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Windows Vista article


smyke89

It was about time to test Windows Vista...

Part 1 : Introduction and History

 

After 5 years of waiting, the most promoted version of the Windows operating system has finally seen the light.

 

In 1995, Microsoft has launched a product that was to become famous and contribute fully to IT developing by introducing a series of new facilities, meant to simplify and enrich the multimedia experience of the final user, a critical point of OS of that period: Windows 95. Its launch has been made with an unprecedented marketing campaign, meant to promote the new platform’s advantages

12 years later, another big marketing campaign worth 500 million $ was launched to clear the way for the most promoted, commented on and awaited operating system in IT history : Windows Vista

Launched at the end of November for business clients that already held multivolume licensing contracts and 2 months after for the final clients, this launch is the result of 5 years and a half of hard work. Its developing process that was not always on the right path and that has sometimes moments when it was going in the wrong direction (moments followed by radical changes) has reach it’s objective, offering us the newest and brightest Microsoft product.

From Concept To Reality

 

Developing the Longhorn project has started in May 2001, a few months before the launch of Microsoft XP. Initially, this project was supposed to give birth (sometime at the end of 2003) to an operating system was supposed to bring a lot of minor improvements on the pathway to a radical change, by its name, Blackcomb. In the following 2 years, the effort of the main developing teams was oriented to actualizing XP Service Pack 2 and Windows 2003. We can say that these efforts have left Longhorn on pause, because it was developing slowly and not being able to generate a lot of noise from the few that had the chance to test the early versions.

After the launch of three undistinguished test versions in 2001-2003, that have presented only minor improvements from Windows XP, but also an early version of the 3d engine that allowed an early, full of errors and simple version of the Aero engine to run, the fourth test versions was done. Launched in February 2003, the test version 4008 has included a new installation routine, a new theme as opposed to the previous versions, as well as the functionality of Windows Explorer, as well as an integration of the WinFS file system. Here was also for the first time present the famous Sidebar, which was rapidly copied and implemented by particular developers, willing to give an early Longhorn view to the millions of XP users.

Until the middle of 2004 (considered now a turning point in Vista evolution, Microsoft has launched another 3 versions, these introducing varied facilities, very few managing to make it to the end.

The last trimester of 2003 had Microsoft facing a cruel reality: Longhorn wasn’t heading anywhere. More than that, in an interview for the Wall Street Journal, the vice-president James Allchin has declared that Longhorn is on the edge of collapse. This problem has been a result of no clear objective and of the integration of a large number of incompatible facilities. This was the turning point in which the chaotic developing of Longhorn was stopped, in which the XP source code was abandoned for the Windows 2003 Service Pack 1 source code. What followed is well known and is a part of modern history. After 2 test versions, in July 2005, the first test version Beta 1 of what was going to be Windows Vista was launched, an occasion to abandon the Longhorn name for “Vista”. Then 7 Community Preview intermediary versions came out, followed by the Beta 2, the version which brought a breeze of fresh air. Since its launch in May 2006 until the final launch in November the same year only a step remained.

Maybe some of you may wonder what happened to Windows Blackcomb. Pushed up the axe of time by the delays and indecisions that characterized Windows Vista, crippled of facilities and stretched by the Image Department, it was renamed Windows Vienna and was put on the end of the line. All that is currently known about it is that it will be for both client and server, it will be for both 32 and 64 bits and it will have a new interface, known as Vibe. The date of launch? Somewhere between 2009 and 2012


issdiscovery04

Ok, as a concept Vista sounded like a great decision and as a great upgrade to the Windows line of Operating Systems. However, M$ didn't do a very good job of actually turning that concept into reality. For an operating system that has many similarities in code to XP, Vista does not perform very well under any circumstances.


xboxrulz1405241485

true, but it included some important security aspects which I would rather run Windows Vista than Windows XP.Like I can still run standard user and install/remove software by entering a password so that I don't need to constantly be on an admin account and/or I don't need to keep logging into another account to do system-wide changes.M$ is smart on copying UNIX for this.xboxrulz


smyke89

PART 2 : A user friendly installation

 

 

The efforts made to provide the user with a simpler installation will be noticed since you first start the Vista’s installation routine. The user will be pleased that the hated text mode has disappeared, the only second in which the monitor will be on VGA mode being those when you initialize the boot routines and you mount the image from the unique Windows Vista DVD (one DVD contains all available versions, and you just type the serial number, and the corresponding version is installed).

 

This pick will allow the user to use much easier the partition management, but the most important and most expected facility being the driver search button, that installs the drivers needed for the installation of unrecognized disk controllers. To search the drivers you can access any partition or any external drive that is recognized by the setup routine, and that means the floppy will no longer be used. With this occasion, the user can notice that Windows Vista can be installed only on a NTFS partition. The old Fat32 no longer supported as a file system for the system drive.

 

The setup will give the user less options, he is able to pick the language and make regional settings. After introducing the serial number given by the producer and signing the Terms of Use, Vista is ready for the setup.

 

The time it takes to perform this operation is really short.30 minutes have passed from the start of the boot operation until the first login. This is a result of the packaging mode of the whole installation kit. Unlike other versions, the slow stage of copying files to the disk is not present here. The DVD contains a complete image of the operating system and the setup just copies the 8 GB of data from the DVD to the hard disk and then makes the boot setup.

 

The advantage of using this packaging mode, based on WIM images (Windows Image) will allow the installation on multiple computers with the use of centralized solutions or manually, without the need of recreating a DVD image when you make changes with the tool Microsoft developed : Image X. More than that, Windows Vista is no longer dependent of software modules, thus a image created on a computer can be placed and installed on any other computer.

 

After this steps and the system reboot, you make the first user account, you run the performance measuring tests (which gives results useful only to Ultimate users, the only ones that have access to the WinSAT tool), and then you are faced with the desktop.


delivi

that is a great description about Windows Vista than for sharing your review.

mitchellmckain

When I bought a new computer at the end of last year I paid for the certificate that would allow me to get the vista upgrade in the mail. My plan was to install vista on an insertable drive so that I could see it first hands without putting myself in its hands.However when I got my 64 bit Business Vista CD from Microsoft and proceded to install it, I hit a major stumbling block as far as actually using this version of windows on this computer. The driver CD that came with this P5WD2/P5LD2 Series computer, which among other things, installs the drivers for the on board sound, is refused by Windows Vista because it is not digitally signed. Well since I am not willing to do without sound, that pretty much makes Windows Vista completely useless to me.This is a bit flabbergasting! Shouldn't the decision about whether things must be digitally signed like other questions of security be a decision that is left up to us? Of course the makers of the motherboard needs to make a version of their installation disk that works with Windows vista. But I must wonder about this digital signing business. Is this another example of the monopolistic tyranny of the evil Microsoft empire. Is this digital signing something that companies have pay or even wait upon Microsoft for?


issdiscovery04

When I bought a new computer at the end of last year I paid for the certificate that would allow me to get the vista upgrade in the mail. My plan was to install vista on an insertable drive so that I could see it first hands without putting myself in its hands.
However when I got my 64 bit Business Vista CD from Microsoft and proceded to install it, I hit a major stumbling block as far as actually using this version of windows on this computer. The driver CD that came with this P5WD2/P5LD2 Series computer, which among other things, installs the drivers for the on board sound, is refused by Windows Vista because it is not digitally signed. Well since I am not willing to do without sound, that pretty much makes Windows Vista completely useless to me.


Of course if these CDs don't work with Windows Vista, its not the manufacturer's fault. M$ has a bad habit of changing things randomly and without letting manufacturers know about these changes. Also, as for your driver that isn't signed there are ways around that. There are two methods that can fix that rather quickly. Sometimes Vista will ask you if recognize the software and will allow you to proceed after you verify that you recognize the driver. As of now, nobody has any idea why Vista sometimes gives this option and sometimes it doesn't. The funny thing is that the same driver may work on one installation of vista and then it won't work on another. The easiest way to get past this is to just disable UAC (User Access Control). UAC is responsible for the annoying pop-ups that verify that you want to execute this and that. Also, this annoying software has control over the drivers.

joe.k

ok..a good reviw about vista but let's take the reality facts ... it has been published since jan/2007 (the final release) but be serious i hace tried it and for me i think it needs alot of work to make it take the "perfect path"..the only thing that considered me when i downloaded Vista was compatiblity ... alot of softwares do not work on Vista and some companies still didnt relase Vista compatible or even a Vista drivers for thier Pc parts.And another thing that you should consider .... like when i tested the "Final" release it got me an Unexpected erorrs like (blue window) or even worse i had a "unexpect graphic card crash" even i it's new(Geforece 6200Gs)...-Joe


nightfox1405241487

ok..a good reviw about vista but let's take the reality facts ... it has been published since jan/2007 (the final release) but be serious i hace tried it and for me i think it needs alot of work to make it take the "perfect path"..the only thing that considered me when i downloaded Vista was compatiblity ... alot of softwares do not work on Vista and some companies still didnt relase Vista compatible or even a Vista drivers for thier Pc parts.

And another thing that you should consider .... like when i tested the "Final" release it got me an Unexpected erorrs like (blue window) or even worse i had a "unexpect graphic card crash" even i it's new(Geforece 6200Gs)...

-Joe


Well, lets see how well Vista is when SP1 comes out. I've been using Vista for a while and the only problems I have with it are Dreamweaver, Adobe Flash (just with Firefox, IE7 works no problems) and Apple Quicktime. Other than that, no problems.

[N]F

Alegis

For an operating system that has many similarities in code to XP, Vista does not perform very well under any circumstances.

Excuse me? Care to give an example of said similiar code? Stating it is different (performance) yet similiar in code isn't consequent, even considering above statement isn't worded well.

I think the problem here is that many are unaware of features (which is apparent by them stating it isn't a worthy new version) and FUD that has been spread.
Here is a great in-depth review of said features, compatibility, performance, improvements and so on:
http://winsupersite.com/windows/windows-vista-0

And btw, 1990 called. They want their $ used for the letter S back.

smyke89

PART 3 : AERO

 

The most interesting change brought by Windows Vista is, without any doubt, the graphical interface. Even tough users with low computer resources or conservative users can’t say they did not (or wont) admire the new look at least for a few hours.

The AERO name is in fact an acronym, meaning (as Microsoft declared) Authentic, Energetic, Reflective and Open. It does not make a lot of sense, and that leaves the impression that this was spontaneously transformed in an acronym.

 

The new interface is offered in two flavors. The first one, Vista Basic, is the default theme for Windows Vista Home, but it is used also in the case of using a too poor graphical card to run fluently the complete version, Vista Aero, also known as Aero Glass to separate it from its little and unattractive sister. The latter is the interface Windows uses to try and impress and attract clients. And to be honest, they succeeded

 

The minimize and maximize animations are fluent and quick, the transparency effect of the former title bar and of the window borders is discrete and elegant, combining a high-resolution animation with the actual content of the desktop under the active window, and it varies depending of this to maintain an easy to read title. But above these visual tricks, I was impressed by all the facilities of a completely 3D desktop. Both Flip, (the replacement for the Task switch (ALT+TAB)) and FLIP 3D (the 3d version, accessed by WIN+Tab) are capable to give you real time previews of the open windows, a facility you will also find within the small preview windows obtained by placing the mouse over the task bar button of a minimized application.

 

But if you want critics, you can talk about the colors Microsoft chooses. Even tough you may choose other colors for the windows (either by choosing a theme or by changing individual colors from the color mixer) there are visual elements that you cannot change the color of, and those buttons have colors you may not like. The buttons used for controlling the windows (minimize, maximize, close) have the same color for all the themes, abusing of bright colors and glowing effects that are not amongst the most inspired ones. Even the famous START button has disappeared, being replaced by a blue glob, with the Vista logo on it, as bright and as colored as the buttons mentioned before.

 

Aero is just an interface, just like Luna (with it’s modes : blue, gray and khaki ) was for Windows XP. All these graphical tricks would not of been capable possible without the true wizard : DWM. On it’s complete name : Desktop Window Manager, it is a new graphical engine (Desktop Composer), meant to control the display mode, to manage graphical information generated by the applications and to generate 3D surfaces needed for an effective display.

 

Like the Quartz Compositor graphical engine for MacOS X, DWM uses the same display techniques , the difference appears at the level of hardware acceleration interfaces. If Quartz uses OpenGL, DWM uses DirectX. Technically, the graphical information generated by the applications are not shown directly on screen, but drawn and kept in an off-screen buffer zone, and then they are modified and shown as textures applied on 3D surfaces.


faulty.lee

IMHO, i think vista sucks. First of all, it force us to buy new hardware, even though our old hardware is working happily for us all these while. Then it eats out quite a lot of resources just for the user interface alone. A lot of incompatibility with other software of stuffs like that.


xboxrulz1405241485

Luna sucked big time, I like the look and feel of Aero than Luna anytime.xboxrulz


sparkx

Sadly to say, In about 3 or 4 years all the schools will have the windows vista and we will be forced to use them. I don't see why most librarys and schools don't start getting macs. They are a lot safer and you can't mess them up since most files relating to the system can't be opened with a word pad (unlike windows). The OS 10 is probably a better thing to get then the vista because you don't need to upgrade your hardware. The vista uses too much memory also. If it where smaller, I would probably get it.Thanks,Sparkx


xboxrulz1405241485

Sadly to say, In about 3 or 4 years all the schools will have the windows vista and we will be forced to use them. I don't see why most librarys and schools don't start getting macs. They are a lot safer and you can't mess them up since most files relating to the system can't be opened with a word pad (unlike windows). The OS 10 is probably a better thing to get then the vista because you don't need to upgrade your hardware. The vista uses too much memory also. If it where smaller, I would probably get it.Thanks,
Sparkx


Have you ever used a text editor called "nano" in Macs? It's the exact same thing as Notepad where you can edit things in the system.

Anyways, I've seen a lot of schools considering changing to Linux and Mac. Furthermore, there IS a smaller Mac. It's called Mac Mini.

http://forums.xisto.com/no_longer_exists/ (Canadian Store)

xboxrulz

Alegis

Sadly to say, In about 3 or 4 years all the schools will have the windows vista and we will be forced to use them.

What? Will we be forced to use a newer version of Windows on other systems that is more stable and user friendly? THIS IS MADNESS!! Save the children!

I don't see why most librarys and schools don't start getting macs. They are a lot safer

There are plenty more reasons to purchase a system than security, especially since many schools and libraries already use filters to block certain aspects of internet. You won't easily find mac or exotic Operating Systems installed on public machines because of compatibility and people knowing how to use it. I hope you realize this argument doesn't hold much value.

and you can't mess them up since most files relating to the system can't be opened with a word pad (unlike windows).

Excuse me? You haven't heard of user accounts then. It's simple, the account people use to do their stuff is not an administrator account. They won't be able to change system files and you can opt to make sure they can't install programs.

The OS 10 is probably a better thing to get then the vista because you don't need to upgrade your hardware.

Oh yeah, rather than upgrading the hardware we'll just throw everything away and buy new, more expensive, macs. You're a financial genius.

xboxrulz1405241485

What? Will we be forced to use a newer version of Windows on other systems that is more stable and user friendly? THIS IS MADNESS!! Save the children!
There are plenty more reasons to purchase a system than security, especially since many schools and libraries already use filters to block certain aspects of internet. You won't easily find mac or exotic Operating Systems installed on public machines because of compatibility and people knowing how to use it. I hope you realize this argument doesn't hold much value.
Excuse me? You haven't heard of user accounts then. It's simple, the account people use to do their stuff is not an administrator account. They won't be able to change system files and you can opt to make sure they can't install programs.
Oh yeah, rather than upgrading the hardware we'll just throw everything away and buy new, more expensive, macs. You're a financial genius.


1.) True, however, Macs have their own up sides to it. It is open-sourced and UNIX based, so it would be great for those libraries who are still running UNIX.
2.) True, however, admins can still change a lot of operating system files. Sadly, most Windows users are running on admin accounts.
3.) lol, good argument. Even though, I love Macs, I have to say that it's a flaw.

xboxrulz

sparkx

Have you ever used a text editor called "nano" in Macs? It's the exact same thing as Notepad where you can edit things in the system.

 

Anyways, I've seen a lot of schools considering changing to Linux and Mac. Furthermore, there IS a smaller Mac. It's called Mac Mini.

 

http://forums.xisto.com/no_longer_exists/ (Canadian Store)

 

xboxrulz

I have never heard of Mac mini or nano text editor. I still think that macs are safer simply because they don't have anoying firewalls that take up lots of CPU. Thats the biggest problem with most windows computers and also the fact you can edit the register without knowing what your doing. If someone ever findes a good way to keep windows xp or vista safe without waisting soo much cpu could you p.m. me. I currently use zone alarm on xp. Maby with the new upgrades costing soo much more schools and librarys will switch to the Macantosh Apple OS 10.

Thanks,

Sparkx



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