Home > Windows > Visual Tour: Windows Vista Begins To Get Real Visual Tour: Windows Vista Begins To Get Real Eugenia Loli 2006-01-05 Windows 51 Comments The December pre-beta 2 release of Windows Vista offers the first true glimpse of the OS but is missing key elements. More information and screenshots can be found at Desktop Pipeline. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 51 Comments 2006-01-05 5:06 am Anonymous Overall a well-written glimpse of what the latest build offers, but I find that the author is miles off the mark about power-saving features in XP/current systems. He says that XP has a “lame standby mode” where the screen remains on and the laptop very hot. Bzzt. Every laptop I’ve ever used supports S3 standby, which means that everything is powered off except the RAM. Hell, my Abit NF7-S supports S3, and I use it regularly. (For any Mac heads out there, S3 is exactly like Sleep, except that modern Mac hardware wakes up from it in about half the time that PC hardware does.) 2006-01-05 5:06 am ma_d Guys. Screenshots go in png, you’re not on a budget for bandwidth are you? Sheesh. At least turn the smoothing down on the jpegs. Vista honestly looks horrible. I don’t say that because I think it really does, I say that because sites like this keep posting bad screenshots that are so oversmoothed that it looks like Vista’s rendering is completely broken (in the oddest way). End of my rant about low quality jpeg screenshots. 2006-01-05 5:14 am Beryllium I second your rant, and I raise you one further complaint: The author rather casually presents fingerprint recognition as the be-all end-all of authentication services. Furthermore, he neglected to mention that Microsoft already came out with a fingerprint reader product. 2006-01-05 5:28 am ma_d But not every laptop has it. The only fingerprint laptop I’ve seen is the Thinkpad, and only one high end one at that. Personally I don’t think I’d like wearing my password on my fingers … and everything else I touch. 2006-01-05 5:45 am Beryllium I’m referring to Microsoft’s USB Fingerprint Reader product I saw at staples last year. I’m not talking about laptops at all. Personally, though, I think that biometrics aren’t any safer than passwords. They’re just more difficult for people to forget. 2006-01-05 6:09 am Celerate And easier to lift off unsuspecting victims, after that you do this: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/05/16/gummi_bears_defeat_fingerpr… A password is in my head, getting it out is harder than finding something I touched with a print left on it. 2006-01-05 9:10 am unoengborg Sure, they are harder to forget. The problem is that they are also much harder to change once they get compromized. E.g. if you happen to touch something at the wrong place. It is not at all impossible to lift a fingerprint and create a latex substitute finger. 2006-01-05 1:23 pm n4cer It is not at all impossible to lift a fingerprint and create a latex substitute finger. There are readers that won’t fall for that or the previously mentioned gummi bear technique (IIRC, the gummi technique was tried on MS’ reader without results). 2006-01-06 12:10 am Celerate How about this one: http://www.engadget.com/2005/12/11/play-doh-fingers-can-fool-90-of-… 90% is pretty high, and the article is from December 2005 so it’s not that old. Are you going to tell me that the MS fingerprint scanners make up the 10% that don’t get fooled. These are just the techniques that people know about, and they are simple enough, plus they don’t need expensive materials. Given that it’s simply common sense that the technology isn’t ready yet. 2006-01-06 12:51 pm n4cer 90% is pretty high, and the article is from December 2005 so it’s not that old. Are you going to tell me that the MS fingerprint scanners make up the 10% that don’t get fooled. I can’t tell you whether it’s part of the 10% that withstand that attack. It likely isn’t since it was released probably before that attack was known. It’s based off of technology from http://www.digitalpersona.com/ so if you can find any info saying one of their readers failed against this attack, then the MS reader would likely also fail. The MS reader isn’t targeted for corporate or financial data protection (smartcards are recommended in these cases) however, and I think that technique would be overkill for getting most home user’s data (not discounting this as a general vulnerability though). 2006-01-06 10:11 pm Celerate “and I think that technique would be overkill for getting most home user’s data” Ok, you’re right, it’s more trouble than it’s worth when extracting someone’s files from a windows PC is usually as easy as using a Windows or Linux liveCD. That is of couse under the assumption that the partition on the drive isn’t encrypted (I don’t know if Windows will do that, but Linux will). Then you have to ask yourself what kind of information siblings would want from each other’s accounts on the same computer that badly. For home use it’s probably viable. I would consider the finger print scanners myself for my desktop because (1) it’s in my room, so it’s in a fairly safe place, and (2) no one in my house would go to that much trouble to get my files, the only person with the knowhow to even consider circumventing a finger print scanner in my room would be my dad, and I know of nothing he would he have to gain from that. Finger print scanners for home use are probably safe enough, and for small companies that don’t suffer from industrial espionage it’s probably not a problem either. Only people with especially sensitive and saught after data would need to worry about finger print scanners, and the wide acceptance of that technology as being ready is scarry for that reason. When fingerprint scanners become used on customers by stores, companies, employers, banks and the government then I’d worry about ID theft, thieves are resourcefull after all, and finger print scanning needs a lot more development before it’s safe for those uses imo. 2006-01-05 6:08 am kaiwai Furthermore, he neglected to mention that Microsoft already came out with a fingerprint reader product. IIRC, didn’t Microsoft come out with a mouse/finger print reader all in one? I remember seeing one down the road and thought “ooh, thats rather cool” – with that being said, however, all the finger reading in the world won’t save you from a crappily configure system or one that hasn’t had updates installed on it – think it is uncommon, don’t believe the hype. I worked on a help desk for a few months, there were people buying Windows XP, and them surprised that their boxed copy of Windows XP didn’t have all the latest updates included – thats the general public for you! 2006-01-05 5:17 am Eugenia Loli >Screenshots go in png, you’re not on a budget for bandwidth are you? First of all, these are not on our screenshots. They were produced and hosted elsewhere. Secondly, yes, there is a good chance that these people ARE on a budget for bandwidth. Especially when a jpeg produces a 100KB picture and PNG a 500KB one, for the same picture. In these cases, even osnews prefers jpegs, even if we have plenty of bandwidth to spare. (Just because we have lots of Macdonalds coupons doesn’t mean we are going to eat to death. ) 2006-01-05 5:27 am ma_d Then post fewer shots. Or post smaller (scaled) png’s. The point is that there’s no reason to post full shots if they’re going to be jpegs: They don’t show off the look they only make it look bad. I’m not sure of OSNews traffic related problems, but usually I notice database errors on it: And btw, kudos on the database error page, it’s the cutest one I’ve ever seen. 2006-01-05 5:47 am Beryllium How about posting RAR-compressed BMP files? It’s about as useful to most IE users as PNGs, after all. 😉 2006-01-05 6:17 am ohbrilliance //It’s about as useful to most IE users as PNGs, after all. ;-)// IE handles non-transparent PNGs fine. For my 2 cents, each successive set of Vista screenshots I see leaves me feeling like Vista’s either something pretty fresh and exciting, or just a variant of XP. In this case it’s the latter. 2006-01-05 9:54 am deepspace IE handles non-transparent PNGs fine. No it doesn’t: it f–ks up the colors. 2006-01-05 1:25 pm n4cer No it doesn’t: it f–ks up the colors. Are you sure this isn’t a driver or other issue external to IE? I’ve never had this issue. 2006-01-05 5:13 pm StephenBeDoper I’ve seen the problem before. It’s not terribly easy to spot, I only noticed it because I was building a website which used both PNG and GIF images for the layout (GIFs for images that needed transparency, obviously). They were supposed to be the same colour, but IE rendered the PNG images slightly darker, creating a seam between them and the GIFs. Firefox rendered it perfectly. 2006-01-05 10:15 am Thom Holwerda For my 2 cents, each successive set of Vista screenshots I see leaves me feeling like Vista’s either something pretty fresh and exciting, or just a variant of XP. In this case it’s the latter. My eternal battle: PLEASE do NOT judge an operating system by its screenshots. USE it, THEN judge it. 2006-01-05 12:46 pm Bajan Thom, Was this the same build you used in the video you shot? The screenshots in the article looked kinda frosty but your video didn’t. 2006-01-05 12:52 pm Thom Holwerda It’s probably a slightly newer build, seeing they have the sidbar and the December CTP don’t. I didn’t have the blurr effect because that effect doesn’t work when you fiddle with the registry to bypass the DirectX9 compatiblity check (I have a DX8 card). Edited 2006-01-05 12:52 2006-01-05 5:20 am wakeupneo I don’t see what all the fuss is about with Vista. It looks more like a natural progression of XP than the “All New” whizbang product we’ve been hearing about for the last few years. 2006-01-05 5:46 am indech First off, I pray they make it easy to turn off the window border transparency, as along with the background blur in the transparency it’s too distracting and accomplishes nothing other than being a gimmick. Transparency for inactive windows would make a lot more sense. And for that matter, Windows should be more naturally configurable to those who like configuration. You shouldn’t have to do questionable dll patches or have to use 3rd party software in the first place. Also, I fear the Unix advantage of privledges is going to go by the wayside. I wish MS would just say sorry companies, but your app is broken and you need to make it work with user only priveledges. It becomes too much of a pain to work in Windows not in administer. And for those to counter with you can with a little learning and properly administered computers won’t have that problem, I hate to disappoint you, but you just went over Joe and Jane’s heads… 2006-01-05 5:50 am Beryllium The blur is actually intended to be *less* distracting than a regular transparency, and I think it would accomplish that much better in live usage than in a screenshot. It’s a gimmick, but not an entirely vapid one. I don’t think MS will ever intentionally break more than 10% of applications on the home desktop side of their market, but they might consider breaking as much as 50% of supported applications on the server side of things – the side-benefit of breaking it on the server side is that companies who are locked in then have to pay even more to upgrade to the latest versions, generating a mini-market for Vista all of its own. 2006-01-05 6:15 am kaiwai Regarding ‘multi-user compatibility’, most applications out there, being sold, are already compatible – the only things that aren’t are *really* old applications; and if they’re old, and there are no replacements, its obvious that the were shit product to begin with, otherwise that software company would have been rolling in money and rolling out a new up-to-date version. What Microsoft needs to do, however, is push the “Vista Compatible” logo; those software companies which are compatible with Vista, that is, multi-user compatible and all the features, can use the special logo – and yes, its also a nice way to push upgrades as well onto the general public 2006-01-05 1:56 pm MikeGA Personallly, I can’t see the point of transparent (in any way) titlebars on Windows. Apple did it with OS X 10.1 – I think there might be a reason why they dropped it with version 10.2? 2006-01-05 2:16 pm Kroc No blurring underneath, on a web page the text would directly clash with what was on the title bar, the same with menus. The reason Vista’s glass works, is because it is blurred underneath. Amiga fans have already seen this effective effect in their context menu. 2006-01-05 6:18 am Celerate Maybe the hype is starting to get me, but it does seem as that MS has done a good job making some of the new features alone good enough to sell the product. Of course the features that impressed me were done using technology already out there so I’ll hold back on using the word innovative, although I can think of no existing software I knew of that took advantage of that technology until now. I have to admit that if this article is accurate there are some definite selling points, even to someone like me who wants to avoid MS products. I wonder if Apple might implement the fast shutdown feature mentioned in the article, or have they done that already. Edited 2006-01-05 06:18 2006-01-05 11:57 am superstoned well, the only thing the fast shutdown seems to do is just black the screen immediately, so it LOOKS like it is fast, right? well, then, i don’t think mac even HAS to do it, as it already shuts down very fast… 2006-01-05 11:59 pm Celerate Actually reading on it says that within 20 seconds it goes into a hybrid of a sleep and hybernate feature. That’s not instant, but it’s still pretty fast. 2006-01-05 6:24 am Celerate From the article: “Yet another new Control Panel is Parental Controls. A number of third-party utilities have for several years offered this feature set, which provides a Web site content filter, time limits, specific application blocking, and activity reports. Vista’s parental controls functionality can control what games can be launched based on title, content, or ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) ratings.” As someone who was formerly under the supervision of misinformed and paranoyed parents, I personally don’t like the sound of that at all. And what about it being used in work environments to keep an eye on employees? 2006-01-05 7:01 am Unbeliever I’m liking the new Explorer. Feels much more… compact and tied together. But I don’t understand why they still don’t update some of their icons. Like almost half of their Control Panel icons have been there since Win2000. Or their yellow folders that look like a kid drew them. Attention to detail. It matters. 2006-01-05 7:24 am DittoBox Ahh, ’nuff said. If you look in any number of windows XP DLLs, or in many of the wizards you’ll note the hurried feel it all has, no continuity in icon design at all, a lot of which can be found from 2000 or even 9x. 2006-01-05 8:12 am Beresford I tried the December beta for a few minutes and the interface was too flashy, I suppose it couldn’t have been turned off but I wasn’t interested. By flashy, I mean the glass effect. 2006-01-05 8:42 am Jimbob I’m thinking Aero is an big improvment visually and seems to be tweaked more and more each time we see it, but I also think there’s a lot of OS X in there… I’m not looking for a flame but it’s an observation… Though, if that is the way forward… 2006-01-05 10:59 am George Vista is a great marketing campain… George ( [email protected] ) 2006-01-05 11:11 am anyweb heres some PNG’s for ya, go easy on my bandwidth k thanks cheers anyweb http://anyweb.kicks-ass.net/computers/os/windows/longhorn/lh5259/po… 2006-01-05 6:24 pm ma_d Killer, thanks! 2006-01-06 12:13 am Celerate Oh no, I still see some old Windows icons in there from the early days. I was hoping MS would have gotten rid of all of those. Using Windows XP and sometimes getting a mix of new and old icons on the screen doesn’t look good. I thought MS would have gotten enough complaints about that by now. 2006-01-05 11:41 am deadsexy wow, microsoft finally was able to clone osx… maybe they now are nominated for noble-prize? 2006-01-05 12:00 pm superstoned what bugs me most is the inconsistent userinterface. WinXP is already VERY inconsistent, but Longhorn seems to make it even worse. check the first screenshot they show us: http://desktoppipeline.com/storypics/vistapb2/vista_pict1.jhtml all three apps are totally different. no menubar, menubar onder back/forward, menubar above back/forward. different colors… and it doesn’t even show a office longhorn app, as those are entirely different, too. and they say linux looks inconsistent?!?!? HAHAHAHA 2006-01-05 12:30 pm gonzalo Well… But what I wonder is why you’d need the File, Edit, etc menu in the Control Panel. Oh, and it seems that Control Panel windows don’t have a title ( http://desktoppipeline.com/storypics/vistapb2/vista_pict4.jhtml and more ) and I can’t really think of a good reason for that. And the Autoplay dialog ( http://desktoppipeline.com/storypics/vistapb2/vista_pict10.jhtml ) uses a completely different window decoration. 2006-01-05 12:58 pm superstoned yeah, windowdecorations especially seem to differ at random between windows apps. and don’t even get started about msn/wmp default looks… now i wouldn’t know what is better – the way X works, with a windowmanager, so you can still minimize/close a crashed/stalled app (in windows, you’re stuck, esp if the app is full-screen!) but on the other hand, in windows every app can have its own windowdecoration, if they want, and also merge it with their windows (like mac osX sometimes does). i like the back button IN the windowdecoration in http://anyweb.kicks-ass.net/computers/os/windows/longhorn/lh5259/po… that would be hard(er) to do in linux, tough KDE has a style+windowdecoration (baghira) that can do some pretty cool blending of window+decoration… 2006-01-05 6:31 pm ma_d I prefer the X11 way of doing it. I run into more stalled programs than I do ones which truly benefit from modifying the window decorations. This goes into that whole Microsoft catering to developers instead of users thing . I don’t believe OS X actually merges the windeco. They do a couple things: 1.) They make the look match the UI look. 2.) They make clicking on toolbars the same as clicking on windeco. I tested this, and I noticed that, for example, double clicking on the toolbar will not minimize your window where it will on the windeco: That’s why I think it’s not truly merged; it’s just themed and the toolbar is a little smarter than your average toolbar. 2006-01-05 2:31 pm morglum666 “and they say linux looks inconsistent?!?!? HAHAHAHA” Dorks. No one cares. People want to use the application.. its like not going into a pub because you don’t like the color of the window frames. 2006-01-05 2:51 pm superstoned well, i don’t care either, like you and i guess most users. but you hear often ppl say “all this gnome and KDE mess in linux, each app looks different, no-one is gonna use it because of that”. well, if that’s the case, no-one would use mac or windows either… 2006-01-06 2:41 am Sphinx You can’t use an application if you don’t understand the interface, consistency in application interfaces creates this wonderful phenomenon known as, “usability”. I recall Windows used to have it around 3.10 before IE arrived bending the rules and then media player broke them off, sorry you missed it, was sweet. 2006-01-05 5:11 pm ohbrilliance I’ve never experienced ID fcuking up colours. Can you please explain this further? 2006-01-05 5:27 pm siride In X, programs can draw their own window decorations, provided they tell the WM not to draw its own window decorations. XMMS, for example, does this, as does iTunes (at least with some window managers). 2006-01-05 9:03 pm AxXium No matter what I write, I will be called a troll. Sorry. Vista just seems to be another boring disapointment.