Saturday, June 24, 2006

Microsoft Vista - First Look

Just installed the Beta release of Microsoft Vista. Needless to say, the visual experience is really good. But all that at the cost of CPU performance - I'm disappointed.

Let's start with the pros:
  • Really neat and pleasant layout. First of all, Windows as a OS is a GUI thingy and it scores full marks here. Even with all the gizmos shut down, the basic window layout (though kind of "inspired" from the KDE layouts) is different from the prev Windows layouts we have seen and is good. Good work.
  • Security features seem to have been improved. This is something about which Microsoft has been screaming out day after day. There are checks for almost every damn thing u do on ur PC. It is annoying for the normal user - I wudnt wanna click on the "Allow" button thrice to move a file from my Desktop to the Recycle Bin :(
  • Search options - plainly an extension of the Google Desktop, but I wudnt give points to either team coz we never know who thought abt it first :) Vista has been in design for so long. But it drives the point that tomorrow's computing will be search based. So they have worked on it and added a lot of features reg this. Much on this later.
  • That's what I've seen in the 30 mins I have used it.


  • The OS is CPU and memory intensive - to put it mildly. I have a P4 2.8G machine with 512 MB of RAM and it is just not enough. I guess I have to spend some money bumping up the RAM (Microsoft recommends 1 GB). Will update u folks on the difference once I can afford a RAM.
  • Installing your devices drivers and software cud be a big pain. I had to do some weird stuff to get my Sound Card (Creative 7.1 SB Live 24-bit) working, but yeah it works now. And luckily Microsoft uses its own device specific display driver. It does not even allow me to install my own driver for my display card (NVidia 5500 FX). But whatever has been installed is good enough, so no complaints. I guess it will be the same for all the display devices on the compatibility (or eligibility) list Microsoft has put out.
    • Update: Call it the advantage of investing in standard hardware, both my audio and video vendors have released drivers for Vista Beta and so i'm happee :) Still can't get sound thru all 5 of my speakers. Havent worked on it though - next weekend seems to be the time for it.
  • The busy protection mechanisms I mentioned above - it is irritating.
  • That's what I've seen in the 30 mins I have used it.
Overall - it is definitely an improvement over XP. I guess I shud use it some more to figure out more about it and make a conclusive judgment.

First look - Mixed emotions :)

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