My impressions of Windows Vista Build 5600 (RC1)


Hi everyone,

    As the title and the previous post tell you, RC 1 is out and about now.  I’ve been using it for about a week now, and have developed a few impressions.  So, here we go…

    The installation is quick.  For my computer (Athalon XP 1800+ with 1GB of RAM), it took just about 45 minutes.  That may sound like a long time.  But, that was from when I entered the key through the Performance testing (to see what software will work on my computer) to the user screen.  Compared to some of the earlier builds, that’s a speed race. 

     Booting up RC1 is snappy.  Even on my machine, it’s quick.  In fact, it’s quicker then XP.  You see a blank screen with the Windows Progress bar near the bottom.  Then, it goes to the Windows Logo (the globe with a windows icon in it).  Finally it comes up to the login screen (which is set on the Aurora background).  After logging in, the desktop loads fairly quickly.

     I just tested Vista with Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Beta 2 running (with a Linspire Linux window that takes up 196MB of RAM) and my used RAM’ was only about 44% total.  This is along with my usual complement of programs (Antivirus/firewall, Windows Live Messenger, SpamBayes server, and a few other programs) running.  Also Internet Explorer 7 was open with three tabs (one being the Virtual Server Administration Website) and a couple of conversations open.

     If you’re planning on running games on Vista, there are a few things to be aware of.  If the games require OpenGL graphics, you’ll have to either install your video card manufacturer’s software/drivers, or find the OpenGL drivers for your card.  Vista doesn’t include them natively, and they’re not downloadable through Microsoft. 

     Also, some hardware (older hardware definitely and some newer hardware) doesn’t work with Vista correctly.  For example, I have a Logitech Communicate STX webcam/mic that I started using.  Vista installed the drivers for the mic during the setup phase.  However the webcam drivers aren’t installed (and Logitech isn’t even making a slight effort to get drivers available).

     For the most part, programs that I was using on XP work on this build of Vista.  Office Standard 2003 Trial version doesn’t work properly.  However Office 2003 Professional does.  Older .NET framework programs won’t work out of the box– you’ll have to install the Framework and Service Packs for them first.  Microsoft Money 2006 works. 

     If you have a program that you want to know about, let me know.  If it’s free, or there’s a trial version of it, I’ll be more then happy to try it out for you.  If there’s no trial version (or it’s not free), I’ll find out if other people have been using it, and how they’re doing with it.  And, as I play with Vista more, I’ll post more impressions.

Have a great weekend everyone,

Patrick.

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