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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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 08, 2006 @08:18AM (#15493583)
    I ran Windows 2000 for years, just because I hated Windows XP for the very same reasons. Now I run Windows XP.
    Trust me, you will follow....
  • Re:Point? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pintomp3 ( 882811 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @08:19AM (#15493590)
    if you have to support windows boxes, you will probably have to support vista some day. might as well get a headstart and get your hands dirty (best way to learn) even if you don't plan on rolling it out for a long time (a long time after release).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 08, 2006 @08:22AM (#15493601)
    Hey kid! You wanna taste the new Vista? Come over here and try some sweet Vista. Don't worry about expirations, vendor lock in, security, assimilation or anything else. I'll take care of all of it for you.

    Come on, kid. You know you want a taste. Come try this new Vista Beta. It's free! And I know how much you like free...
  • Software Freedom (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bios_Hakr ( 68586 ) <> on Thursday June 08, 2006 @08:22AM (#15493603)
    As an individual, you have the freedom to decide what you put on your website. Aside from a few taboo subjects, you have the freedom to do pretty much whatever you want.

    Why should MS be different?

    Sure, you can point at artificial market constraints as a reason MS should play nice. But, at the end of the day, you either support freedom in the software marketplace, or you don't.

    If you support free software (and individual freedoms), you have to believe that MS should be allowed to publish *their* documentation in whatever format they choose. If the market likes the XPS format, then the market will go that way.

    If, however, MS tried to make Acrobat run poorly or not at all, then you'd have a valid complaint.

    Remember, by providing documentation in their own format, they are not removing your choice. You are still free to download Acrobat at your leisure.
  • by exit3219 ( 946049 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @08:26AM (#15493613) Homepage
    New games will appear, probably Vista-only, as DirectX won't be released for XP. So it'll be either upgrade or play old games. (Unless the game makers will find a way to avoid OS-dependence).
  • by Tim C ( 15259 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @08:26AM (#15493615)
    Hell, even IBM doesn't seem to want Vista.

    What?! Arguably the single largest corporate sponsor of Linux and assorted OSS projects doesn't seem too interested in Vista?

    Say it ain't so!

    there's a balance I seek such that my hardware isn't stressed just to open a text editor yet the design is simple & friendly to the eye.

    So set the theme to Windows Classic. Sheesh; you make it sound like Aero Glass is the only option...
  • No thanks. I'll settle for Windows XP Professional.

    Well, while I agree with all your points. The thing is: I said exactly the same a few years ago when I was running Windows 2000. I thought I would never upgrade... Yet, now I run Windows XP Professional. Why? Well, XP had one thing I really liked (and is very useful on a multi-user-home-machine: fast user switching. I only "upgraded" to Windows XP in 2005, so I am "late" to Windows XP. I always end up upgrading late, because I think it's better that other people test the damned thing and find the quirks.

    For now, I do not see any reason to upgrade to Windows Vista, but we'll talk again in 2008, when WinXP isn't supported anymore. Currently, I am evaluating FreeBSD as a complete replacement (and I like it...) Perhaps in 2008, I'll be running FreeBSD exclusively. If not, then I'll probably will be running Vista. You'll probably end up in the same boat as me: either a free OS or Windows Vista. Espcially when you buy a new machine and can't get a (legal) copy of XP anymore...

  • Re:Point? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tumbarumba ( 74816 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @08:30AM (#15493638) 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 ???

    You get:

    • An opportuninty to test any software you have developed for compatibility with the updated platform
    • The thrill of being on the bleeding edge, and to play with something before most other people
    • Windows system administrators get a chance to update their skills, and perhaps be ahead in the job market
    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...

    ... or you could install an unstable OSS OS and test features not currently available in current stable distributions. Same as what's happening here. Some people will be interested, most people won't.

  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @08:31AM (#15493639)
    For its shortcomings, PDF is an open standard. Can you say that about XPS? Imagine what would have happened if Microsoft tried to force a proprietary networking protocol on you, rather than just complying with TCP/IP?
  • by zidohl ( 976382 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @08:36AM (#15493655) Homepage
    After Adobe threatened MS with a lawsuit [] for wanting to allow PDF writing for free in Office 2007 i can see why they'd rather use their own format. Essentially, they weren't pushing their own format, they were going to provide PDF support as well as the XPS format, but Adobe it seems will be suing [] because they're not charging for the ability to convert to PDF format.
  • by plutonium83 ( 818340 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @08:39AM (#15493673)
    Honestly, the only reason I'm interested in Vista is the Expose-like feature. I use a mac at school and Expose makes working just a little less frustrating.
  • by DaHat ( 247651 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @08:39AM (#15493675) Homepage
    PDF is an open format? That explains why Adobe doesn't fancy the idea of Microsoft including PDF exporting functionality into Office 12!

    As for the openness of the XPS... why don't you hop on into the site linked to above and visit the Licensing Overview page [].
  • by Threni ( 635302 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @08:40AM (#15493680)
    > Of course they're trying to hold onto their monopoly, it's what dying companies that fail to
    > innovate do.

    You're confusing fantasy with reality, I'm afraid. You mean it's what the world's most successful companies do.
  • by gowen ( 141411 ) <> on Thursday June 08, 2006 @08:42AM (#15493684) Homepage Journal
    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.
    So, XPS implements the same technology that PostScript has implemented for years, only using the wholy inappropriate XML, rather than a stack based schema.

    Oh, and PostScript being an established, stable open standard, of course.
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @08:48AM (#15493707)
    That's pretty much what they are: People without any kind of moral.

    Morals are something we have, because we feel remorse for doing something "bad". We have morals, because our conscience is nagging when we have something to blame on ourselves that we did wrong. It enables us to function in groups.

    Corps don't have that kind of mental safeguard against going postal. Corporations don't act by themselves, they use their employees to act for them. Those are, by definition, human beings who WOULD have a conscience. But that conscience doesn't kick in, because they can brush it off on the corp.

    You're about to fire someone. You even know him, he's deeply in debt, has a sick child, his wife died half a year ago. You wouldn't fire him, your conscience would nag you for kicking him out. Yeah, his stats don't look good, but hey, considering his situation, that's understandable. You'd normally give him a little time to recover.

    Not in a corp. You fire him. Because if you don't do it, you're fired as well and someone else does it. Same jusification that fascist regimes (and the people serving in them) used to squelch any kind of remorse. You can't help it. You gotta do it. Or someone else does it.

    The difference is that the ultimately "guilty" person is no real person. It's the corp. And corps have no conscience.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 08, 2006 @08:50AM (#15493713)
    Show me where in the license it says "unrevocable", then you can talk about openness. It's not a standard if it comes with strings attached.
  • Re:Point? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by h0oam1 ( 533917 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @08:50AM (#15493721)
    "If you don't want to run the Beta, fine, don't run it. However, to my mind you lose all rights to complain about misfeatures and bugs if you had an opportunity to find and report them, and didn't." This seems to me to be total crap. It is not my job (nor the job of most reading this) to test Microsoft's products for them for free. This is a commercial product, and it is Microsoft's responsibility to ship a good working product to PAYING customers. If it were an OSS project, your statement would be valid, but this is certainly not OSS. Since when did quality assurance for commercial software become the sole responsibility of the customers???
  • by azuravian ( 850674 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @09:03AM (#15493802)
    So, it's ok for Adobe to push their proprietary protocol, but not MS. Admittedly, I don't know a lot about print spooling, etc., but isn't PostScript a decidedly Adobe created format.
  • Re:Point? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by biovoid ( 785377 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @09:05AM (#15493817)
    If you don't want to run the Beta, fine, don't run it. However, to my mind you lose all rights to complain about misfeatures and bugs if you had an opportunity to find and report them, and didn't.

    You're kidding right? If I was to pay for Vista (ha ha) and found bugs or misfeatures, I would have no right to complain about them?! You expect me to beta test commercial software on my own time and money before I have the right to complain about bugs in software that I paid for?!

  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Thursday June 08, 2006 @09:08AM (#15493836)
    No kidding. If anyone thinks for a second that MS is going to promote Adobe after Adobe threatened to sue them and forced pdf out of Office, they must be on some pretty powerful hallucinogens. I'm not exactly a big MS fan (they still owe me for the havoc that Frontpage wrecked on my entire website directory in 1999), but even I can't blame them for this.


  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Thursday June 08, 2006 @09:11AM (#15493855)
    PDF is an open format

    Apparently not [].


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

    by HalAtWork ( 926717 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @09:17AM (#15493890)
    That explains why Adobe doesn't fancy the idea of Microsoft including PDF exporting functionality into Office 12!

    No it doesn't, because it's impossible to explain something that never happened. MS only took PDF out of Office because they suspected that Adobe might threaten them with a lawsuit. They don't even know, this is just speculation, and so far nothing has happened. It's just MS inventing an excuse to justify not using PDF. Come on, if you were on the verge of releasing a completely redundant format that was supposed to overtake one you were constantly using, and you needed your format to look more important, what would you do?

  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @09:28AM (#15493949)
    You'd think they'd release a torrent, but that's Microsoft for you. In their corporate mindset, to release a torrent probably makes them feel dirty. It's conceding BT (a defacto standard) has legitimate uses and that their servers can't cope with the demand. Oh well, I guess MS can explain tomorrow on CNet, ZD etc. why their servers crashed under the load.
  • by Dr_LHA ( 30754 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @09:30AM (#15493962) Homepage
    Why exactly would Apple give any money to Adobe to use PDF? Your believe that Apple paid off Adobe is totally without merit or evidence. Apple are simply using an open format, as is allowed by the licensing.

    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.
  • Drop the X (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheConfusedOne ( 442158 ) <the DOT confused ... AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday June 08, 2006 @09:59AM (#15494120) Journal
    and of course you have a language that printers have been speaking for quite a long time. You could even "send a document in PS format directly to a printer..."

    Remarkable. MS once again on the bleeding edge of technology.
  • by rkcallaghan ( 858110 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @10:10AM (#15494207)
    Mod Parent (-1, Missed the Boat)

    Sure, you can point at artificial market constraints as a reason MS should play nice. But, at the end of the day, you either support freedom in the software marketplace, or you don't.

    I support software freedom. As such, I must actively oppose companies who violate our laws and in doing so, actively attempt to prevent software freedom.

    If you support free software (and individual freedoms), you have to believe that MS should be allowed to publish *their* documentation in whatever format they choose.

    No, I don't. You see, Microsoft has been convicted of a crime; specifically, of predatory monopolistic practices designed to leverage their desktop OS monopoly to damage competitors in other areas. As such, in order to support free software, I must support positions that prevent them from performing this criminal act again. In this case, that means demanding documentation in an open format, or at least one not controlled by Microsoft.

    Remember, by providing documentation in their own format, they are not removing your choice.

    When they have an illegal Desktop OS monopoly; and use that to push their document format, then yes, they are removing my choice. To be more specific, by definition, their Desktop OS monopoly has removed my choices in that area. Documentation for that Desktop OS (that I didn't have a choice for) being necessary, if it requires that I use their special format, I didn't get a choice to not support their format.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @10:30AM (#15494348)
    You can be the most responsible person ever, but you always have the corp to blame when you "have" to do something "unethic".

    As a normal worker, you're doing your job, or you're fired. Yes, you're against DRM but still you code some DRM mechanism, because if you don't do it, you're fired and someone else does it.

    As an exec, you do it because it's your responsibility to keep the shareholder value up, shareholders are after all who you are responsible to. Yes, you're firing "some" people, but would it be easier on your conscience to think of all those who invested their money for retirement into your company and now have to work 'til 80 'cause your stock fell and thus their investment?

    As a shareholder, you don't even know what you "have". You went to your bank and "bought something" that your investor deemed ok. Hell, I might have Sony stocks without knowing it! You also have no influence what they buy or sell (unless you're doing it the good ol' fashioned way and buy/sell yourself).

    As the broker, you don't care for the companies. You don't know about the companies, you know their 3-letter acronym that flashes by on the ticker. What they do? You hardly know. You know their general interest and direction, so you know which itches of the trade their options respond to.

    Corps are not "evil". They're also not "good". Good and evil are concepts of emotion, of a conscience. And corps have neither. Not having feelings or a conscience is not "evil" by itself. We see it as "evil", because we try to be "good" people. And who isn't good is automatically evil.

    Corps don't go out of their way to do "evil". It's not like chem corps produce a lot of chemicals at a loss only to dump them into the ocean. That would be "evil".

    Corps simply have no "soul", if you excuse that religious term. They have no morals, no conscience, no emotion. They only have "intelligence", through the people that offer their intelligence to it. Putting intelligence into a corporation means more money for the corp, so it is encouraged. Putting emotion or morals into a corporation is usually costy for the corp, so it is discouraged.

    The net result is a "person" with high intelligence and zero morals.
  • by Khuffie ( 818093 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @10:42AM (#15494438) Homepage
    They're removing your choice to read their documentation without using their software!

    The documentation is for their software. And that particular software (Vista) the documentation is for can read the file format fine without any extra downloads. And there's a .doc format which every program and his grandma can read.

  • iBias? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <slashdot.keirstead@org> on Thursday June 08, 2006 @10:49AM (#15494497) Homepage

    Where the hell is the PDF? Aside from the fact that this is really fucking annoying it has some really worrying implications. 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.

    Not to be a pro-MS shill, but supporting PDF over XPS is kind of like appls vs. apples. XPS is a totally open standard, its XML based. SUre, it's "controlled" by Microsoft, but PDF is "controlled" by Adobe. One is really no better than the other. PDF is just more popular right now.

  • by Hobart ( 32767 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @12:16PM (#15495227) Homepage Journal
    For people who are grabbing the disc image from unofficial sources - can folks who've downloaded it directly from Microsoft post MD5 / SHA1 signatures and filesizes so we can be sure we're all getting the same stuff?
    Slashcode bug # 497457 - unfixed since December 2001 - Go look it up []!
  • Intel Macs (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tempfile ( 528337 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @01:48PM (#15495964)
    It seems that Vista is going to be a decent piece of software, if even on Slashdot you can read people make positive comments. As I'm probably going to buy a Macbook, I'm really interested whether Vista is going to run on that. Has anybody tried?
  • Re:Astroturf? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @04:14PM (#15497291)

    I'm not questioning the legitimacy of Adobes possible lawsuit, but I'm saying that while Adobe is considering suing MS for having PDF support in Office 2007, they have a reason for not wanting to use Adobes PDF format and rather use their own...

    Actually, you're still wrong. By implementing both PDF and XPS they can move people to their toolset and away from Adobe's before they have the format switch bump in the road. Adobe is making sure that bump is right away and thus making it harder for people to transition slowly.

    I fail to see how MS allowing support for their own format in their software package is a violation of the law. By following your logic and interpritation[sic] of the law, basicly[sic] anybody could make a calculator for Windows, try to sell it and then file a lawsuit against MS for incorporating a calculator in Windows by default as a part of the price for the OS and thereby pushing their own software.

    Have you ever purchased a calculator application, or downloaded one that was ad supported or while looking at ads on the page? If so, did it pre-date Windows inclusion of a calculator? If so, then yes that company can take MS to court and MS will probably lose.

    The thing about antitrust law is markets not products. There is an existing market for PDF creation tools, thus if MS enters that market (either with PDF or XPS) they must not, in any way, gain an advantage from the fact that they have a monopoly on Windows. If they do, they are breaking the law. This includes a specific prohibition on tying products to one another (like with shared, proprietary file formats they both use but that others cannot freely use) and in particular they are prohibited from the form of tying called "bundling" where products are put in the same package and sold together for one price.

    While I'm no expert in US law...

    That is an understatement. I'm no expert either, but I've at least read the US antitrust laws and some expert summations of them. It is not all that complex. If I create a calculator program for Windows, but MS already has an existing one, they're not entering into the market, I'm trying to create one. That is not the case for portable document formats, for which there is an existing, healthy market. If you want to argue this stuff, at least educate yourself.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor