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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: the real problems
By IamKindaHungry on 6/25/2006 10:49:09 PM , Rating: 3

I know plenty of people with no or little PC experience . I often hear them complaining that their PC is a piece of junk .

Did you ever stop and think that their complaints might be due to the fact that they have little or no PC experience?

Why ? Well because of Windows XP . It's the kind of OS that mess up everything on your PC if you don't have too much experience . It can get jammed up if you install too much ( and you can install anything ) .

Gosh, I hope this doesnt mean that I'm old, but I remember the good ole' days of Win98. Great OS, crashed on install, crashed on boot up, crashed when installing programs, crashed if left on too long, crashed on shutdown. However, it was fast and had the largest software library at the time. Fast forward to win2k (no need to mention winME), a vast improvement in terms of stability but software compatibility was less than desirable. Then comes XP(pre sp2) which offers the best of both worlds (still cant run System Shock 2 though), stability and compatibility though most would say at the risk of security. Once again MS answered the bell with sp2 which is leaps and bounds above the launch release in almost every aspect. Yet somehow no matter how much the OS improves people find reasons to be critical without acknowledging the improvements.

You need tons of programs just to keep it running . Antispam , firewall , antivirus , registry cleaner .... and the list could go on .

Well, lets see now...I dont believe any of those (especially a registry cleaner) is required to keep it running. A firewall and antivirus are good tools to have and could probably be deemed necessary if you surf alot but neither is required by the OS to run. I believe you mean antispyware instead of antispam. Once again if you surf alot I would install some type of antispyware solution (i stopped most of my spyware infestations in 1 easy step, I switched to firefox.

All in all I like XP and while i'm not crazy about Vista to this point, history would imply that it will be an improvement over the current OS

RE: the real problems
By Aquila76 on 6/26/2006 7:06:03 AM , Rating: 2
All in all I like XP and while i'm not crazy about Vista to this point, history would imply that it will be an improvement over the current OS.

Or it could be a Windows ME, or a Windows 95/95A/95B multi-release feature fiasco. It sounds more and more like Windows ME: not much changed in the core (except more requent crashes), but it's got a prettier interface.

"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken
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