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Anyone else running Vista yet?


ChrisBardon
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I noticed that the Windows Vista Ultimate RTM build showed up in MSDN last week, and since I hadn't really tried it since Beta 2, I thought I'd give the final build a shot. I created a new partition on one of my machines and gave it a spin over the weekend.

 

First off, if Vista is able to resize NTFS partitions, why can't the installer do it for you? Would just have been a nice feature to have, and would have meant that I didn't need to track down a copy of Partition magic. Either way, got the partitions dealt with, and installed without any real issues. Multiboot to XP is set up by default as long as you install Vista to a different partition than your XP drive. I also noticed that Vista now tries to optimize the environment for your particular hardware, which for my CPU meant turning off Aero by default. Had to re-enable it manually, since I wanted to check out the effects, and it didn't seem to choke the system last time. I'll have to see if that assumption holds though.

 

So far, so good, is the impression so far. I had a really hard time getting sound to work, since this vista build didn't seem to like my Creative SBLive (Beta 2, strangely enough, at least dealt with stereo). Eventually found a modded driver that at least got me basic audio playback (which is all I needed at the moment). Strike 2 for creative was the lack of drivers for my two mp3 players (a NJB3 and Zen Xtra)-hopefully they add support for these before the OS actually gets released to the public. Also had a hard time getting my firefox profile copied over-it turns out that Vista stores Application Data in both a "Local" and "roaming" directory, so you have to copy to the "roaming" one to get it to work. It wasn't near as much of a pain to get admin access to these folders this time though-the beta had a lot more permission headaches. Still prompts you for admin access all the time, but now it actually seems to work :)

 

The OS itself is really slick though, and I'm already liking the new start menu design with the integrated search. Instead of clicking through menus, you essentially have one big "run" command where you just type what you're looking for. Since I try to use keyboard shortcuts as much as possible, this is a very useful addition. I also haven't reverted everything to "classic" view (like I did with XP/Server 2003), since the Fisher-Price interface of XP seems to have grown up a little. Gone are the names like "My Documents" and the worst of all, "My Network places", replaced with much simpler, to the point explanations. Not sure if the Home Basic key would have changed anything, but at this point it seems that MS has assumed the average person is starting to get a little more comfortable with their computer.

 

The next step is trying to install more software on the Vista partition. Haven't got a lot of recent PC games, but I already read that there's a problem with Sam & Max on Vista, and I'll have to give Civ 4 a try to see if it still works. There's a new gaming section where Vista gives you a score for how good your machine is, so I'm guessing that "games for windows" will use this on the packaging. My machine scored a whopping 2.9 :) Firefox seems fine though, I got AVG working, and office 2007 is as good as ever. Not sure if the performance issues with Outlook have been fixed or not, but I'm sure I'll find out soon enough. The strange one for me is that Vista said there were problems with Visual Studio 2005, although is sounded like that was only there as a reminder to run it with elevated privileges.

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I'm running it as well as a second partition and I like it alot so far. Seems very stable, no issues coming out of sleep mode like beta 1 and all apps have installed fine so far. I did install NWN2 on mine and after updating video and sound drivers and updating the game to 1.02 patch and its working better than I expected. I wouldn't say its better than XP but, graphically (so far) it plays just as fast under Vista as under XP. Still some sound issues with the game but nothing too bad anymore and although driver support is still lacking for alot of my hardware, that has been improving daily.

 

As far as the interface changes and such - I like them for the most part. The new subfolders seem "cleaner" than XP's layout and the control panel is much more accesible now.

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Are you running the final version of Office 2007 Chris? I can't seem to find it on my MSDN site.

 

Strange, I was able to get the RTM image. Does your subscription include all that stuff, or just the Operating Systems (I think that's an option)?

 

Finally got the network run to the 360 last night, so I was able to try some of the media sharing features. Under XP, I was running WMConnect for music/photos, so I tried the integrated sharing in Media Payer this time around. Music works, photos work, but video only streams wmv. With Media Center though, I can stream the mpeg video that Videora spits out. Getting the extender set up tok a few minutes, but once it's running I was able to access all of the video content on my Xbox. The interface is a little slow to start up, but performance seemed OK once you actually have a video going. Only thing I'm not sure of is whether or not I have to leave the Media Center application (interface) running on the Vista machine now, or if I can just close that off and still have the 360 stream? Is there actually any processing done on the PC at this point or something, or is is just working as a file server? I'm really not all that familiar with the WMC architecture-all I know now is that I can batch convert video and run it to my 360 :)

 

The other thing I noticed was that my learning remote doesn't seem to want to operate my 360. I taught it all the signals, and it doesn't have a problem with any other devices, but the Xbox buttons only work about half the time (esp. the power button). Maybe I'll try reprogramming it again with fresh batteries, but I don't see any reason why it shouldn't work.

 

As for Vista, I wasn't able to get my Cisco VPN client to work on it, so I couldn't check to see if there were any changes to remote desktop. When does Vista Business actually street? I'm sure driver support will ramp up by then, and probably even more when Home and Ultimate street in January. Strange that there's the delay though, since the bits I installed were marked as RTM, and the key I used is for Ultimate.

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I'm installing Vista right now on a desktop that I had at work to test things with. I think our MSDN only has access to dev tools and stuff, so I'll have to wait on my Action Pack CD fills to come in soon.

 

so I couldn't check to see if there were any changes to remote desktop

There are changes to it and I find them horrible, especially for those of us who run multiple domains.

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There are changes to it and I find them horrible, especially for those of us who run multiple domains.

 

Care to elaborate? Really, all I'd like to see is a better way to switch to/from or activate a console session. I just have 2 shortcuts right now for machines that I want to control full screen (as well as an MMC for admin type stuff), which is a bit of a kludge. Even just a checkbox on the connection dialog to connect to the console could be enough.

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Vista Business street'ed today 11/30/06. I've been adding in the beta drivers for my hardware and things are starting to come together but, still have audio issues (apparently due to the new host mode audio) and I'm still missing alot of features from the Nvidia control panel... Its just not as good as I'd like. I even have the Microsoft VX1000 camera on my PC and had to "jury-rig" its driver to get it working - albeit in a limited fashion <sigh>. This feels like driver support for WinXP64 did... :( I hope it improves and in the interest of "fairness" it is still early and (specifically related to 64bit support) part of the Games For Windows certification is compatibility with 64bit drivers/OS.

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I am still gaming under XP (mostly due to driver issues) but, most of my day to day stuff is under Vista now. Driver issues still abound and as mentioned it probably won't get any better for drivers till late January but I like the new interface and the changes enough that my "everyday" stuff is done under Vista. and I have to say that at least that part was a painless migration...

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  • 1 month later...

I had a couple of the ISO's as part of the beta program, but never got around to installing... Just didn't feel like I had the time/trouble of the beta OS on my main laptop. How things have changed... When I was in the beta of Win95, I installed it and never looked back...

 

I have really enjoyed Office 2007. I currently have the Beta 2 Technical Refresh - is there a way for me to get the actual release version? It says this expires at the end of March.

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After a couple of months with the final version, I'm still impressed in general, but really need a better machine to test it with. I found out that turning the CPU usage sidebar gadget really helped with performance though, and disabling Aero would probably be useful as well. Media Center works OK, but it's painfully slow to get to a video on my 360. I still have XP bootable for a few things that still aren't vista compatible (my Creative mp3 player and Sam & Max for starters), but hopefully once the full consumer release is out in the wild support will get better.

 

As for office B2TR, I think you're out of luck there. You can buy the full version though :). Sadly, they haven't fixed some of the performance issues in Outlook between the two versions, since it still takes forever to view emails in 2007.

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I'm leaning more and more towards getting this close to release. I am almost certain I will pick up the vew version of Office. A couple of quick questions:

 

1 - Has there been any more official word on pricing?

2 - If I have the upgrade version of XP, would I be able to buy the upgrade version of Vista? (I'm leaning towards the Home Premium version)

3 - Does Vista come with email? I was looking to maybe save a few bucks and get the Student/Teacher version of Office (my wife is a teacher) but I noticed it does not include Outlook.

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What are you referring too? Disabling the Gadget bar?

 

No, I'd installed a sidebar gadget to monitor CPU/memory usage that, strangely enough, spiked the CPU. I still have the sidebar with the clock, calendar, and weather gadgets on, and that's fine.

 

Not sure about those pricing questions, but I'm pretty sure you'll be able to buy an upgrade vista to go over your upgrade XP. Not sure how they validate, but I'd think that as long as you can trace back to a full version, you're OK. Home premium is pretty much the bare minimum version you'd want to look at, since Home Basic doesn't include things like Media Center and the Aero theme.

 

Student/teacher office doesn't come with Outlook? Strange... I'm sure Oulook express is still there (or some variant thereof)-I can check the next time I'm at my Vista machine. Other option though is to go with something like Thunderbird, which should work fine in Vista.

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Outlook Express is now called Windows Mail, its just as shitty as ever. Microsoft still hasn't made the domain admin tools work in Vista, there are hacks to get them running, but come on you release this to IT people two months before everyone else and you don't have their life blood working. Three people in my group took the Vista plunge, two of us have gone back to XP and one is just about to.

 

At the end of the day its still Windows XP with a very shiny UI...IMHO.

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I have been running Vista on an alternate partition and I am pretty comfortable with it for day to day use now but I still have issues gaming under Vista :( Specifically, a new MMO game that may/may not be having a stress test event this weekend requires a "repair installation" every time to play it under Vista - but the previous 2 beta clients Did Not.. <sigh>

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