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New build brings enhancements to UAP and WinFS gets the boot

In its continuing efforts to improve its next generation operating system, Microsoft has released another interim build of Windows Vista to testers. Build 5456 is a rather large jump from Windows Vista Beta 2 (Build 5384.4) and offers a number of improvements which are sure to be welcomed by users. NeoSmart Blog reports:

Some of the new features include a revamped Aero/DWM subsystem, and a completely overhauled and significantly less obtrusive UAP for all those that couldn’t stand the previous one. From what we have been told by Microsoft, the Time Zone bug that plagued all most all previous builds of Windows Vista has been fixed and works great now, and quite a few fixes in the Regional Settings and IME are now implemented. And for the first time since Windows 3.0 Microsoft has finally announced that new mouse cursors will be made available for Windows - something they promised to do in XP with “Watercolors” but failed to deliver for internal reasons!

Of all of the improvements made to this build, the less intrusive User Access Protection (UAP) has to be on the biggest pluses. Vista's UAP scheme has been catching a lot of flak and Microsoft has seen it fit to gradually make the system less and less obnoxious.

Vista beta testers can download the new build immediately from the Windows Connect website. The rest of you folks will just have to wait until Microsoft releases another public build.

In other Vista news comes word that Microsoft has decided to drop its plans to offer Windows Future Storage (WinFS) as a future update to the operating system -- WinFS Beta 2 has been also cancelled. WinFS was the name for the new file system that was supposed to debut with the shipping version of Windows Vista. Over the course of Vista's long gestation period, WinFS was dropped from the feature count then later brought back to life when it was announced that the file system would be available at a later date as a system upgrade for Vista.

WinFS, which is based on Microsoft SQL Server technology, was supposed to do away with traditional file/folder hierarchy. From Betanews:

For example, no longer would documents need to be stored in My Documents or images in My Pictures; instead, Windows would simply display the files associated with a particular request on demand. In addition, WinFS could store structured data such as contacts, calendars and more.

As for the future of WinFS and other Windows technologies, lead programmer Quentin Clark goes on to air out his thoughts on his blog:

Of course, there are other aspects of the WinFS vision that we are continuing to incubate – areas not quite as mature as the work we are now targeting for Katmai and ADO.NET.   Since WinFS is no longer being delivered as a standalone software component, people will wonder what that means with respect to the Windows platform.  Just as Vista pushed forward on many aspects of the search and organize themes of the Longhorn WinFS effort, Windows will continue to adopt work as it's ready.  We will continue working the innovations, and as things mature they will find their way into the right product experiences – Windows and otherwise.  Having so much ready for SQL Server and ADO.NET is a big impact on the platform, and more will come.



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Goodbye, MS
By The Boston Dangler on 6/25/2006 6:05:49 PM , Rating: 1
Vista is going to be another warmed-over NT, with intense DRM embedded at the lowest levels and some eye candy on top. No actual improvements.

Every day that goes by, I get a little less tolerant of WinXP. By default, the code is broken and insecure. It's easy to induce explorer.exe crashes on a virgin installation. XP prefers caching to the HD, while 2 GB of RAM goes untouched. For a higher price, the heavily proprietary and DRMed MCE poorly handles multiple monitors, requires special drivers and progs, and doesn't play retail DVDs. Pathetic. Vista, in any version, will be more of the same.

As a long-time Mac hater, it's likely I'll switch to Linux once my copy of XP is no longer viable. Apple is too expensive and inflexible, and I'll never be able to roll my own Mac.




RE: Goodbye, MS
By SteelyKen on 6/25/2006 6:12:46 PM , Rating: 1
I don't know about the rest of your post, but I do agree the three letters "D" "R" and "M" kill just about any anticipation I could have concerning Vista.


RE: Goodbye, MS
By Totalfixation on 6/25/2006 6:24:30 PM , Rating: 3
My god man, give the old boy some credit, first everyone complains about BSOD, and now its very stable. Now you guys are complaining about security? Give them some time, There have over millions of hardwares they have to try to adapt to, while making everything backwards compatible. In due time it will happen. I dont get why alot of people complain about Microsoft, and say they are going to switch. Well, i say fine switch to whatever you like, but in the end i know your going to switch back. Just put it simply MS is doing its best, under heavy competition and on top of that dealing with DAs in almost every state in the US, nevertheless Europe too.

Also wanted to add too. Apple has always left people in the dust, they never support older OS. Two clear examples was OS9 to OSX, OS 9 software was not compatible with OS X. Now with the switch to X86, it is leaving alot of people disappointed about there older software/performance.

I think MS is a great company and I hope they succeed, especial over google. I love there search engine, but i hate there unorganized collection of software. They dont have organized set of ways to use there programs, like MS with MS office and such. Thats just my opinion.


RE: Goodbye, MS
By lwright84 on 6/25/2006 7:23:06 PM , Rating: 1
i'm not sure what you're getting at, but apple OS9 applications run in "classic mode" on OSX, and powerpc based applications run in "rosetta mode" on the x86 platform. apple is pretty good about supporting older OS'.. granted the legacy items don't run at 100% performance (because of the OS emulation needed for compatibility), but they do work just fine.


RE: Goodbye, MS
By Oscarine on 6/25/2006 7:34:05 PM , Rating: 1
...forcing me to boot into System 9 is not exactly backwards compatibility. As for Rosetta... they should have named it Sludge or something equally befitting its speed


RE: Goodbye, MS
By psychobriggsy on 6/25/2006 7:59:03 PM , Rating: 1
You don't boot into OS9 to run classic applications on Mac OS X. You run the application. An OS9 environment / sandbox will execute to run your application. By now it would be a pretty old application, so it still won't take too long to load up - yes there would be an initial delay, but meh. In the long run I think it was the more sensible option, allowing Apple to move from a dire OS to a pretty good (desktop) OS.

And as for Rosetta, the performance is good enough for most applications, most useful applications are ported, with notable exceptions in Adobe (effectively forced to do a long-overdue code revamp) and Microsoft (Office).

As for Vista, it sounds less interesting each time I see a new story about its features. I'm sure most of the annoyances will be eradicated by release date however. I won't be leaping to get it when it comes out though.


RE: Goodbye, MS
By Burning Bridges on 6/26/2006 9:44:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
under heavy competition

OK, now name another operating system manufacturer who charges what MS does for the OS, who has a market share the size of that that MS has...

They have a monopoly (spelling?) on the market.


RE: Goodbye, MS
By Sunday Ironfoot on 6/25/2006 6:29:20 PM , Rating: 3
Why does everybody b1tch at MS over DRM, it's being forced on us by the record companies and movie studios. OS makers like MS and Apple have no choice but to play along, and besides you can turn off DRM in Windows Media Player and use DRMless formats like MP3. And if you don;t like the DRM used by digital music download services like iTunes and Urge, then don;t buy from them, buy the CD instead.


RE: Goodbye, MS
By The Boston Dangler on 6/25/2006 7:03:00 PM , Rating: 5
"Why does everybody b1tch at MS over DRM, it's being forced on us by the record companies and movie studios."

The first thing a Windows user does after installing the OS is verify legitimacy with MS, then update for an hour. The RIAA and MPAA have nothing to with that.

"OS makers like MS and Apple have no choice but to play along"

Rubbish. They are (unsuccessfully) attempting to protect thier own products.

"and besides you can turn off DRM in Windows Media Player and use DRMless formats like MP3"

Doing so limits the functionality of the software, which was purchased fairly.

"And if you don;t like the DRM used by digital music download services like iTunes and Urge, then don;t buy from them, buy the CD instead."

That's a big Ten-Four, good buddy. I'm in the process of FLACing my more than 300 CD's. Unfortunately, one could purchase a CD and still be unfairly hampered by DRM.

Of course, software "pirates" aren't bothered by DRM in the least. One can easily DL a cracked copy of, let's see, ANYTHING. DRM only screws over legit users.


RE: Goodbye, MS
By Sunday Ironfoot on 6/26/2006 7:20:59 AM , Rating: 2
"The first thing a Windows user does after installing the OS is verify legitimacy with MS, then update for an hour. The RIAA and MPAA have nothing to with that.

Rubbish. They are (unsuccessfully) attempting to protect thier own products."

If you are refering to Windows product Activation and not DRM as being applied to digital music and movie downloads as I thought the original poster was, then my bad, sorry!

"Doing so limits the functionality of the software, which was purchased fairly."

Not sure how disabling DRM in WMP limits the functionality of that software, it still lets you rip MP3's at any bitrate doesn't it? Exactly what functionality gets limited?

"That's a big Ten-Four, good buddy. I'm in the process of FLACing my more than 300 CD's. Unfortunately, one could purchase a CD and still be unfairly hampered by DRM."

I've also MP3'ed my entire 150 CD collection using WMP10. DRM on CDs is easy to bypass, just hold down left shift key when you insert CD or disable auto run.


RE: Goodbye, MS
By Heatlesssun on 6/25/2006 8:34:26 PM , Rating: 2
You sir are abosultely wrong in your statments about Windows Media Center (MCE).

Yes, it plays reatail DVD's and CD's just fine. There is a copy protection system in it that is supposed to prevent copying of recorded TV content for shows that are flag with copy protection, and that is set be the broadcaster, not Microsoft, plus is so easy to circumvent that its in no way DRM.

MCE used the SAME drivers as XP, it handles multiple monitor just fine, with the exception of a maximized window, you cant mouse over to the other monitor, but you can Alt-Tab just fine.

Please sir, I do not know where your information came from, but it is simply flawed. I use an MCE machine as my primary system, have for the last two years, and your information is simply wrong in regaurds to MCE.



RE: Goodbye, MS
By The Boston Dangler on 6/26/2006 1:54:14 AM , Rating: 2
"Yes, it plays reatail DVD's and CD's just fine. There is a copy protection system in it that is supposed to prevent copying of recorded TV content for shows that are flag with copy protection, and that is set be the broadcaster, not Microsoft, plus is so easy to circumvent that its in no way DRM.."

It certainly does not play retail DVDs. Microsoft suggests the purchase of nVidia Pureview (an additional $20 - $50). The decoder bundled with Nero 7 is also compatible. My retail copy of Nero 6 will not suffice, through no technical inability. And, yes, it plays non-DRM CDs just fine. I made no attempt to watch TV with the PC. Your reference to the broadcast flag is confusing, as it is not in place for OTA transmission. Furthermore, one might infer from your contradictory statement that the violation of a law causes the law to cease to exist.

"MCE used the SAME drivers as XP"

http://www.nvidia.com/object/winxpmce_91.31.html
http://www.nvidia.com/object/nforce_nf4_430_410_wi...

My information comes from first-hand experience with the reatail version of MCE Rollup 2. The system had a dickens of a time trying to handle my 17" LCD primary and my 43" HDTV, a task squarely in MCE's supposed forte.


same drivers
By BikeDude on 6/26/06, Rating: 0
RE: Goodbye, MS
By Griffinhart on 6/26/2006 10:12:18 AM , Rating: 2
Needing current DVD decoders (something not included in any version of windows) is not DRM. Typically they come with pre-installed systems and often with Video Boards, but this is not DRM. And MCE absolutely does play retail DVD's just fine.

And yes MCE does use the same basic drivers as XP, although some drivers have some extra stuff to work properly with the 10foot interface so they come as their own download. Usually Video Drivers. Just about every other driver is the standard XP driver. MCE is, afterall, Windows XP Pro with the Media Center stuff added in.

My information comes from first hand experience with the OEM version of MCE from building my MCE system and from all the research I did prior and since building the machine.

Also, you don't lose any functionality with WMP10 if you decide not to enable DRM other than the ability to play DRM protected content. Then again, you can't play DRM protected content on any OS without using DRM software.

This whole complaint of Vista being this DMR riddled software is just plain wrong. The only difference between Vista and XP for DRM will be the High Def Token stuff which is mandated by the industry.


RE: Goodbye, MS
By suryad on 6/25/2006 10:18:15 PM , Rating: 2
I agree...also one thing that peeves me to no end and that is when downloading a really big file, why does it download in some temporary god forsaken folder and then after downloading why does it move it from that folder to the original destination folder that I had selected for the download?! If it is a large file it takes a surprisingly long amount of time to move that sucker. Whoever came up with that should be executed publicly!


RE: Goodbye, MS
By 8steve8 on 6/26/2006 3:07:21 PM , Rating: 2
why would you ever want to use a virgin install of xp...

thats like talking about how windows 3.11 sucks...

its not current, why even mention it.

current is xp sp2 with all the service packs... and quite frankly its pretty good..

although vista is better, albeit still a bit buggy at this stage in the beta process.





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