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Windows Vista Beta 2 Available for Download 444

prostoalex writes "Microsoft Windows Vista Beta 2 is now available for download from Microsoft's official site. If you remember seeing reviews of it already, Microsoft made downloads available to a limited set of customers last month. For PC users that are already running Windows Vista Beta 2, Microsoft put together a list of additional downloads like product guide and feature lists."
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Windows Vista Beta 2 Available for Download

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  • Point? (Score:2, Informative)

    by tomstdenis ( 446163 ) < minus punct> on Thursday June 08, 2006 @08:13AM (#15493555) Homepage
    Why would anyone outside of ISVs download this? So for the cost of re-imaging my system I get to test an unstable, feature incomplete OS that is likely to further the bane of human existance. Not only does the install expire but I then have to pay full price for a legit copy at the end.

    And for all my bug reports I send in I get ???

    At least when you beta test an OSS OS you then get rewarded with a stable OS that you can freely install as you choose... /me hopes Vista never materializes and/or flops big.

  • by pintomp3 ( 882811 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @08:13AM (#15493556)
    getting the serial # is easy enough, but the download page has been overloaded. here are links for direct download of the english iso

    Windows Vista 32bit - English en/x86/iso/vista_5384.4.060518-1455_winmain_beta2_ x86fre_client-LB2CFRE_EN_DVD.iso []

    Windows Vista 64bit - English en/x64/iso/vista_5384.4.060518-1455_winmain_beta2_ x64fre_client-LB2CxFRE_EN_DVD.iso []

    they should have had a torrent option.
  • Re:Ooops, Antitrust (Score:2, Informative)

    by Professor_UNIX ( 867045 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @08:15AM (#15493564)
    They're trying to boot out the PDF format, which is nice, open and ubiquitous with their own format - and they're using their monopoly on the desktop operating system market to achieve this.

    And you find this surprising? Here's another newsflash, try watching videos on the MSNBC website without running Microsoft Internet Explorer on Windows. Of course they're trying to hold onto their monopoly, it's what dying companies that fail to innovate do.

  • Re:Ooops, Antitrust (Score:1, Informative)

    by DaHat ( 247651 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @08:15AM (#15493566) Homepage
    Before griping too much, why don't you spend some time and look into what XPS really is [] and see that while being similar to PDF from a regular unskilled user perspective, the options and features it supplies are widely applicable to many different levels and applications.

    How many printers do you know that ship today or will be out within a year allow you to send a raw PDF file to it and have it print as is without any kind of client spooling and image degradation? XPS lets you do that.
  • by zoeblade ( 600058 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @08:29AM (#15493635) Homepage

    They seem to be acting much like a heroine addict, in that they're moving from one crime to the next, getting bigger and bigger fines but no matter how much you fine the company it is still pathologically anti-competitive... Is it a rule that all big companies go the way of AT&T eventually?

    Quite possibly. The documentary The Corporation [] pointed out how such corporations, while legally people in some respects, would be more like psychopaths [] than any other kind of people, as they do whatever they can get away with on their quest for more profit, showing a complete disregard for morals and the law.

    If it's cheaper to break the law and pay a fine than it is to obey the law and profit less, they'll break it.

  • Re:Ooops, Antitrust (Score:5, Informative)

    by m-wielgo ( 858054 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @08:39AM (#15493672) Homepage
    download Foxit PDF Reader []

    It's much faster than Adobe Reader at opening a PDF file and being a self-executable, requires no installation
  • Re:Ooops, Antitrust (Score:5, Informative)

    by amorsen ( 7485 ) <> on Thursday June 08, 2006 @08:45AM (#15493695)
    How many printers do you know that ship today or will be out within a year allow you to send a raw PDF file to it and have it print as is without any kind of client spooling and image degradation? XPS lets you do that.

    Err, just about all decent printers? Support for Postscript Level 3 basically implies support for printing PDFs.

  • Re:Ooops, Antitrust (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tony Hoyle ( 11698 ) <> on Thursday June 08, 2006 @08:53AM (#15493743) Homepage
    So Microsoft want to make printer manufacturers use their own proprietary protocol rather than Postscript which has been doing this job rather well for the last 20 years?

    You also don't seem to know how print spoolers work. They do *not* work for the lowest common denominator, they are pretty much device independent until they hit the driver itself... even Windows uses a display language to describe the page rather than Bitmaps (Unix of course use postscript throughout, so if you print a postscript document on a decent printer no driver is ever involved).

  • Out of Curiosity (Score:5, Informative)

    by ghost of perception ( 974605 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @09:05AM (#15493823)
    Despite vowing never to touch vista I decided to try the beta just to see if it is as bad as people claim.

    It installed nice and quickly (faster than xp in fact) on my P4 2.4Ghz 2GB ram box duel booting with XP MCE 2005 although vista takes about 4 mins to boot up.

    I like the new file explorer interface but from the initial feel it seems to be more about the look than the functionality of the desktop. It is also nice to see an inclusion of a calendar utility which I always thought was lacking from previous windows versions.

    Compatability wise; it does not detect my soundblaster pro 5.1 card and will not let me install the drivers for it claiming that windows compatability wont allow me to do so. The same is true of ZoneAlarm Pro and Avast! Anti Virus which I find insulting as a technically minder user but I do understand that most people who use MS products need to be saved from the "lets install anything" mentality.

    Open Office and Firefox install perfectly but Vista brings an error halfway through installing Thunderbird.

    The display manager will not allow me to set my screen resolution to anything other than 800x600 although the option is there for 1024x768 but nothing happens when the setting is applied and even at 800x600 the screen flickers eratically every few mins.

    I have not installed the wireless networking yet but without my firewall, anti-spyware and anti-virus products, I'm not sure that I even want to connect the the internet.

    My S-video out is disabled on loading the desktop (closing the analog hole?) which makes the media center funtion useless on my current setup and the DRM is making itself known with periodic popups telling me that x has been disabled quoting "Macrovision corporation" in the details.

    Media Center mode in my view has a better interface than MCE 2005 however AVI files will not work (or be added for that matter) in media center mode.

    I am going to test the beta out over the weekend but I am currently of the mind that it is buggy bloatware and not something I would trust my fles to but I am open minded enough to accept problems under the fact that it is a beta release and is not supposed to be anything near a proper release candidate.
  • Good! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Toreo asesino ( 951231 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @09:19AM (#15493903) Journal
    Slashdotters, we should be pleased this shinny new Windows is coming to the masses. I have tried it already, and uninstalled it already - it being unusable as it is in a Virtual Machine.

    My critique of Vista thus far is summarised as such:
    -Vista is furthers the very Microsoft-based philosophy that it knows how to run your machine better than you do - a good thing for average users; a bad thing for geeks.
    -Security has been improved & tightened (better firewall, more built-in protection); more or less a good thing for everyone, even if the more technical people may tweak this.
    -Improved kernel; a good thing for everyone too, but maybe once it's stable.
    -Very pretty graphics. Good for some people; irrelevant for people with slower machines, and damned frustrating for geeks.

    Overall, the masses win in most cases and the geeks have very little to benefit from Vista.

    The things that I noticed perhaps the most however, are the minor unsung improvements to how user-actions flow together just better; a bit like the small but noticeable improvements WinXP made over Win2k. For instance, the setup process - I must've made about 5 mouse clicks in total; the wizard is simultaneously even more slicker and patronising than ever - good for users, bad for geeks.

    Anyway, I very much doubt I'll be upgrading myself as I can handle my own machine perfectly well on my own, but assuming Microsoft can pull it off, I say this is a positive thing for the majority of computer users that, frankly, want Microsoft to take as much care of their machines as possible. The more Windows can take care of a machine; the less irritating requests I'll get to "fix my bloody computer please!"
  • Works Fine Here (Score:3, Informative)

    by oddfox ( 685475 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @10:01AM (#15494140) Homepage

    I have Windows XP, Vista Beta 2, and Gentoo Linux all booting on the same machine, but I've followed the generally safe practice of keeping XP on the first partition of the first drive, and having GRUB in the MBR. Once you install Vista alongside an already set-up XP and Linux dual-boot, it only modifies the boot manager Windows uses. I've successfully removed Vista just fine w/o having to mess with the changes it made to the boot manager, so the only inconvenience I have (Until I edit the config for the bootloader) is that when I tell GRUB to boot my WinXP partition, it loads the MS boot manager and I have to select Previous Windows Installation or some such since it defaults to the Vista that's not there anymore.

    Not something for novices, probably, but it works just fine.

    P.S. -- The reason I say the Vista that's not there anymore is because I'm in the process of trying to download the public release. Servers are so swamped right now I doubt I'll get it anytime today, which is why I'm taking the opportunity to freshen my Gentoo whilst at work. :(

  • Re:Out of Curiosity (Score:3, Informative)

    by omicronish ( 750174 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @10:13AM (#15494220)

    First of all, if there's anything you dislike about Vista, complain here []. It's a beta release, so there's still time to fix issues. They also have newsgroups []. Device issues, software installs, UI issues, non-working games, etc.; they're all good issues to point out.

    I like the new file explorer interface but from the initial feel it seems to be more about the look than the functionality of the desktop.

    One of the new features I like is quick category searching via the column headers. I'm doing this from memory, but if you click on the button next to File Type, for example, you can quickly cull the current view down to all JPEGs and PNGs.

    I have not installed the wireless networking yet but without my firewall, anti-spyware and anti-virus products, I'm not sure that I even want to connect the the internet.

    Vista comes with a firewall and antispyware (Windows Defender). They're both in the control panel, and at least the firewall is quite configurable. I believe outbound blocking is off by default, but can be enabled. I haven't used Windows Defender to judge its usefulness.

  • Re:No it doesn't (Score:3, Informative)

    by omicronish ( 750174 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @10:17AM (#15494251)

    Sure, they can keep xps, it looks like a decent enough format. Just be sure to publish the spec!

    Specs are available here []. It includes the XPS spec itself, which describes the format of the XML files to render pages, and the packaging specs, which describes how those XML files, resources (images, fonts) are packaged together. Office 2007 uses the same packaging specs, which is really just a zip file with certain XML files describing how stuff is connected. A nice side effect is that to generate an XPS document you simply need to output XML and resources, and zip everything up.

  • Re:Ooops, Antitrust (Score:3, Informative)

    by omicronish ( 750174 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @10:29AM (#15494344)

    Of course Microsoft want to to, and personally I don't think Adobe have a leg to stand on in complaining about it. The only worry with Microsoft as always is that "their" PDF won't be quite compatible with everyone elses.

    At this point they have no reason to make their PDF incompatible since Microsoft doesn't make a PDF viewer. Incompatible PDFs would simply make them look bad. Plus they have their XPS format []; thus it wouldn't make sense for them to expend resources on making a PDF viewer and extending PDF.

  • Re:Works Fine Here (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 08, 2006 @11:07AM (#15494647)
    I've got Gentoo Linux, XP Professional and Vista installed and triple booting using GRUB. /dev/hda1 is mounted as /boot in Gentoo (ext2) /dev/hda2 is swap space for Gentoo (Linux Swap) /dev/hda3 is mounted as / in Gentoo (ext2) /dev/hda4 is the XP partition (NTFS) /dev/hdb1 is an NTFS data partition for Windows /deb/hdb2 is a TrueCrypt encrypted partition mounted in Windows and Linux /dev/hdb3 is the Vista install

    Took the following steps (starting from a while back, but to give an idea of progression):

    1a. Zero both drives
    1b. Install Gentoo Linux
    2a. Install Windows XP Professional
    2b. Restore GRUB MBR from GRUB command line using a GRUB boot disk I had for other purposes
    2c. Add XP Professional to GRUB boot list
    3a. Install Vista, starting install from XP
    3b. Restore GRUB MBR using aforementioned method
    3c. I can now boot Gentoo straight from GRUB, and by using my old Windows XP entry in GRUB (now renamed) I can chainload the new bootloader which allows me to choose between the Legacy Windows System (read: XP) and Vista.
  • by TigerTime ( 626140 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @11:41AM (#15494942)
    So set the theme to Windows Classic. Sheesh; you make it sound like Aero Glass is the only option...

    FYI, even if you set it to "classic mode" in Vista, it still uses well over 500MB of RAM. Apparently "classic" does not include "classic" system requirements.
  • by Barlo_Mung_42 ( 411228 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @12:42PM (#15495430) Homepage
    That's Mt Hood off in the distance with the Columbia river down below. So it looks like it was taken from one of the bluffs along the gorge on the Washington side of the river.
    My best guess anyway.
  • Re:Ooops, Antitrust (Score:3, Informative)

    by shayborg ( 650364 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @01:47PM (#15495956)
    We (as in Microsoft) have demoed XPS printing at several events with Fuji Xerox, and their printers use some sort of Java runtime. Miraculously enough, Windows CE isn't the only embedded OS that can parse well-formed XML.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 08, 2006 @03:07PM (#15496690)
    Here are the checksums for the file downloaded from en/x86/iso/vista_5384.4.060518-1455_winmain_beta2_ x86fre_client-LB2CFRE_EN_DVD.iso []

    $ sha1sum.exe vista_5384.4.060518-1455_winmain_beta2_x86fre_clie nt-LB2CFRE_EN_DVD.iso
    2404153a60d81103861b876878893222a5529d3a *vista_5384.4.060518-1455_winmain_beta2_x86fre_cli ent-LB2CFRE_EN_DVD.iso

    $ md5sum.exe vista_5384.4.060518-1455_winmain_beta2_x86fre_clie nt-LB2CFRE_EN_DVD.iso
    0e733ab1a8e8ff9a8684fd3639332773 *vista_5384.4.060518-1455_winmain_beta2_x86fre_cli ent-LB2CFRE_EN_DVD.iso

    File size 3355598848 bytes.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 09, 2006 @12:49AM (#15500173)
    the sha-1 checksum posted on msdn website for 32 bit is


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