Print 78 comment(s) - last by AndreasM.. on Jun 27 at 6:29 AM

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 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"

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.

"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot
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