMDF is designed for code written in C++ using COM. Win32 is supported, but IDK
    • MS is bad the IT industry because it stifles innovation, buys companies just to kill them, hires people just to put them out to pasture, and destroys standards by wilfully disobeying them. MS is the foremost proponent of software patents and DRM. Finally it actively lobbies congress and other countries to try and make open source sofware either illegal or difficult.

      If vista is bad then MS will make a little less money. Maybe that will decrease their influence a little. If that happens then it's good for eve
    • It will be a good thing if Vista really is better then windows XP. Admining the windows boxes of my family will become a lot easier. As it is Prevx1 is the only thing that manages to keep the tide of trojans at bay. If they manage to reduce the trojan problem with Vista I'd be happy.

      It matters not to me personally what Vista is like, I have one windows machine because I need to compile stuff on it from time to time, otherwise it's Linux all the way.

      If Counterstrike source were available for Linux, my son w
    • I just don't buy the whole Microsoft is hurting Linux/Apple/BSD etc. because all of those systems are growing and getting better all the time. Linux is getting better and better, OS X is super cool, and so on.

      Microsoft's inability to disrupt free software is not from a lack of trying. See the Halloween Documents [catb.org] for graphic proof of their honesty, attitude and intentions. The attack includes all dependencies and weaknesses perceived eight years ago, discussion groups and standards of all sorts. If any

  • From May/June of this year

    Tom's Harware:
    "But Microsoft hasn't taken this principle entirely to heart, either. The first user defined during installation is automatically granted administrative privileges. Worse yet, the reserved account named Administrator is not required to have a password to log into the machine!"
    http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/05/31/windows_vis ta/page18.html [tomshardware.com] [tomshardware.com]

    Did they fix this?

    If someone nitpicks about how Linux's sudo is somehow equivilant, it's not. Stop spreading t
    • "But Microsoft hasn't taken this principle entirely to heart, either. The first user defined during installation is automatically granted administrative privileges. Worse yet, the reserved account named Administrator is not required to have a password to log into the machine!"

      Did they fix this?

      AFAIK the reserved "Administrator" account is disabled until a password is specified. The user created during installation is still an administrator by default, but the theory is that UAC will prevent them from doing

      • Just got the latest build from MSDN and I can confirm this behaviour is correct. First user is configured as an admin, all others as standard users. However, you do get prompted to run apps outside of your user space and it is a bit more locked down than "Administrator", at least it seemed to be for me. Possibly I was just trying to do something unexpected at the time.

        It's worth noting that not even "Administrator" runs like root, you will *always* recieve UAC prompts if you try do something like delete sys
  • According to eweek http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1991064,00.a s p [eweek.com]
    the install time was around 50 minutes. That is a lot longer than what it takes
    to install equvalent functionality on e.g. Linux, it is far more than
    what it takes to install MacOS-X.

    In 50 minutes you can install Linux, including office suites, database software
    e-mail software, windows file servers, image editors, software development tools,...
    With Vista you just get a plain OS.

    Microsoft is lucky that they most of their software preinstal
  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @05:03PM (#15753016)
    I'm an avid Linux user but do I care about when the next kernel release is? No, not particularly. If I've chosen my PC hardware sensibly, then I'm probably not waiting for a better device driver, for example...

    Sure, I care about the next release of OpenOffice or Firefox because it's the features in these applications that interest me in my day-to-day usage but the core OS is pretty much transparent to me.

    I also use XP (to a lesser extent). It seems pretty stable and once I got rid of the appalling "nursery school" default GUI and got it looking like Windows 2000 again, I'm pretty content using it. Yep, it's got big security holes but I avoid Outlook and IE, run the occasional virus check/anti-spyware application and avoid installing and uninstalling too much software - as a result, it stays pretty clean and works well. I've got drivers for all my hardware, stick all my important files on a Linux SAMBA share and I can search and index every file I have with Linux command-line tools.

    If you're an application developer, it's pretty important to know what the next version of your OS will have in terms of libraries, APIs, etc. But why do the 99% of *mere desktop users* care about the OS? Isn't it better to stick with an OS that's a few years old, has been patched and service packed to run much better than when it first came out rather than trade it all in for a new OS that will have new bugs and problems?

    I don't use Apple machines and think much about being an Apple user is about image - but to give them their credit, they do seem to care less about the OS and more about the applications they can run on their machines which, to me, is the only thing a normal desktop user should care about.

    • I'm an avid Linux user but do I care about when the next kernel release is? No, not particularly.

      That's because a new revision (e.g. 2.6.16 to 2.6.17) is put out every few months, and minor patches (2.6.17.2 to 2.6.17.3) more frequently than that.

      Even if you count SP2 as a new version (this is pretty reasonable; the changes there were more substantial than a Linux revision) it's been quite some time since Windows has been updated (close to 2 years). If you don't count SP2, it's been close to 5 years.

      Window
    • I'm an avid Linux user but do I care about when the next kernel release is? No, not particularly

      And yet, you'll find that slashdot reports on them, too. In fact, as annoying as Vista Beta stories are now, Linux kernel release stories were just as bad a year or so ago when there was seemingly a teeny release every week or so, and slashdot reported every single one of them.

  •   TFA is a serious bloat of splashy eyewhore for the amount of content-per-page.
  • Tiring (Score:2, Interesting)

    by theredmenace (932087)
    It never ceases to amaze me the predictablility of Slashdot replies to any article about Vista. Much of the comments are either people complaining about slips, complaining about having to read Microsoft articles, or making generalizations about the bugginess of MS. You don't have to read these, you choose to read it, so don't complain. It's news because it is going to be the dominant OS in the world when it's released, like it or not. Yes, it's slipped a lot and will in all likelihood slip again. So what?
    • Why shouldn't a company get teased or worse when their much-over-hyped product's release date slips again and again and again -and- drops all of their promised innovative and ground-breaking features?

      Just like Duke Nuke'm?

      If Vista had come out when promised, it would have been ground-breaking and innovative. If it had come out only two years late, it would have caught up. But now Windows is so far behind other modern operating systems that Vista will still be underpowered. If it weren't for vendor lock-i
  • FTFA:

    When a background application or service trips UAC, instead of interrupting what you're doing in the foreground, it flashes oranges in the taskbar.

    Won't someone think of the poor innocent oranges?

  • and I have to say the whole experience is quite pleasant. It's pretty demanding on hardware but I'm enjoying the testing. Upgrade from XP-SP2 was on the whole OK considering it was beta, I had a few problems with the video card driver where it got stuck in a loop but a reboot sorted it out.

    The interface is pretty slick and I keep stumbling over new things I hadn't spotted before, something that happened to me when I started using OSX which is a good thing. I could start using it straight away but the deepe

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