Monthly Archives: July 2006

A Closer Look at Windows Vista Build 5472 x64

"Starting in early 2007, Microsoft will launch the release of Windows Vista, its first major operating system upgrade since Windows XP (2001). The BETA 2 release of the OS I tested has shown tremendous improvements in areas such as stability, allowing for the ability to use it on a daily basis. Like its predecessor Windows XP, Vista has improved deployment options and device driver detection; these options have proven to be very user friendly and reduced the time it takes to get Windows up and running.

Of course, Windows Vista is still rough around the edges and there is a lot to be said about the performance which is no where near that of Windows XP. A new feature User Access Control is sure to cause more annoyance than its intended purpose which is to protect users; Windows Vista will be available in six editions."

Read the entire preview here

Related Links & Resources

Windows Connected Getting Ready for Windows Vista BETA 2 – Quickstarter/Guide

Windows Vista 5308 – A Mature Release (ActiveWin – Part I)

Windows Vista 5270 – A Look At Some of the Progress So Far
Windows Vista 5231 – Testing, Testing…

Windows Vista 5219 (September CTP) – The Inspection

Windows Vista Beta 1 (Build 5112) – The Inspection
Longhorn Build 5048 – The Inspection
Longhorn – A Very Delicate Subject
The Progress of Windows Longhorn
Longhorn Build 5203 – An Analysis
Vista: A Scenic View Into The Future of Windows


Filed under My Articles

A Burning Issue – The Fight for UI Consistency in Windows/Applications

Just checked out two great posts about the lack of effort that is being poured into some parts of the Windows interface. Example one, the Add Font dialog which Tekmaven of notes has been around since Windows 3.1. Nothing has changed, no utilization of Wizards or an updated dialog that shows the improvements that have been added to Windows over the years.


One of those things is the "Add Fonts" dialog, straight from Windows 3.1.  This dialog has been in Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000, and Windows XP.  I think it’s time for an update, but aparently this is not on any list at Microsoft :).

Check out the post here 


And it’s a guarantee that at this stage of development in Windows Vista there won’t be a chance of the Windows Team updating it.


Brandon Leblanc also jumps in on the issue about the UI consistency that continues to plague Windows applications, especially Windows Vista. Some apps such as Mail, Calendar use a different theme from Media Player, MovieMaker and Photo Gallery.


The colors between different "types" of applications is a neat idea but I think the blue is just too much. And I don’t think that the average user is going to even be able to figure out why the apps have different colored toolbars.

 Check out the post here


As for Office 2007, have you all seen the non ribbon apps? They are so mismatched! Although I know Visio, Publisher, InfoPath and Project don’t have any need right now for the ribbon UI, at least keep some consistency going with the themes.


Outlook 2007 is a non-ribbon app and it uses the XP Blue or Vista Black theme when you change it in one of the core apps. Why limit the customization to just Access, PPT, Excel and Word.


Although there should be an understanding about applications designed for a specific purpose, where the look and feel provides a better experience when getting work done it doesn’t necessarily mean because it’s a new version it should necessarily be radical, as is the case with some elements of the Office 2007 applications.


Filed under Windows Vista

TheVista.Ru Showing Screenshots of Windows Vista BUILD 5479

Windows Vista Build 5479 and Office 2007 (PowerPoint 2007 – Silver Bullet theme)
A new build of Windows Vista seems to be out on the loose, showing of some new elements of the Windows Vista interface, including a glimpse of Office 2007 applications with the new executables and visuals. There is not much to see apart from the new Office icons and a new Weather Gadget on the Sidebar.
Check out the other screenshots here


Filed under Windows Vista

Microsoft vows to play fair

"WASHINGTON–Microsoft pledged on Wednesday that all of its future operating systems, including Windows Vista, will abide by self-imposed rules aimed at bolstering choice and competition.

The voluntary principles will come into play after major parts of a U.S. government decree related to the landmark U.S. antitrust case against the software maker expire next year, said Brad Smith, general counsel at Microsoft. They focus on the freedoms that users, manufacturers and developers can expect in Windows Vista and its successors."

Read the rest here

Fair or not, the decision is still left in the hands of the consumer/business to choose Windows. Its not an issue of dependency, its just the choice and quality that comes from the Windows Platform, so far, users feel more comfortable and secure with that.  


Filed under Windows Vista

The first set of Windows Vista Install Scores are In!

The installation results for Windows Vista Ultimate (x86) build 5472 are in. I was able to get the OS installed on two of my systems, a Desktop and Laptop. I still have not downloaded the x64 build of Vista 5472, so the results for that will come later during the week or some time next week.


System Specs: Desktop

Dell Dimension 8300 (March 2004)

3.2 GHz Pentium 4 with HT (32-Bit)

2.6 GBs of RAM

nVidia Geforce FX 5200 128 MB AGP


Install Time:

04 mins: Setup

26 mins: Copying Files

18 mins: Expanding Files

04 mins: (Restart) Continuing Setup

01 mins: Installing Updates

01 mins: Restart

01 mins: Please wait a moment while Windows prepares to start for the first time.

04 mins: Completing Installation

01 mins: Restart

01 mins: Please wait while Windows checks the performance of your Computer.


Total time: 1hr 1min (61 mins)


Obviously this is not a major improvement and more of a step back from past builds which had install times down to 34 minutes. It’s a regression really and I am hoping for changes to this in at least the RC1 release and maybe something more in the RTM release.


System Specs: Laptop

Dell Latitude c840 (September 2003)

2.0 GHz Pentium 4 M

768 MBs of RAM

nVidia Geforce4 440 Go 32 MB


Install Time:

04 mins: Setup

09 mins: Copying Files

14 mins: Expanding Files

03 mins: (Restart) Continuing Setup

01 mins: Installing Updates

03 mins: Restart

04 mins: Please wait a moment while Windows prepares to start for the first time.

14 mins: Completing Installation

01 mins: Restart

04 mins: Please wait while Windows checks the performance of your Computer.


Total time: 57 mins


Again, not impressive, but we must also take into account, this is an interim release of Windows Vista, not a milestone build like BETA 2 or what RC1 will be. I agree, it’s not something to call home about, but the operating system in general has shown some increase in performance, its more responsive, windows pop up and applications launch much faster, which makes it a pleasant experience for daily.


I can’t wait to try out the 64-bit version of Vista and relay my experiences here, still I am doubtful if I will be impressed, Vista overall continues to be refined, and this release is just one step in the journey towards the final release. 


Filed under My Articles

Who ever did these icons – I love you!

Windows Vista Setup Icon
Images courtesy of Microsoft Corp., thanks to Utakz for the hi-res pictures.
I had to point these out, two of the many new/updated icons in Windows Vista. Setup and User folder are two great designs that showcase the amazing talent coming out of the Windows Shell Team. The icons are fresh and unpredictable and as Brandon Leblanc says, a possible hint of what might be coming in the Vista packaging. You can see these icons and many others in the latest build 5472.5 available to MSDN, Technet and Microsoft Connect Technical Testers.


Filed under Windows Vista

The Office 2007 icons, which one is which one?

Just a quick note about the new Office 2007 icons, persons have been experiencing a little problem telling which icon is which application. So here are the names:
Top: Office Word, Office InfoPath, Office Outlook, Office Project, Office Publisher, Office PowerPoint
Bottom: Office Visio, Office Access, Office Excel, Office OneNote, Office Groove, Office Communicator


Filed under Office Productivity