Windows Vista: Beta 2 Preview

by Ryan Smith on 6/16/2006 12:05 AM EST
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  • aeschbi99 - Wednesday, July 05, 2006 - link

    Hi

    I just loved your article about Vista....especially the comparison to TIGER...I am a big MAC fan! But what MS did with Flip3D it appears to me is a copy of SUN's "Looking Glass" - which was out I believe even in 2003.

    Redmond --- start your copy machine.... the real invention starts somewhere else....

    see link http://java.sun.com/developer/technicalArticles/J2...">http://java.sun.com/developer/technical...s/J2SE/D...
    Reply
  • absynthe49 - Saturday, July 01, 2006 - link

    I really enjoy anandtech but I didn't really like the style of this article. When I read it.. I was quite sad that vista was looking so bad at this stage... particularly the game performance.

    But then I remembered that I read in a few places that Vista would not support native DirectX 9. That it would be in a way.. emulated. So there was an expected decrease in numbers. My understanding was that new powerful hardware would be coming out and that it would run the older games fast enough to overcome the loss from emulation.

    The article almost seemed to say that gaming looks doomed in a way.

    So basically... the drivers are not tweaked yet... this is still a beta... there may still be a debugging layer running... and I think vista runs directx 9 through an emulation layer.

    So unless this is false and it actually runs directx 9 natively... is it really a surprize at all that directx 9 games run from 20 to 30 frames per second slower? This did not seem to be addressed at all in the article and I thought it was kind of premature worry so much.
    Reply
  • NullSubroutine - Monday, June 19, 2006 - link

    they can say every hardware/software limitation they want. i dont buy that they 'cant' make dx10 for xp and they 'cant' have full opengl support. just too convienent for microsoft. Reply
  • mongo lloyd - Sunday, June 18, 2006 - link

    Although Microsoft may not consider itself to be in direct competition with Apple, this is the match-up most people have been waiting for. Only people who give a shit about OSX, which is far from "most people". Reply
  • drewintheav - Sunday, June 18, 2006 - link

    I thought the staged install method was supposed to be so fast?
    It took way longer to install than it does for me to install XP.
    The Vista Media Center is not useable at this point...
    The video stutters, the audio drops out, and it crashes all the time.
    I had always heard Mac fanatics saying how much better OSX was than XP
    I didn't really believe it could be "so much" better
    I tried out OSX after I installed Vista.
    And now it is very obvious to me where Microsoft has gotten most of its new UI ideas.
    At this point I would say that Microsoft's has executed them very poorly
    which is a little disappointing.
    It is disappointing to me that even if everything worked perfectly in Vista
    it would still lag behind OSX on a number of points
    In fact if Apple sold OSX for Intel as a retail product
    and added a Media Center application
    I would switch to MAC and just run windows Windows apps with an emulator or a VM
    and dual boot XP for games.
    Microsoft really has a lot of work to do and I hope they get it together...

    OSX is way more innovative than Vista at this point...
    Reply
  • AndrewChang - Wednesday, June 21, 2006 - link

    Well, after months of deliberation, it looks like my next personal computing platform will be a merom/leopard based mac book pro. I don't expect to be using a vista based pc until at least the first or second service pack. A fully intergrated bookcamp/virtualization in this next OSX release should take care of my legacy applications (games on xp). Thanks Anandtech, w/o your Macintosh articles I would have never considered all the wonderful options available to me. It'll be fun learing how to use a new OS, especially one that is already superior what us PC users have to look forward to. Reply
  • Pirks - Monday, June 19, 2006 - link

    quote:

    In fact if Apple sold OSX for Intel as a retail product

    There's no point - since Dell with the same configuration as iMac and with the same set of basic apps (like DVD burning/mastering etc) costs the same as iMac - why would you buy Dell in the first place? To me it seems that if you spend $1500 on a Dell plus retail Mac OS X instead of iMac - you'll get lower quality product.
    Hence no retail Mac OS X - nobody is interested because iMacs are priced on par with comparable Dells.
    quote:

    and added a Media Center application

    There is Front Row - check out decent Mac sites, read reviews - you'll be surprised how much you missed, hehe ;-)
    Reply
  • nullpointerus - Monday, June 19, 2006 - link

    Not everyone who wants to run Mac OS X wants to purchase a prebuilt computer for it. You should know that if you're posting here because this site is mostly made up of enthusiasts.

    Mac OS X w/ Front Row isn't comparable to Windows MCE. Show me the integrated program guide and automatic recording capabilities. You may as well compare Paint to Gimp or Photoshop.
    Reply
  • Pirks - Monday, June 19, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Not everyone who wants to run Mac OS X wants to purchase a prebuilt computer for it. You should know that if you're posting here because this site is mostly made up of enthusiasts.
    Same can be said about the post of the guy above asking for the OS X retail version. If I should know this site is for enthusiasts - THEN HE SHOULD KNOW what OS X is and why it is so successful and generates lots of buzz in IT press - pecisely because it DOES NOT have a retail version. Hence asking OS X to give up it's number one advantage - smooth integration with hardware because hardware is NOT open - is not much smarter than my post above.
    quote:

    Mac OS X w/ Front Row isn't comparable to Windows MCE
    Depends on what the user wants. I suppose some users are happy with limited functionality of Paint and don't need/don't want Photoshop.
    Reply
  • nullpointerus - Saturday, June 17, 2006 - link

    "We also tested the boot times for a clean install of each operating system, using a stopwatch to see how long it took for the OS to boot to the point where it presented a usable login screen."

    Um...you must have something seriously wrong with your system. I'm using a lowly Athlon64 3000+ Winchester and 2GB PC3200 RAM. I did a clean install of the x64 version and timed it with my digital watch; it took ~50 seconds to get to the desktop, not the login screen. I had to switch to the 32-bit version because of driver support, and I can tell you it doesn't take 48 seconds to get to the login screen.

    Now, if you rummage around in the control panel's performance applet, you can look at services and drivers which are slowing the boot process down; USB audio and nVidia's drivers affected my system, and even so it starts nearly 30 seconds faster than your clean x64 system. Maybe there's something on your PC that's causing problems?

    Also, something on my second boot will chew up large amounts of CPU time, making the login screen unresponsive. On subsequent boots this problem disappeared, and I was able to enter my password immediately and login fairly quickly. I have drivers for my Linksys WMP54GX and Creative Audigy installed now, too, so my PC should be worse than your clean system.

    Maybe you could check these things out and retest?
    Reply
  • dev0lution - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    I'd happily boot into Vista everyday if all of my hardware devices would work. Not MS's fault, but rather my fault for buying a smaller manufacturer's product who has yet to post even beta drivers.

    In combination with Office 207 Beta2 and IE 7, Vista x86 has run fine and rather stable for me. It does tend to eat up a bit of memory, but I should probably add another GB anyhow. If I could just solve a couple app related problems and get Media Center (and MC remote) to change the channel on my set top box, I wouldn't be running from my MCE disk much at all anymore.

    I kind of like the new layout and explorer...
    Reply
  • RogueSpear - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    I've had been using Vista on one of my computers until shortly after the Beta 2 was released for public consumption. Once I saw that there was no appreciable improvements in that release, I finally decided to revert back to the relative comfort and superior performance of XP. First off, I have nightmares when I think of the mass confusion that will ensue among the mass of computer neophytes that are just now getting over the adjustment from moving off of 98/ME to XP. These will be trying days for help desk staff and even those are the "computer guy" in their family.

    More importantly, changes that are allegedly substantial, seem to me more cosmetic than anything. Yes, I realize that there are a lot of serious changes under the hood, but the benefits you can see and touch appear very superficial at best. This seems like an extreme makeover in an attempt to get people signed up for even more pervasive and hideous DRM. I know I'm living in the past, but I'll always be nostalgic for the days when my computer was actually my computer and the software/media I paid for were mine to use as I saw fit.
    Reply
  • Pirks - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    I noticed this sentence: "As currently implemented, UAC surpasses Tiger's security features by giving more information about what application is requesting privilege escalation" Could you please elaborate a little on what "more information" exactly Vista provides in UAC dialogs that Tiger does NOT provide?

    From my experience Tiger gives the same information, I probably misunderstood you on that, could you please explain in more detail?
    Reply
  • johnsonx - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Our beta version of Vista came on two separate DVDs, one for x86 and one for x64, but we're not sure at this point if Microsoft is going to package Vista in a dual-layer DVD with an installer that can pick the right version, or if it will continue to come on separate discs. It's also worth noting that Vista will choose which version of itself to install based on the product key used, as now all versions (for x64 and x86) will use the same installation media, which will be a relief for doing reinstalls.


    Ok, these two sentences seem contradictory. First you say you don't know if 32-bit and 64-bit versions will come on the same disc with an installer that can pick correctly, then in the next sentence you say the installer will pick based on product key because both versions will use the same install media.

    So which is it, or there there something I'm not getting?
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    There's something you're not getting. A disc can install any variation of Vista(e.g. 1 disc can install Home Basic x86, Home Premium x86, Ultimate x86, etc); it can only install that bit-version of Vista however. Reply
  • DerekWilson - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    it is difficult to say ... i think three different editors mucked around with that sentence :-)

    to try a different angle, both of these are true statements:

    1) the x86 disk can install any x86 version of vista

    2) the x64 disk can install any x64 version of vista
    Reply
  • dhei - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    When you can, do a test to see how well they redid it please. Someone told me this would be noticable on those with broadband easily, not just LAN or network tests. Im really intrested in this aspect, though not sure how to really test it.

    Did you try a LAN benchmark vs winxp to see if any diffrence?
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    We did not do that, it was already a 12k word article + the time to run the benchmarks we did use. We'll be taking a much heavier look at performance once we have a final version of Vista to look at. Reply
  • Pirks - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    and read this while you're at it:

    http://developer.apple.com/internet/security/secur...">http://developer.apple.com/internet/security/secur...

    You can minimize the risk of a network service being used to attack your machine by using the firewall built into Mac OS X. Called ipfw, it can prevent potential attackers from reaching these services. As of Mac OS X 10.2, Apple has included a simple GUI for configuring ipfw. The GUI is good for adding simple rules to your machine; more complex rules will require you to use either the command line tools for manipulating the firewall, or a third-party GUI that has more features.

    Ryan, do you know what BSD ipfw is? It blows any XP firewall to ashes, Vista is only pathetic attempt to get to its level (well hopefully MS will get something similar in Vista, I really hope they do)

    Also read this: http://personalpages.tds.net/~brian_hill/brickhous...">http://personalpages.tds.net/~brian_hill/brickhous...

    That's another GUI to configure ipfw in OSX.

    Otherwise an excellent article, I'm impatiently wait for your review of the final Vista release, but please don't do such stupid mistakes again, Mac boys will hack and slash you for that ;-)

    "it's time for a full featured firewall for Windows and Mac OS X alike, and only the former has it" - what a funny lie :-) Please read about OSX ipfw (I gave you a couple of links) and fix it ASAP. Thanks.
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    I'm aware of IPFW, and what it can do(and boy is it nice!). But this is a competition among what the two OS's can do on their own, without significant intervention from the user. Out of the box, Vista's firewall is a full-featured firewall that can block inbound and outbound connections. Tiger's firewall can't do the latter, and in the age of spyware(and as you saw in our spyware test), it's sometimes the last thing keeping spyware and other malware from breaking out.

    Tiger may not have significant malware problems at this point, but there's no good reason why it(and more so Leopard) shouldn't have outbound protection too.
    Reply
  • Pirks - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Out of the box, Vista's firewall is a full-featured firewall that can block inbound and outbound connections. Tiger's firewall can't do the latter
    Excuse me, what? How about this then: http://www.macworld.com/2006/05/reviews/osxfirewal...">http://www.macworld.com/2006/05/reviews/osxfirewal...

    "The emphasis is on incoming. As it ships from Apple, the firewall does not monitor traffic that may be originating from your own computer. If your Mac gets possessed by a malware application that then attempts to attack or infect other computers via your Internet connection (a not-uncommon trick), OS X’s firewall won’t, by default, pay any attention. And, there’s no way to change this default setting from your System Preferences. To force the firewall to monitor outbound traffic, you must use Terminal’s command-line interface."

    See - IT CAN monitor and block outbound traffic, contrary to what you say. It's just a matter of configuring it properly. You should at least correct your article and stop saying OSX ipfw CAN'T track outbound connections. You can say this: it's SET UP not to monitor outbound connections BY DEFAULT but anyone can CONFIGURE it to monitor outbound connections either through third party GUI like Flying Buttress or via command line. Then you won't look like a liar to any Mac guy who cares to read your review.
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    I see your point, but I believe there's nothing in the article that needs changing. Tiger's firewall can't block outbound connections without having to drop to the terminal to muck with IPFW, I do not classify that as an ability any more than I classify Vista x64 as being amateur driver programmer friendly(since you need to drop to the terminal to turn off the x64 integrity check). When a version of Mac OS X ships with a proper GUI for controlling outbound firewalling(as is the Apple way), then it will be capable by a reasonable definition. Right now it's nothing more than a quirk that results from using the BSD base. Reply
  • Pirks - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    quote:

    When a version of Mac OS X ships with a proper GUI for controlling outbound firewalling(as is the Apple way), then it will be capable by a reasonable definition.
    Excellent point! So, when (and if) Mac OS X will see its share of virii and malware, THEN Apple will incorporate outbound connection settings in OS X GUI - right now it's not needed by Mac users, and the rare exceptions are easily treated with third party apps and command line.

    OK, got your point, agreed, issue closed. Thanks :)
    Reply
  • bjtags - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    Vista x64
    I have been pounding on it for 4 days never crash or even farted once!!!
    Have all HalfLife 2 and CS running Just Great!!!
    Had at one time 10 IE windows open, MediaPlayer, Steam updating, download driver,
    updating windows drivers, and 3 folder explorer windows open, and tranfering
    4gig movie to HD!!!

    Still ran fine... I do have AMD 4800 x2 with 2gigs...
    Reply
  • Poser - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    Two questions:

    1. What's the ship date for Vista supposed to be? Q4 of 2006?
    2. I seem to remember that speech recognition would be included and integrated with Vista. Is it considered too much of a niche toy to even mention, not considered to be part of the OS, or am I just plain wrong about it's inclusion?

    It was a extremely well written article. Very nice job.
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    1. Expected completion is Q4 with some business customers getting access to the final version at that time. It won't be released to the public until 2007 however.

    2. You're right, speech recognition is included. You're also right in that given the amount of stuff we had to cover in one article it was too much of a niche; voice recognition so far is still too immature to replace typing.
    Reply
  • ashay - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    "Dogfooding" is when a company uses their own new product (not necessarily beta) for internal use.(maybe even in critical production systems).

    Term comes from "eat your own dog-food". Meaning if you're a dog food maker, the CEO and execs eat the stuff. If they like it they dogs hopefully will.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eat_one%27s_own_dog_f...">Wikipedia link
    Reply
  • fishbits - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    Yes, I know it's still beta, we'll see. The UAC and signed drivers schemes sound like they'll be flops right out of the gate. Average user will quickly realize he can't install or use anything until he adopts a "just click 'Yes'" attitude, which will reward him with a functioning device/running program. I've lost count of how many drivers I've installed under XP that were for name-brand devices, yet didn't have the official seal of approval on them. Again, get trained to "just click 'Yes'" in order to be able to do anything useful. Without better information given to the user at this decision point, all the scheme does is add a few mouse-clicks and no security. Like when you install a program and your security suite gives a "helpful" warning like "INeedToRun.exe is trying to access feccflm.dll ... no recommendation."

    As expected, it looks like the productivity gains of GPU-acceleration were immediately swallowed up by GUI overhead. Whee! "The users can solve this through future hardware upgrades." Gotcha. For what it's worth, the gadgets/widgets look needlessly large and ugly, especially for simply displaying things like time, cpu temp/usage. Then it sounds like we're going to have resource-hungry programs getting starved because of GPU sharing, or will have an arms-race of workarounds to get their hands on the power they think they need.

    Ah well, I've got to move to 64-bit for RAM purposes relatively soon. Think I'll wait a year or two after Vista 64 to let it get stable, faster, and better supported. Then hopefully the programs I'll need to upgrade can be purchased along the lines of a normal upgrade cycle. Games I'm actually not as worried about, as I expect XP/DX9 support to continue for a decent bit and will retain an XP box and install Vista on a brand new one when the time comes.
    Reply
  • shamgar03 - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    I really hope that will mean for BETTER GPU performance not worse. I would really just like to be able to boot into a game only environment where you have something like a grub interface to pick games and it only loads the needed stuff for the game. Reply
  • darkdemyze - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    beta implies "still in developement". chances are very high performance will see an increase by the time of release. I agree with your seconds statement though. Reply
  • Squidward - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    Having beta tested Windows XP when it was released, I have to say that so far I'm not very impressed with Vista. Granted there is still quite some time before final release but even with RC1 of XP it was a rock solid stable OS that I used as my full time OS and never had any issues whatsoever (especially security cause no one was writing viruses and malware for it back then). Quite frankly I don't see how the beta 2 I've been looking at and the final polished out the door product is going to happen in 7 months for a Jan. launch. The real problem however lies in the fact that I know I will move up to Vista at some point, but not because it's a better OS than XP but that I'll be hindered by continuing to use an older operating system. I just haven't seen anything in it yet that made me go. "Now that's the kind of feature I've been needing!", and the few features that did make me feel that way were removed to be implemented 'at a later date'. Fancy graphical effects are nice and all, but they don't make an OS. As it stands in the betas the UAC feature is just a complete hinderance that to me seems to punish the end user because of security risks that are out there. The end user shouldn't get a pop up on every single application or item they open to be sure it's 'safe'. There are far better means of controlling permissions within an OS that would have made a lot more sense that what we have now with UAC. That being said, I believe in time and with Microsoft really listening to customer feedback they'll work out a lot of the kinks, but I won't consider purchasing Vista until they do... or force me to upgrade. :)


    Reply
  • Pirks - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Granted there is still quite some time before final release but even with RC1 of XP it was a rock solid stable OS that I used as my full time OS and never had any issues whatsoever
    Besides this thing being early beta, also keep in mind that it's not a cosmetic chaneg akin to upgrade from W2k to XP or from OSX 10.3 to 10.4 - this is a major OS overhaul not too far from migration from 9x to NT, of course early beta of such a grand release will be total crap (at least for many people, but some others seem to enjoy it a lot). So, comparing this early beta release to XP release candidate is indeed pretty stupid. I don't even expect Vista release to be 100% usable out of the box, ESPECIALLY x64 version - Vista 64 will take another year or two to mature, get drivers/apps ready and such. And you should also keep in mind that MS is in a big hurry to avoid Apple to chop its balls off - some more delay and you'll see Apple market share well over 10% which is pretty dangerous to MS if they wanna keep enjoying their desktop x86 OS monopoly status. Hence MS does stuff quickly, cuts off features and will probably release something buggy just to avoid serious threat from Apple. Expect something usable only after SP1 and give it at least a year - in a meantime read some rumours about Leopard and salivate a little - that'll keep you going ;-))
    quote:

    The real problem however lies in the fact that I know I will move up to Vista at some point, but not because it's a better OS than XP but that I'll be hindered by continuing to use an older operating system.
    Yet another nice point - you think MS will sit still and let Leopard to chew its (MS's) private parts with impunity? I doubt that - MS will very likely release those nice sweet WinFS and other toys there were promising for years and integrate them in the next Vista release (I hope Leopard or whatever Mr. Jobs is up to isn't going to eat that for lunch - 'cause WinFS is the last hope for MS, really - DX10 won't count, too small a market it seems). So, in two years or maybe earlier you'll get those new sexy features you want, I believe... well, Apple could probably beat MS's ass here again, which is even more likely judging how well Apple devs were performing so far, so maybe you won't be interested in Vista at all - OS scene moves very fast - bang bang and u'r dead :) Especially now when Ballmer replaced BG - I'm worried, I don't quite trust Ballmer and Ozzie and others - ol' Bill was da man, not sure Vista survives w/o him when his archrival Jobs is only started to accelerate before real takeoff (Leopard?), but we'll see, we'll see...
    quote:

    There are far better means of controlling permissions within an OS that would have made a lot more sense that what we have now with UAC
    Oh, interesting, tell stupid us what is this "far better means of controlling permissions within an OS" instead of annoying ugly UAC, this must be something revolutionary and ingenious - maybe MS will pay you big bucks for that, who knows ;-))
    Reply
  • ChronoReverse - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    You tested RC1 of XP. Release Candidate 1.


    This is BETA 2 of Vista. Maybe when they release RC1 of Vista you can compare again.
    Reply
  • Frallan - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    Well i found 1 thing to be more interesting then the rest: Gaming Perfomance!!

    That means that at least til the games I want to play are DX10 combined with the fact that DX10 games get better results im going to stax with my XP.

    Sorry M$
    /F
    Reply
  • Googer - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    There are so many versions and the feature sets will confuse most of us.

    Here is a screen shot from Paul Thurott's Win Super Site.

    http://pics.bbzzdd.com/users/Googer/Windows_Vista_...">Windows Vista Versions.
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    Keep in mind that that's an old chart. Small Business Edition no longer exists, and Professional is now Business Edition. Reply
  • Googer - Saturday, June 17, 2006 - link

    Thanks forthe update. Here is the now silghtly out of date chart but still has some usefull information.

    http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/winvista_edit...">http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/winvista_edit...
    Reply
  • slashbinslashbash - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    Page 8, "regulated" should be "relegated"
    Also in the same sentence, "Superfetc.h" (which might not be a typo)

    A 14-page article with 2 minor problems.... The quality ratio here at AT just kills DailyTech.... please impose AT quality control on DailyTech!
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    Fixed - DT runs a lot of short, quick articles, and unfortunately that means they get more typos and errors. Anyway, since they are a separate entity, there's not much we can do. Feel free to post and tell them, though, but remember they're looking at probably 10X as many press releases as we do. LOL Reply
  • DerekWilson - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    1) vista is perfectly capable of being a stable light weight desktop system (with some quirks) at the beta 2 stage ... but try to do anything fast or power hungry and you'd be better off sticking with xp until vista is released. right now, at beta 2, vista is a neat toy. don't try to use it for everything.

    2) after all the spit an polish dries, i will still prefer os x to vista

    3) final verdict? same as it ever was -- i'll be running vista for games and linux for programming. and since i've recently been bitten by the switch bug, os x for everything else.
    Reply
  • shamgar03 - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    "3) final verdict? same as it ever was -- i'll be running vista for games and linux for programming. and since i've recently been bitten by the switch bug, os x for everything else."

    Ditto
    Reply
  • darkdemyze - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    Personally I'm excited to see where Vista is going. But I still myself in the same position as stated above ^ Reply
  • CSMR - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    What has OS got to do with programming? Reply
  • Pirks - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    quote:

    What has OS got to do with programming?
    The guy's obviously coding some Linux stuff - do you want him to code stuff in cygwin on Vista? I don't think he's THIS kind of pervert, now is he? :))
    Reply
  • fikimiki - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    AMD will replace Intel, Linux is going to replace Windows.
    Microsoft is close to death, Bill is gone, Ballmer is crazy.
    They are going to make this system usable with SP3 working on Athlon64 16000+ (which is just 4x4000) acting as a fast turtle....
    Reply
  • Pirks - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Linux is going to replace Windows
    and Mesa 3D is going to replace DX10 - woohoo man keep this stuff coming, you're doin' great :))
    Reply
  • stash - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    lol close to death, and yet they somehow find a way to ring up a billion (with a B) dollars in profit every single MONTH. Reply
  • Xenoid - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    BEWARE THE MAN WITH THE TINFOIL HAT

    THE WORLD IS ENDING!
    Reply
  • darkdemyze - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    lol gg.

    I think some people need to get a grip..
    Reply
  • sprockkets - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    1. Nice fade into the desktop.
    2. I'm sure they'll make new sounds and music, otherwise, it sadly is a new UI with and old annoying XP theme.
    3. Still can't use anything other than .wav for sounds? Why?
    4. Everything is all over the place, yet the classics are still there if you need it.
    5. Finally, an all GUI installer. Welcome to the rest of the world haha.
    6. Instead of asking for permission all the time, why not allow the control panel to open, then ask, then do not ask again when using anything in it?
    7. Like mentioned, why make it so hard to hide the turn off button? Stupid.
    8. It will take getting used to. Might as well switch to a Mac or even Linux, because you will be spending effort to get used to the differences. "Where is the start menu? No display properties? OK, it is personalize. Where did all the usual menus go? "
    9. Funny, doing a file download in IE7 shows a nice progress bar, with the old as hell earth graphic with the flying piece of paper into the folder with the little red crash mark. Couldn't think of anything to replace it, or feeling nostolgic?
    10. Major annoyances gone with fresh new ones.
    11. Usual Microsoft behavior: Change for the sake of change (that damn power button!)

    Other thoughts: Yeah, OSX officially runs on x86 hardware, as long as it has an Apple logo on it. We did it to not have to worry about drivers and such. Yeah, as if you don't both have the same Intel chipset to support.
    Sometimes in Xp you cannot burn unless you are an Admin. I couldn't even run Asus Probe for whatever reason, and all it does is check for temps and such.
    Is Expose the same as the new compiz and XGL?
    Reply
  • Pirks - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    quote:

    OSX officially runs on x86 hardware, as long as it has an Apple logo on it. We did it to not have to worry about drivers and such. Yeah, as if you don't both have the same Intel chipset to support.
    Windows driver support and OSX driver support are quite different, in Windows you usually need a driver CD or download, while with OSX there almost nothing to do - plug the thing and enjoy it - hence the need for certified hardware - you need someone in charge of hardware approval to get that level of smoothness with hardware & other stuff. Apple can't provide this level of service IF they can't stamp their logo on something, while Windows can't provide this level of service BECAUSE they can't stamp their logo - feel the difference here :)) There's no such thing as "certified Windows hardware that you can just pop in and enjoy" - put all the WHQL/XP/MS logos on a Chinese card from newegg - and you still have to download and setup drivers yourself - which sounds like an insult for any Mac guy, hehe ;-)
    Reply
  • Locutus465 - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    Not neccessarly... Hell, at work we started using signature pad software in conjunction with an active x control to provide digital signature functionality... I ordered a Topaz signature pad, it got to the office, plugged it in the USB and wouldn't you know it.... Windows found the device right away and it worked. To be fair, microsoft supports a huge number of the box... They just can't support all of it... Heck, I didn't even *need* to install any system drivers with vista, it found all my nForce4 devices and Gefore 7800GT just fine... I chose to becaues I'm guessing nVidia probably did a better job with thier drivers than microsoft did with their generic ones. Reply
  • Pirks - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    quote:

    To be fair, microsoft supports a huge number out of the box. They just can't support all of it.
    This is what I'm talking about - noone can support everything out there out of the box but a MANAGEABLE subset of hardware, like most popular video/audio/TV/RAID and other cards - that's a piece of cake, and now you are right, Vista will support a lot out of the box but LATER maybe in a year or two a lot of new devices start to appear on the market that Vista will not support out of the box, and the problem is NOBODY cares whether user has to download a driver or something, nobody cares about setting up some automatic update site driven by MS and maybe some other big PC vendors together (joint MS/newegg site would be ubermegacool!) which says "IF YOU GET CERTIFIED HARDWARE FROM US IT'LL WORK MAC-STYLE" meaning that if this card has a special logo - you know you pop it in and nothing else - Windows automatically locates driver online and downloads/installs it - Mac OS X style. Just forget about this thing unless you get a Mac - somehow MS and other can't realize many users would love such a feature - very nice choice - if you're a pro - go to newegg and get nice cheap stuff and install it yourself, but if you're a noob - here's your WinHardware.com, get there, choose a card, order it, pop it in and just FORGET about everything else - no drivers no other sh1t to worry about - well, all AT/DT readers won't care about that, I know, but for noobs/general public I think that's a boon, all my Mac owning buddies LOVE that feature of Macs - hence it's a good idea to adopt something similar for Windows, don't you agree?
    Reply
  • Locutus465 - Saturday, June 17, 2006 - link

    What you don't seem to realize is that Windows has such a feature called Windows update. Microsoft does continuously update their in house set of available drivers. The main thing is that Microsoft tends not to do as good a job optimising drivers for *performance*. What microsoft want's are good solid drivers that don't crash your system, as far as their conserned performance is a distant second. This is why most users in the know specifically tell Windows *not* to locate a driver for their new hardware (unless it's something simple like a USB/Firewire harddrive etc) and proceed to download drivers from the hardware manufacturers website. Reply
  • Pirks - Saturday, June 17, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Windows has such a feature called Windows update
    Ever tried to install Audigy 2 or X-Fi on XP? Ever tried to pop in Nomad Zen in 2002 or so... rings any bells? Or not?

    Well, if not, here's an explanation for you - your Windows Update is just this - purely WINDOWS update, and nothing more - the problem is - Windows Update is not concerned with a lot of new hardware coming out (Nomad Zen back in 2002, X-Fi, many other examples), there's not even an idea of certifying the new piece of hardware and submitting drivers to Microsoft where they are put online with WHQL logo on them. See the difference? In Macs it's a rule - got a new fresh driver for Mac OS X for your card? Submit it to Apple NOW! In Windows? Who cares about this in Windows? Windows PC makers do not care whether their customer can or can not install drivers - here's your PC, bye now. You wanna install X-Fi? Well, you're on your own. Get a nerd or something. Yeah, this works, but why not to go one step further and do it like this - Creative makes new flashy X-Fi - IMMEDIATELY submits drivers to MS - MS quickly tests them and in a week or two there you go - you pop your new expensive X-Fi in your PC and MAGICCC!!! PC GOES ONLINE AND DOWNLOADS/INSTALLS DRIVERS ITSELF! Why? Because X-Fi has this logo "Just Works in XP". You wanna get third party hi-perf drivers and apps/tuning utils? No problemo - go get 'em. But if you're a noob and dont' know what a driver is - this is a boon.

    So far no enthusiast understood me when I mentioned this idea - and this is normal - enthusiasts do not need this kind of service. What is more interesting is why a major Home PC brand still doesn't have this kind of service. My guess this is because quality Home PCs come pre-assembled with all the drivers, but still - this service is an interesting approach to clone from Apple.

    After all Vista cloned a lot from Tiger - why not clone other things from Apple like this service?

    Will it hurt anyone?

    Or will it make PCs more noob friendly and hence better competitors for Macs which constantly boast this "Just works" attitude? I mean this is nothing major, this is just a little service - but this Dashboard and Expose and other things - they are also little services, if you think about it. Is Vista actively cloning this stuff? Sure it is, everybody loves eye-candy, Spotlight and stuff like that - so why would anyone NOT like this additional automatic hardware configuration service?

    I feel this is a thing of the future, and should appear sooner or later.

    Any other opinions on that?
    Reply
  • Locutus465 - Saturday, June 17, 2006 - link

    Yes, but perhaps what you're missing is Microsoft will update their own in house drivers for hardware they consider essential to Windows functioning properly. The fact that microsoft doesn't try to control the PC market in the way Apple controls the Mac market has made the PC significantly more cost effective than Apples platform, while still allowing for a very high degree of innovation. The IBM PC has always been about economics, which is why no one (including IBM) could control it the way in which Apple controls the Mac platform. So apparently the answer to your question is yes and no.

    Yeah, there does need to be a service to update driver critical to the functioning of modern PC's automatically (in Microsoft's case, Windows Update). But no, in order to retain the economic's of the IBM clone market, there needs to be no such Apple like control over the market..
    Reply
  • Pirks - Sunday, June 18, 2006 - link

    quote:

    But no, in order to retain the economic's of the IBM clone market, there needs to be no such Apple like control over the market.
    Excellent point - total Apple-like control of the hardware turns PC into Mac, which is obviously not what users need and want (excluding zealots, of course). However, my point was not about turning PC into Mac by introducing total hardware control over every PC out there, Apple-style, it was rather about creating a special BRAND of PC, obviously a Vista-based PC, which should retain best features of Vista and Mac from the point of view of a noob. This means: a Vista PC which has similar subset of applications as OS X Tiger, and which also behaves like a Mac when you pop a certified piece of hardware into it - it goes online and downloads/installs drivers quietly and user just enjoys the device without any thinking - it "just works".

    Naturally, there is no need at all to convert all PCs to that ideology, one brand would be enough. Who is the best candidate for that? Probably an alliance between Dell and MS, or something similar.

    I heard a lot of talk about Microsoft's iPod Killa coming out soon, not sure these aren't just baseless rumors but... let's imagine for a sec MS is going to try and kick Apple a little in DAP market - how'd they do that? Obviously by cloning and amplifying strengths of iPod. What are these? Tight integration and control of course, especially on Macs - on Mac the OS itself plus iTunes/iPod/iTMS work seamlessly together. Maybe MS can leverage some of that by creating its own PC brand (together with Dell would be the best) so that when there's someone thinking about bying a Mac just because it's so noob friendly, he/she can reconsider - hey, wait, don't buy a Mac - see, there's similar MS PC, which also accepts a subset of certified hardware, just like Mac and because of that is as easy and stable as a Mac - this is its strength, this is why it can compete with Macs on their turf.

    In other words, if Apple pushes personal computers as easy to use, utility devices, and if MS also kind of succeded with its console (which is also utility device - plug and enjoy) then, maybe, it's time to attack CORE Apple market - those utility PCs called Macs. MS has attacked Sony market with game console - why not attacking Apple market at some point by creating similar PC clone of Mac, which is also controlled by one company and hence easy and stable etc.

    Seems like a viable business idea to me, well meybe not at this point in time, maybe we should wait till Apple share of US home computer market grows to, say, 10 or 20% - but EVENTUALLY MS might be just FORCED to go Apple way - tight control over hardware and such - while leaving current free PC market intact of course - as I said it should be just another PC brand, nothing more.
    Reply
  • stash - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    quote:

    6. Instead of asking for permission all the time, why not allow the control panel to open, then ask, then do not ask again when using anything in it?

    Because that is a nice gaping vulnerability.

    quote:

    7. Like mentioned, why make it so hard to hide the turn off button? Stupid.

    If you notice, there are two large buttons (sleep and lock) and a menu containing restart, logoff, shutdown, hibernate, etc. Sleep is a faster and more efficient method to shut off a computer, since it combines standby with hibernation. So machines will shut down much faster and startup nearly instantaneously, right where you left them. They will also use less power, since resuming from sleep uses far less power than a cold boot.

    quote:

    11. Usual Microsoft behavior: Change for the sake of change (that damn power button!)

    This is not MS's behavior at all. All of these things are tested extensively in useability studies by thousands of (non-Microsoft) users. The UX and UI changes in Vista are a result of these studies, not some artibrary decision.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    Sleep and standby are not "more efficient" as they continue to draw power. (If fact, even shutting down will still leave the PC drawing 5-10W on most desktops.) The best way to totally shut off a computer is to shut down Windows and unplug the PC (or turn off the PSU switch). If by more efficient you mean that it starts up faster, then yes, but that's really more convenient, not more efficient. Reply
  • Locutus465 - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    So far, sleep doesn't start up my computer any faster than a cold boot with vista. In fact... Some times it doesn't start up my computer at all! I do like the general idea that you can put your computer into a sleep mode and still have it continue downloading data etc. Hopefully MS will get this worked out. Reply
  • stash - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    Sleep is more effecient in the long run. Shutting down and doing a cold boot every day uses a lot more electricity than sleep. When the machine is in sleep, it uses a fraction of a single watt. Yes, this is obviously more than zero (completely off), but when you cold boot a system, it uses many times more power.

    As a side benefit, you get back to where you left off almost instantly because sleep combines standby with hibernation.
    Reply
  • Griswold - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    Oh so wrong. Why would a cold boot use more power? Because the HDDs spin up? Going from sleep to full on does the same. Because the OS has to be loaded from the HDD? Sleep mode also writes to disk. And thats actually it. This is a computer, not an engine that uses more fuel at startup than when it runs. Reply
  • stash - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    When you can resume from sleep in a few seconds compared to 45-60 seconds from a cold boot, then yes, a cold boot uses much more power. Reply
  • johnsonx - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    Stash, your logic is faulty. Please give up.
    Reply
  • stash - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    Why should I give up? How is my logic faulty. Reply
  • smitty3268 - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    <I>Is Expose the same as the new compiz and XGL?</I>

    No, that is more like the Aero interface or OSX's Quartz Extreme. Expose lets you hit a button and then automatically scales and moves every window so that you can see them all and pick out which program you want to use. Think of it as a replacement for ALT-TAB. There is a plugin in compiz that does the same thing.
    Reply
  • Locutus465 - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    Not sure what your issues with 3D were, I only skimmed the artical so I'm sure which video card you used... But it's possible that if you're using ATI you experienced problems due to their drivers. I've seen many more ATI issues in the MS groups than nVida. My 7800GT has no problem with 1600x1200 (full 3d acceloration, no apparent crashing). My only concern wth Vista 64 is drivers... As of right now there's no driver avaailable for the Promies Ultra100TX2 controller card which is a huge issue for me as I have my secondary drive (used to store installers and as my page file drive in XP). I hope MS manages to convince to support 64b as well as 32b is supported. When I do upgrade to Vista, it will be to 64b. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    Page 10: using 6800 Ultra card.

    The problem is both with drivers (64-bit are still being worked on), the OS (still being worked on), and resource requierments are increased under 64-bit mode. Compatibility with various hardware is already worse with Vista, but 64-bit mode is even worse still. Can they fix it before shipping? Hopefully, and one way or another we're going 64-bit in the future.

    It could be that other test systems would be more or less stable, but with a preview of Vista Beta 2 that's really too much extra work. The article was already over 12000 words, so trying it out on five other platforms would make this monolithic task even more daunting. The bottom line is that Vista is still interesting, but it's definitely not ready for release. There's a good reason it has been delayed until 2007, just like the XP x64 delays in the past.
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    We have tested Vista with both ATI and NVIDIA drivers and see similar issues between the two. While the numbers were gathered under NVIDIA hardware, we are confident that the same patterns would emerge with ATI at this point in time. Reply
  • Locutus465 - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    Well, weird... I've had my share of beta issues but thus far Glass + 3D acceleration hasn't been one of them. I have noticed that installing QuickTime 7 on Vista (at least in my case) renders Vista Ultimite 64 unbootable. Reply
  • rqle - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    dont really need bad memory module, overclock the memory just a tad bit to give errors while keeping the cpu clock constant or known stable clock. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    That still only works if the memory fails. Plenty of DIMMs can handle moderate overclocks. Anyway, it's not a huge deal I don't think - something that can sometimes prove useful if you're experiencing instabilities and think the RAM is the cause, but even then I've had DIMMs fail MemTest86 when it turned out the be a motherboard issue... or simply bad timings in the BIOS. Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Saturday, June 17, 2006 - link

    Erm, no. Just overclock and/or use tighter-timings on a known good module beyond the point at which it is 100% stable. It might still seem okay in general usage but Memtest86 will spot problems with it. Now see if Vista's memory tester also spots problems with it. Pretty straightforward to test. Reply
  • xFlankerx - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    I love how I was browsing the website, and I just refresh the page, and there's a brand new article there...simply amazing. Reply
  • xFlankerx - Friday, June 16, 2006 - link

    Masterful piece of work though. Excellent Job. Reply

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