Build 5308 Tastes Great

February 26, 2006


There are an amazing number of Windows Vista (February CTP) reviews available on the net. I won’t try and cover as much ground as everyone else has done. So if you want a good review, just on over to Paul Thurott’s SuperSite. And if you want some great screenshots, PC Mag has a slew of snapshots. And there are hundreds more.

So I will tell you what I’ve seen and found.

1. My pragma on interim builds is simple. I don’t have mulitple machines. So I have multiple primary partiitons (thanks to Symantec’s Partition Magic). I installed 5308 in my second partition. I’ll try the “upgrade” from an existing partition at a later date.

2. I installed from my running WinXP SP2 system. The install routine loaded many gigabytes from the DVD before rebooting and installing. But the install process was simple and fairly automatic. I love that. I still remember when I installed systems from mag tapes. But the worst installs took several dozen 3.5″ disks. I remember my first OS/2 Warp install. It took forever because I had to sit there the entire time while the install program greddily demanded more disks. One DVD sure beats feeding disks. But I will say that the progress bar moved very slowly. And there were a couple of points where I thought the install was hung. It wasn’t. And the install was relatively seamless.

3. On my first official reboot after install, I was expecting a beautiful display highlighting Aero Glass. Nope. My video wasn’t supported with the drivers from the DVD. Fortunately, nVidia released drivers on Friday. So once I downloaded and installed them, I had a beautiful display featuring full transparency. It is very cool indeed!

4. I still have to download the audio drivers for my Toshiba. And the rumor has it that we might even see some functioning Bluetooth drivers at any time. But for now, I’m connected via WiFi, And my new laser mouse worked from its initial installation. My fancy new phone connects w/o a single problem. I will need to install Office in order to have full synchronization. But for now, my phone doesn’t mind the new system one bit. Too bad the Bluetooth drivers aren’t available for the M4. It would be nice to sync w/o wires.

5. I really like the sidebar. The widgets seem to work very well. And I can’t wait for the client community to develop a library as rich as the Yahoo! Widgets library.

6. I am finally getting used to the features in IE7. I use IE7 in WinXP. But one of the key featurs wasn’t really visible until this build. The new IE uses a completely new RSS feed store. And there are many other applications [in Vista] that now use the consolidated feed store. I think I relly like the RSS sidebar widget. I was able to spin through all the feeds that I had previously subscribed to within IE7. Oh well. I guess I’m a sucker for gizmos.

There is a whole lot more that I need to explore – including all of the features that will excite the enterprise security and management crowd. And I really want to dig into the multimedia experience (ala, Media Center capabilites). But for now, you can color me impressed.




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