Paul Thurrott has posted the first two parts of his review of Windows Vista build 5600 (RC1) along with a list of five of his favorite features. Update: Vista has a long way to go to be finished, blogger says. RC1 is good, but it’s not perfect, and NeoSmart lists the reasons. Plus, it still can’t synchronize with mobile devices, even though it’s supposed to be code-complete.
Windows Vista RC1 Review
About The Author
Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker.
Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli
2006-09-03 9:18 pmEugenia Loli
His review was just fine. So no, his articles won’t get banned. If you would like to seriously review Vista too, be my guest, we will also link yours. We don’t discriminate.
2006-09-03 9:22 pmtiiim
What do you want another “this is the year of desktop linux article?” (again) or “how apple may gain another 0.1% market share with OS 10.whatever” article? it so easy to whine about that OS you don’t like yet we can easily say the same about all the other OSes articles.
To clariffiy this is OS news: which funny enough brings news about OSes. Vista is an up an coming OS that has just reached RC1 stage, Paul Thurrott, despite his MS fanboyism at least does a comphesive review of the system even if is bias to certain points, but hey, arnt we all bias to our fav OSes?
Im not having ago but please can we all stop this having ago at everything MS does because they are the biggest software company in the world. Maybe in 20 years time if Ubuntu Linux or OS 11.5 was number one we will have “not another ubuntu/apple article!!!” postings instead. Lets all stop our fanboyism and observe the news…
2006-09-03 9:26 pmraver31
that is not what I said, or meant,
Thurrott reviews are all multi parters…
first parts are the product is shit, full of bugs…
later the product is the best ever, no problems whatsoever
his reviews always use this fashion
it does not matter what system he is reviewing, it just happens to be Windows.
I like to keep up with news about all OS’s, but you are correct, the fanboys need slapped, and Thurrott should be first in the line.
2006-09-03 9:50 pmnicolasb
Man, i’m as bored as you are when there’s an article about the “the stars are right, cthulhu said it, it’s the Year for the Linux Desktop that’s coming!” (and i’m a linux user), i’m as bored when someone brings up another stupid article about Apple “OSX 10.x will be the next big thing since we did rocket science and they will thrash Microsoft”.
But, i’m also bored by Thurrott who’s just a marketing droïd of Microsoft. This dude does nothing but stating the obvious.
2006-09-04 7:04 amkaiwai
I just actually read his review jus then, and I wouldn’t called it ‘fanboyish’ to say the least; he was quite cynical about the progress and Rc1, and he seems to be cautious before saying anything that could be conscrewed as being as being overly optimistic.
Even has a MacOS X user, even I have some optimism about Windows Vista; Office 2007, WIndows Vista Ultimate and various other Microsoft applications in development; I’m quite excited about the future given the path that has been laid in Windows Vista.
2006-09-03 10:54 pmsappyvcv
Then stop reading these articles and save the rest of us the trouble of having to read through crap like yours. Thank you.
According to Paul Windows Vista is shaping up to be a good operating system afterall. That is a good thing. I wouldn’t want to see all the XP users suffer another few years using a half a decade old os.
Think about it. Some people, after seeing that Vista is a piece of crap would stay with XP. Welcome back to 2001.
Some other people would upgrade to Vista and suffer using a piece of crap os.
That leaves about 4 (four) people switching to *nix if Vista would turn out to be piece of crap. Yes that last sentence is a flamebait for immature readers or humour-impaired people.
It’s just a sad insider joke, because I am in the business and I know how people use their computers and how do they perceive them.
On one day me and my collegue went to deliver a computer to a family (I work at a computer shop and do all the things associated with this type of job, building new OEM systems, fixing them, that kind of stuff), it was the first computer they ever had. The kids were of course screaming with happiness and jumping all over the place as I was unpacking the computer (turned out to be the one I was building an hour earlier, a real beauty, I give all my heart to this, despite the fact that no-one but us will see the inside of the chassis and it is fine art to make everything perfect, and yes you may find it funny). Once everything was set in place I powered it on.
The happy chime of Windows XP’s welcome sound filled the air.
“What do we do with this now?” – their mother asked.
She met my blank stare as in a split of a second I thought about all the horror they’ll have to go through to make their eXPerience a pleasure. Thank God I installed Firefox.
I quickly regained my composure and said:
“Well I think the kids know best”.
We left and from then on I realised what is very obvious. XP is the computer. Anything else is alien. We impose a system upon the users, because it costs a lot of money and breaks down often for people who are ignorant about computers, which makes even more money for the computer shop where I work, because we don’t fix issues for free. I mean, why would we want to choose anything else? That’s business, harsh but true.
But, to conclude, at least Vista will make the computing experience more tolerable for everyone, especially for the beginners.
Tomasz, a Linux user.
2006-09-04 6:05 pmapoc
jumping the usual bla bla windows sux and i’m a linux user,
I’ve also deployed some windows machines, i build and configure it having in mind the user’s needs/use, for example, my parents don’t even have antivirus software or 3rd party firewall, and it’s running smooth for 2 years now, they use it for web browsing, email, and media (as far as i know), other users are running pretty fine too, of course, becaus e the other users are a bit more demanding i’ve installed a free AV, Avast, and set up defrag jobs because of their.. habits.
I had a problem the other day though, one guy disabled the AV, he thought the AV and Firewall could not run simultaneously, he later installed a trojan disguised as codec wich hijacked the IE homepage.
1st, he overcomplicated, he already has every codecs he’ll ever need;
2nd, nice move there on the AV
Simple AV re-enable and Spybot S&D to be sure it was gone.
btw, has anyone ever asked you ppl if the mouse cursor could stop a transfer because it was positioned in front of the progress bar? XD I have. The same person thought the wireless mouse was broken because it was blinking(when idle).
I thought it was concerning that only in the release candidate was Vista close to running at Windows XP speeds. Hmm. So, a new OS that takes 5 years to develop now runs your applications slower. It is just me or is this a problem? I am mostly a linux guy but I keep XP around to run games and run Turbo Tax. It doesn’t look like if I upgrade I would be getting a performance increase.
Edited 2006-09-03 21:50
2006-09-04 4:12 pmMikeGA
Well not really. To be honest I’m impressed if it really is that fast.
Vista does introduce quite a bit of new technology that makes things cleaner and more powerful, but not necessarily faster.
I mean if we followed your logic, everyone would be stuck writing applications with a painfully simple and hard to use (but fast!) toolkit. Thereby programming would take considerably longer to achieve something with the complexity and power of a modern app.
Vista isn’t ready yet. It’s good, but it’s not enough.
It’s barely (or not even!) code-complete at this point, although it’s an RC.
2006-09-04 4:29 amMollyC
Those neosmart articles don’t seem too serious to me; I see nothing that can’t be fixed by November or left to SP1 (or ignored altogether, frankly). The only serious things mentioned are buggy video drivers (which will obviously be fixed) and problems with sync’ing to mobile devices.
I’m not sure why this thread’s “story” was amended to cite the neosmart blog entries as if they’re in the same league as Thurott’s comprehensive review, as the neosmart blog entries aren’t comprehensive at all. Why lump them in with Thurott’s comprehensive review? Just to add balance? I’m sure there will be negative reviews with more substance than the neosmart blogs about which osnews can have discussions.
Anyway, here’s a two more positive reviews:
Edited 2006-09-04 04:38
2006-09-04 10:00 amsiki_miki
They whine that something isn’t complete in RC1. So what? It is clear that RC’s aren’t meant for production use. Final version will, if anyone at Microsoft is sane, come with sync support working allright. If not, there will be an update ready to download.
Buggy driver? Well download and install it from nvidia/ati/intel site. Final version should, just like XP, contain a stable one, but maybe they felt it still isn’t ready to be installed by default, maybe it needs testing.
Big problems from Microsoft come afterwards; they just don’t tend to do polishing anymore after the final release. To clear things up, XP windows explorer still sometimes crashes even 5 years after release, they just didn’t bother to track and fix those bugs (at least it doesn’t start with high priority by default anymore!). Or look at IE6, which wasn’t updated for about 5 years.
Please delete this comment later, but in the summary above you wrote Windos instead of Windows
Die OSS PIMPs and your whore Linux GPL should die for the better future of Software industry.
No innovation in OSS world, just copying other’s features. You GPL a’holes suck.
I am currently attempting to use Vista Pre-RC1 (5536) as my primary OS, and it is blowing my mind. It is running much faster and smoother than XP (yes – it is actually outperforming my XP installation), and most of the things that bugged me about XP have been completely fixed and rejuvenated. The new Explorer.exe seems odd at first but [much like Office 2007 – which is also phenomenal] can be quite productive once you get used to the new way of doing things.
I’ve also already become well-versed with Vista’s repair capabilities (when you boot the disc), and they’re life-saving. The fact that setup is mini-Windows and repair options are immediately present (including a smarter chkdsk) instead of a stupid “Recovery Console” is just brilliant, and there’s so much you can do there.
I can even use ClearType now – which looked ghastly in XP on my setup – even though it used to make me sick. I’m using a CRT, even!
I cannot wait ’till RTM. Despite any faults that may be still present, Vista gets all of my thumbs up. When XP came out, I dreaded it and didn’t think much of it, but I am actually excited about Vista.
Wow!! I am really impressed!! Look that. What an improvement after five years plus…
Microsoft tells me that the Windows Vista user experience is now as fast as that of Windows XP but “with more capability and consistent performance that won’t degrade over time.”
Nearly as fast as XP with hardly a little more RAM :-))
2006-09-04 4:13 pmMikeGA
What does worry me slightly there is that Microsoft is now willing to admit that XP “degrades over time” – I doubt you would have got that out of them 5 years ago
2006-09-04 5:07 pmHanZo
I guess they would have never admitted that 5 years ago… but now it might be somthing to use to get people to upgrade.
Now I wonder if Vista has the same degrading problems XP and all previous windows releases had and still have.
the one thing that could give some hope is that the “degrading time” became longer with every release… XP lasts at least a year bevore I have to reformat the box, that’s at least twice as long as windows 98.
But still… if it has this problem… yet another good reason to switch.
2006-09-04 5:47 pmapoc
“I guess they would have never admitted that 5 years ago… but now it might be somthing to use to get people to upgrade. ”
Five years ago they didn’t have the user feedback about prolonged use, had they?
As a Soldier is tested on the battlefield, windows must be tested in its battlefield.
What I don’t like about his review is that he concentrate on weak issues like compatibility and how his hardware is or isn’t supported.
What I would like to see in windows vista testing is something like this:
1. How the OS will act to a simulated punch of viruses introduced to it by a CDROM
2. How the OS would behave if the firewall and the Antivirus software are turned off.
(linux doesn’t die without a firewall/Antivirus)
3. How the OS would behave if you visit a known malacious web sites
4. How the OS handles/tolerates disk corruption if the power supply is cut off
5. How the explorer will behave if some weird codecs installed
6. How the OS register/deal with a half done installation of an application
7. How the OS would tolerate a DVD-RW drive sudden shut down, is it gonna be a BSOD or a popup of good message to tell you of the event and let you continue your work
8. How the OS will handle 10 attached USB Devices and 4 Hubs.
9. How the OS will handle DVD burning after the 4th burn; will it switch from UDMA to just PIO mode like in XP
10 How the OS will suck CPU time and memory and deprive other processes from resources when a huge application is run
11. How the OS will schedule CPU and HDD time for more than 4 very demanding applications. (It must popup a message to tell you there are not enough resources to execute a fifth process, please upgrade your CPU or GPU or HDD subsystem) better than what XP will try to do when it would attempt to execute the 5th process and then crash all the first 4 running processes.
These and other powerful real field testes are needed when talking about Real Tests, not just barbie testes and girlish impressions.
2006-09-04 3:48 pmMollyC
“As a Soldier is tested on the battlefield, windows must be tested in its battlefield.”
I agree with this, which is why I say that a new OS isn’t fully baked until “SP1”.
For example, Windows 3.1, NT 3.51, Win98 SE, XP SP1, Mac OS 7.1, Mac OS 8.1 and Mac OSX 10.1 were the first fully baked versions of their respective lines because they addressed problems encountered in the general release of their parents. It’s almost like RTMing the initial release of an OS is part of the process of creating the fully baked “SP1” version down the road, but it’s a required part of the process, nevertheless.
Which is why prudence dictates waiting for the “SP1” release of an OS before deploying it (of course, if *everyone* waited for SP1, then there’d be no data on which to make SP1, so a proper SP1 couldn’t be made). But I will likely throw prudence aside, as I did with Win3.0, Mac OS 7.0, Mac OSX 10.0, and XP RTM, and jump on the Vista train. 😉
What I heard Paul saying:
>> And over time, as your XP usage drops off, you’ll find yourself not missing XP at all. You’ll be unhappy when you do have to boot into XP for some random reason. <<
Is this a guy some call a Windows fanboy?
I think it would be fair if mainstream reviewers of Microsoft’s OS, like Thurrott, would compair Vista fairly to a contemporary, competing OS, instead of comparing it to XP. If a reviewer finds out that Vista is better stuff than XP, well, it would surprise me less if this evening the sun would set.
What did shock me:
>> If you try to install an x64 version of Windows Vista, well, God help you. (…) The x64 stuff is still a nightmare. My guess is that it will always be a nightmare. <<
AMD has sold affordable 64bit CPUs for three years now, impressing even Intel; PPC G5 (and its OSX version) is 64bit, and other mainstream OSes (Suse, a.o.) have had 64bit versions for three years too.
If all software would be 64bit, the industry has made some real progress again. Yet, 64bit Vista is “a nightmare”? This is disappointing. It confirms the idea that monopoly thwarts progress.
I don’t think Microsoft will dare to claim to be “innovating” in its ads if people find out about this. But I guess they won’t.
If it was up to MS, would we still be in the 16bit era?
2006-09-04 10:36 amdimosd
Did he try 64bit versions of programs on Windows x64? It’s my impression that he tried 32 bit versions in some kind of compatibility mode, and he failed. I don’t think Nero makes a 64 bit version for example.
If “all else” works flowlessly, except for the applications 😉 then perhaps we should wait for the applications before drawing conclusions.
For those who had bad luck using 64-bit programs on Linux (especially closed source binaries): remember Linux is a tiny % of the desktop market, and 64-bit Linux even tinier. Windows x64, like it or not, should be a lot bigger and draw the companies’ attention. Especially if it’s shipped preinstalled on new computers.
PPC G5 (and its OSX version) is 64bit,
Not yet. The next release of OSX will be; at least most of it will. The current release is pretty much 32 bit only.
I’m not pretending I know much about security, but is it really a good idea to give such an important service ‘low priority’?
E.g. couldn’t spyware then circumvent it just by tricking the system into thinking the spyware is higher priority?
2006-09-06 12:29 pmgustl
You have to use low priority in the correct context here.
The process (task) which constantly scans the disk and memory in the background is run with lower priority than most other processes.
That only means that this task gets low CPU time at times when other processes need the CPU (like startup of a PDF reader), and gets as much CPU time as it needs when no other processes need CPU time.
If something is time-critical (like moving the mouse), then that process should be given higher priority. You would not want your computer to wait with the mouse move until the virus scan is finished.
Running something with lower priority poses no security risk.
Well, I had a great start with RC1, It BSOD’s within 10 seconds of reaching the desktop for the first time, all I did was move the welcome window!
True it is much faster to boot and shutdown and windows come up quick but take the networking screen as an example, whats the point of opening a window dead quick only to have it take AGES to populate with any info.
Now onto my major annoyance in Vista, The Start Menu, basically it sucks. it’s confusing and everything feels ‘hidden’, what to have a more normal start menu, fine except that it doesn’t even match the rest of Aero’s colour scheme and it sticks out like a sore thumb.
Finally I though I’d leave the best till last….. Just rty opening a zip file (cpu-z) to be exact, window appers then disappers immediately, right click on the zip well there’s no option to extract it…. Do ms seriously expect me to install a third part zip program in this day and age????????
Mt Thurrot doesn’t say anything about these problems, he talks out of his bottom most of the time. The only thing he is right about is Vista search, It’s every bit as good as spotlight.
Edited 2006-09-04 11:35
2006-09-04 5:55 pmapoc
“Well, I had a great start with RC1, It BSOD’s within 10 seconds of reaching the desktop for the first time, all I did was move the welcome window!
True it is much faster to boot and shutdown and windows come up quick but take the networking screen as an example, whats the point of opening a window dead quick only to have it take AGES to populate with any info. ”
graphics driver problem.
“Now onto my major annoyance in Vista, The Start Menu, basically it sucks. it’s confusing and everything feels ‘hidden’, what to have a more normal start menu, fine except that it doesn’t even match the rest of Aero’s colour scheme and it sticks out like a sore thumb.
confusing because they changed the “all programs” behavious? don’t think so, it far more useful than XP’s, and as a side note, Novell’s attemp is laughable.
the “sore thumb” issue you state, the taskbar, maximized window caption(in Aero) and start menu are black for a reason, it it done so that the user’s attemtion is drawned to the application, not the OS UI, commom sense, “black is discrete”.
“Finally I though I’d leave the best till last….. Just rty opening a zip file (cpu-z) to be exact, window appers then disappers immediately, right click on the zip well there’s no option to extract it…. Do ms seriously expect me to install a third part zip program in this day and age???????? ”
You’re either not using Vista or having some weird problem.
“The only thing he is right about is Vista search, It’s every bit as good as spotlight. ”
hehe, funny stuff.
2006-09-04 8:03 pmthingi
I know the bsod was a graphics driver problem, WDDM driver are not supposed to be able to cause a BSOD, that was the WHOLE POINT in changing the driver model!
So you think the start menu is better now. Well you try walking through a novice user through Vista’s start menu compared to XP’s, the point I’m making is a user can see where they are supposed to go in XP that the whole point of a tree menu system!
No don’t understand what I’m saying, I’m talking about when you right click on the start menu and choose Classic Start Menu because the new one is horrid, then you will see the colour problem I’m talking about.
“Either not using Vista or wierd problem” What planet are you from, I think you’ll find it’s something called a bug and a darn big one at that, RC’s do have em’ ya know geez.
And as for search have you tried it? I use os-x as my main os at home and I’m sorry but spotlight ain’t all that, the problem is it brings back too much stuff one many occasions.
Edited 2006-09-04 20:05
whatever Paul Thurott or any Windows fan will say, I’m not going to buy Vista… there’s some really simple reasons for it:
1. price: thant’s really getting too much. even the stripped down versions are really expensive now.
2. looks horrible. if that’s the best Ms can do… I mean… that interface is just a lot of badly designed eye candy. the colour of it hurts the eye. But that of course is a pretty subjective thing.
3. I’m fed up of Ms, if it took them so many years to deliver an upgrade to XP, how long will it take them to deliver an update to Vista… I don’t see a lot of future in this whole thing.
4. I didn’t try it myself… but I read a lot, and from what I read I get the impression that the UI just became more complicated in the attempt to make it easier for mr.Joe Average (whoever that may be). I’m not saying that Vista may not be Ok for the large mayority of people… but I doubt it will be ok for me.
5. I so bored stiff by XP that, despite the fact that I’m sure Vista will be better, because one thing I must admit, Windows got better with every release (XP was better than 2000 and 2000 much better than 98) I don’t want to give Ms more money… and I’m sure Vista will be far from being perfect… just wait for it to be released.
… so either I switch completely to Linux, which will hardly be happening since I work as a graphic designer and linux does not provide me with the professional tools I need, or I will, more likely, get me a mac (despite the fact that I’m not such a big fan of that snobbish stylish stuff, but at least they work).
2006-09-04 12:40 pmtwenex
I’ll not be buying Vista, but personally I think the interface is rather nice – certainly a lot better than the default look in XP. Can’t speak for the Start menu or the interface (usability) changes, though.
2006-09-04 1:07 pmh3rman
>> … so either I switch completely to Linux, which will hardly be happening since I work as a graphic designer and linux does not provide me with the professional tools I need, or I will, more likely, get me a mac (despite the fact that I’m not such a big fan of that snobbish stylish stuff, but at least they work). <<
If Vista nor Linux or *BSD is just it for you (but couldn’t the graphic designer stuff you need work on Linux with Wine or CrossOver Office?), just get yourself a second hand Mac, the OSX interface is pretty nice.
All the elite are selling their PPC G4 iBooks, because they can’t wait to get their hands on the somewhat faster Intel stuff. If it’s less shiny, it’s less snobbish, I’d say. I got this new iBook here for 250 euros less than usual. Fast enough.
And there’s a lot of free, OpenSource software ported to OSX as a native app, such as Neo Office, which is a very good OOo spin-off (incl. database, presentation, etc.). It is actually better than both Apple Works and MS Office for Mac (I’m sorry, it really is).
Sorry, was that off-topic?
Edited 2006-09-04 13:08
2006-09-04 2:21 pmHanZo
[quote]but couldn’t the graphic designer stuff you need work on Linux with Wine or CrossOver Office?[/quote]
unfortunately not. Photoshop7 runs very well under crossover, but I miss Indesign and I have problems with getting colour profiles working… plus neither my printer nor the scanner seem to work (tried hard, but nothing goes).
I’ve got an ibook too and I’m pretty happy with it (apart from all that white it’s a very good machine). So I was just thinking the same you said… get a 2nd hand ppc mac. Probably I will have to get me new apps as well… but I was thinking to move on to CS2 anyway… ps7 is getting outdated.
but now this is going to be pretty off topic.
back to vista.
I’ve never been a great mac fan… it always feels like it’s a kind of cult… and I just know too many of those mac zealots that act as if they were something better just because they have the better computer (not that I want to say that all mac users are like this, just the majority of those I know)… this one thing kept me away from macs for a long time.
but now I’m changing my mind,
and it’s all thanks to microsoft.
and I think a lot of people are changing their mind.
Vista will have to be really good this time…
but I think it might not be good enough.
and it might be the beginning of a change.
or maybe not… we’ll see.
<<These and other powerful real field testes are needed when talking about Real Tests, not just barbie testes>> Now Im really worried…the Barbies have testes! A bit kinky/weird dont ya think!
Hmmm… I browsed through an entire slideshow of Vista pictures on a site called pcexposure… or something like that.
To me (not that *you* should care, mind you…) Vista comes across as uninspired and a cheap knock off of other software products… plus I can see many people drowning in the mass of menu items, drop-down menus, arrows, widgets and breadcrumb trails… it’s like someone made it a sport to get as many UI elements as possible on one screen… 😡
.. another “Paul Thurrott has posted ..”
Come on! There are far better reviews than the ones of shill Thurrott with his usual trick to provoke people.
This guy plays in the same league as the infamous Enderle and Dvorak.
Why do we have to indure the out-spewings of Paul Thurrott all the time ?
His long term reviews are always the same, pick an early development version, pick faults, say the the future is bleak for Microsoft and that people should not use the new product.
Get the version which appears to be the last one before release, review that and find, no problems, previous problems fixed, everything runs sweet, it is the best thing since sliced bread, how can we work without the latest offering from Microsoft.
Can we not ban all “articles”, (read ADVERTS), from this guy ?
Pretty Please ?
Pretty Please with sugar on ?
and so on and so forth……