Windows Vista Beta 1 preview

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by James, Jul 30, 2006.

  1. James

    James Photojournalist

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    Introduction

    Windows Vista, you've heard about it if you're into computers and spend time reading TechieHQ or any other tech-related site. We've got our hands on Beta 1, code-named Longhorn in this build, 5112.

    Overview and Impressions

    In the past Microsoft has stated that Windows Vista will be extremely easy to install for someone who has never installed Windows before. This I must say is true. When you boot with your Windows Vista DVD (yes, you will need a DVD-ROM) you are presented with a GUI installer instead of the text-based installer. You have 3 options:

    • Install Vista
    • Read the "Read me" file
    • Troubleshoot your current install of Vista
    After you select Install, you have to type in your CD-Key and select what type of install, Upgrade or Custom, you are then presented with two options:

    • Where do you want to install Vista | How you want to partition your drive
    • What do you want to name your computer?
    The rest is all automated... wow, that WAS easy! One thing that I do not like about the installation is that I was not presented with any details, just a pretty green status bar. I like to know where the install is at and what it's doing exactly. Hopefully this will change in the future.

    Once Windows has loaded, you are presented with the Windows Supplemental Driver installation wizard that install drivers for video, NICs, etc.

    The menu and window animations remind of something you'd see on a techie-type-movie, they sort of splash into view, it's really neat. As you can see in images two and three, the Start Menu functions are different, instead of hovering your pointer over All Programs and the new menu opens, you have to single click in and the menu reloads itself into the Start menu.

    Its been a few hours into playing with Vista, and from what I've seen, a lot of the functions are not fully implemented, "metro", the search, the User Account box for users in a workgroup mode (I still find myself using the classic Computer Management users snapin), user restriction, domain mode support, etc.

    Windows Explorer has changed a lot, and I'm sure it will still continue to change, therefore I will not comment much on it except for the fact that you can change the icon sizes easier, and sort evertyhing from ratings, date created, size and much more. (see images 12-13)

    A feature that I need to research more on but seems interesting is the Network presentation broadcast option. It appears as though you can broadcast your desktop for others towatch, sort of like a Power Point Presentation. A word of advive to others with the Beta 1, don't attempt to broadcast your desktop and then try to view the presentation from the same machine.

    It appears that user profiles are no longer stored in Documents and Settings. They are now stored in C:\Users\%userprofile%. The Documents and Settings folder still exists, and holds the All Users profile. It doesn't make sense why both are there, maybe it's something that hasn't been cleaned up in this build. (see image 5)

    For some reason when I create an account, it's automatically joined to the administrators group and the users group which I find strange since Microsoft is cracking down on security. I'm sure this is some sort of bug that MS will work out.

    I also noticed, when you log in as a standard user, the glossy transparent effects do not load, I'm sure this is some sort of bug.

    Final thoughts

    Build 5112 is a huge improvement over 4074, that last build of Longhorn I have used, stability wise is the most improved portion since that build. I cannot say too much on what I feel about Vista yet, as a lot of the features I wanted to try have not been fully implemented yet.

    I am experiencing the overwhelming feeling that I got when I first installed Red Hat Linux 7.2. I am afraid that the end user will also get this feeling. The new functions of Virtual folders and applying different attributes to files may be too much for a common end user, though it's something I feel will be very useful to myself. The time is coming for a technician to understand more about dynamic files, databases, API's, etc. I cannot wait to pickup the Windows Vista technical book and devour it. I feel that Vista will be a big learning curve just like Windows 95 was from Windows 3.11.
     

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    James, Jul 30, 2006
    #1
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