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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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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.


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