Monthly Archives: March 2006

Windows Live Messenger Final UI Screenshots from LiveSide.net

 
Quote:
"Yes I’m posting yet another screenshot, this time of the expected Windows Live Messenger final UI.

– Yes the UI looks must better, no bleaching!
– Note the new status icons, a cross between old and new.
– The two new icons at the top of the contact list refer to the new VOIP and VoiceMail features coming to Windows Live Messenger. I’ll be posting more information on this shortly :-)"

 
Read the rest here
 
Cool screenshots, I am finally having confidence in this release of Messenger.

22 Comments

Filed under MSN Spaces

Windows Vista Capable PC Hardware Guidelines

 
Quote:
"Windows Vista Capable PCs facilitate the transition to Windows Vista by providing hardware requirements and guidelines to customers so they can make informed decisions on purchasing and deploying PCs capable of running Windows Vista before Windows Vista launches. Providing guidance on Windows Vista Capable PC hardware requirements reassures customers that their near-term PC investments will retain their value after Windows Vista is available.

Hardware requirements and recommendations for the Windows Vista Capable PCs have been selected to ensure that PC systems and components that fit these criteria will run Windows Vista and will enable the next generation of Windows applications. Enterprise Planning Guidelines are based on these hardware requirements and recommendations. By using these guidelines to procure PC system hardware, customers should be able to deploy systems that will upgrade well to Windows Vista after the launch of Windows Vista. In this way, customers can protect their PC investments today."

Read the rest here

An excellent read that provides some improved clarity on hardware support for Windows Vista. Also check out the link to a list of ‘modern CPUs’ that support Windows Vista. This has not been very clear to be honest, but I would say its finally begining to show.

13 Comments

Filed under Vista Tips & Tricks

Microsoft Ends Week of Delays with New Vista Test Build

 
Quote:
"Windows Vista is running behind schedule, but that doesn’t mean the Vista test process has ground to a halt.

On Friday afternoon, March 24, Microsoft will release a new test build of Vista to its TAP (Technology Adoption Partner) elite tester pool, as well as to TechBeta testers, Microsoft officials confirmed.

The company will not make the new 5342 build available to a wider audience, however.

"The code is currently going through the final stages of testing and will be published to http://connect.microsoft.com for access by TAP customers, when testing is complete," a Microsoft spokesperson said."

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I am running Windows Vista Ultimate Build 5342 right now. How would I best descibe it? Awesome! Its faster, more responsive and there are some cool effects, plus a new snipping tool for taking screenshots and cropping them. There are also some nice window animations and fade in-out log in animation. I posted some screenshots over at ActiveWin.com, you can check them out here

5 Comments

Filed under Windows Vista

Vista Delay Is No PC Worry, IDC Says

From eWeek
 
Quote:
"The late arrival of Microsoft’s Windows Vista isn’t expected to wield a serious blow to PC shipments, a new report by IDC says.

The software giant on March 21 said it would delay the general release of Vista, its next-generation operating system for PCs, to January 2007. The OS had been scheduled for wide release this fall, although Microsoft said it would offer large businesses the code to upgrade to Vista in November.

The decision will have some impact on PC shipments, but it will be limited, as businesses aren’t likely to change their plans-most will evaluate the OS for at least a year before rolling it out-following the change. Consumer PCs will feel the brunt of the blow. But even that could be smaller than originally thought, IDC said, as part of a regular update of its worldwide PC shipment forecast.

"Some consumers will certainly delay PC purchases until Vista is available, but we expect the delay to shift only moderate volume from the fourth quarter of 2006 into 2007 and will not cause a loss of sales," said Loren Loverde, director of IDC’s Worldwide PC Tracker, in Framingham, Mass., in a statement. "The timing of the release will have some impact on when consumers buy, but not so much on whether or not they buy."

Read the rest here

I have to honestly say that the delay of Windows Vista until January 2007 has made a slight impact on my next PC purchase. I will probably not be purchasing a new computer until around March 2007, just at least wait it out and see what type of machines are available on the market with OS pre-loaded, I will not be only looking at Dell, but other PC manufacturers such as Gateway, HP, Toshiba and Acer, since I am in the market specifically for Tablet PC. I want a really powerful notebook, with lots RAM, good graphics, hopefully 64-bit and nice display.

In the mean time, what I will probably do is upgrade the graphics card in my present PC’s to better support some of Vista’s exclusive features such as Aero Glass user experience. I notice that the OS gets a bit groggy after opening up a total of 20 windows.

3 Comments

Filed under Windows Vista

Spyware-killing Vista could take out rivals

From ZDNET
 
Quote:
"There’s a software product coming that has the potential to demote spyware from a security priority to an afterthought: Windows Vista.

Spyware has become a serious security problem for users of Microsoft’s operating system over the past years, giving rise to a host of third-party tools to fight the insidious software. But perhaps the best defensive program has yet to ship, some analysts believe.

Microsoft later this year plans to release Windows Vista, the long-awaited successor to Windows XP. The operating system is being designed to shut the door on spyware. It will introduce important changes at the heart of the operating system, as well as to Internet Explorer, and include Windows Defender, an anti-spyware tool."

Read the rest here

My say

I believe integrating AntiSpyware and to a certain extent Antivirus technologies into Windows is just a logical step for Microsoft to better protect users against these vulnerabilities. Windows long ago became a main target for hackers, virus writers and now Spyware and Phishing. Having fundamental security built in is not contreversial, a lot users don’t have these essential utilities (AntiVirus, AntiSpyware and AntiPhishing) installed, so making it easier for the user is just the best way to prevent future criticism of the Company, distrust in the Company’s software, but also plain frustration that many face when malicious code is installed on their systems. Removing malicious code is not fun, sometimes it requires drastic measures such doing a clean install.

Microsoft is making a commendable effort with the approach to Security in Windows Vista, yes, it may seem unfair to the third party developers who found a cottage industry in Windows, but its definitely unfair to the users who don’t have the basic knowledge to protect their computers and data, Windows Vista provides that security advantage out of the box. There is still a role for third party Security developers to play as most users and companies will not be willing to put all their eggs in one basket (Microsoft), looking back on the Company’s lack luster Security past.

But at least they are making an effort to regain most that trust lost over the past 3 years and innovate at the same time, cool features such as UAC (User Account Protection), finally removing the need for a user to have complete access to the system, Windows Defender, protection from Spyware and malicious browser objects, Internet Explorer (Protected Mode), which prevents malicious code from entering the system by sand boxing it to on the IE cache. Just some of the many changes in Security in Windows Vista and I think this give businesses and users more confidence to trust their data to Microsoft, we have been for years and look at what we have been through.

11 Comments

Filed under Windows Vista

Changing the Windows Vista user interface to Windows Classic

Here I present to you my second Windows Vista Tip, explaining how to change the Windows Vista user interface to the Windows Classic interface, first introduced in Windows 95. The tutorial teaches how to navigate around the Windows Vista user interface and introduces you to some the new elements such as Personalization Explorer and the change from the Display Settings to the new individual Panel based dialogs. Please note that this is still pre-liminary is likely to change by BETA 2 and even before RTM.
 
 

100 Comments

Filed under Vista Tips & Tricks

Will your PC keep pace with Vista?

 
Quote:
"How does Windows Vista love thy computer? Let it count the ways.

Microsoft is building into the new operating system a tool that will rate a PC based on how well it is running and on how much it can take advantage of Vista’s capabilities.

The "Windows Performance Rating," which can be seen in the latest test version of the operating system, evaluates components such as the processor, the memory, the hard drive and graphics cards to come up with an overall score.

Read the rest here

Well, both of my computers a desktop and a laptop have gotten 2 and 1 respectively. I probably would have gotten a 3 on the desktop if I had more hard disk space. I am running Windows Vista 5308 on a 10GB partition which barely enough for the latest CTP which eats hefty 8GBs of hard disk space. I suspect the size has a lot to do with the plethora of drivers the OS comes with, hopefully this will be trimmed down in subsequent builds and utilize Microsoft and Windows Update to install the latest compatible Vista drivers.

Performance rating is quite nice though, especially in 5308, in prior builds it was really rough around edges, but its working nicely now though. I definitely need to remerge some partitions and redistributes some free space so I can get a better rating.

3 Comments

Filed under Windows Vista