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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: zzzz
By Hare on 6/26/2006 1:38:52 AM , Rating: 2
DX 10 could have been implemented to XP so it's an artificial Vista feature...


RE: zzzz
By AndreasM on 6/26/2006 1:46:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
DX 10 could have been implemented to XP so it's an artificial Vista feature...


Nope, DX 10 requires completely new display drivers because it support multitasking the GPU. I guess they could have ported it to XP, but it would have made about as much financial sense as Apple porting OS9 to x86. But the original question I answered to was "By the way, which vista feature has not been seen in Mac OS X two years ago...", and the answer is DX 10 (my circumspect way of saying games).


RE: zzzz
By Burning Bridges on 6/26/2006 9:53:18 AM , Rating: 2
Hmmm, I thought Vista was based on XP?

so, if it is... then it would need basically the same drivers as XP, when it runs dX 9 and then new ones for dX 10, but surely those would work just fine with XP?

correct me if I'm wrong at all.


RE: zzzz
By willow01 on 6/26/2006 10:39:36 AM , Rating: 2
The driver model has been re-written (updated) for Vista. Supposedly it will allow you to update drivers without rebooting the whole system, a crashing video driver will not take down the whole OS, the ability to restart just the video card are some of the features of the new model.


RE: zzzz
By AndreasM on 6/26/2006 10:42:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
so, if it is... then it would need basically the same drivers as XP, when it runs dX 9 and then new ones for dX 10, but surely those would work just fine with XP?


Yes, Vista supports legacy XP drivers as well, but in that case you're limited to a non-gpu accelerated desktop and DX 9 capabilities (i.e. Vista essentially turns into XP SP3+new theme). The new Vista drivers are different from XP drivers, and will not work on XP. When you run a DX9 game on this configuration, DX10 converts the DX9 calls from the game into DX10, there is no need for different levels of drivers. E.g. when you play a DX7 game today on XP&DX9 hardware, all the T&L stuff is actually run in shaders, even though the game doesn't even know such things exist.


RE: zzzz
By Phynaz on 6/26/2006 1:48:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
When you run a DX9 game on this configuration, DX10 converts the DX9 calls from the game into DX10


This is incorrect. Vista contains both DX9 and DX10. When a DX9 (or earlier) program is run DX9 run nativly. There isn't a translation layer in Dx10.


RE: zzzz
By AndreasM on 6/27/2006 6:29:46 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
This is incorrect. Vista contains both DX9 and DX10. When a DX9 (or earlier) program is run DX9 run nativly. There isn't a translation layer in Dx10.


All right, I was unsure about that, should probably have left it out of my post. Makes sense, making a fresh start is probably one of the reasons MS claims DX10 will be more effective and run faster.


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