Well, Microsoft has changed a number of things in the latest build of its Windows Vista OS. Most of the changes I’ll mention are changes that have occurred since the last beta build, 5270.
This latest build is known as the Windows Vista Enterprise Feb CTP. It’s the first feature complete Vista build that Microsoft has released. What does this mean? Well, it means that all the features are there that will be there once Vista is released. However, many of the features might not work well, perhaps even not at all. Microsoft is calling it a non beta quality release. This means that its NOT support by standard Microsoft channels and that it should only be tested in a non-production environment. So basically, it’s use at your own risk.
Now for some of the changes thus far…
- You can no longer rate files from the graphical user interface. You now have to edit the file’s properties manually, but at least now it works. In fact many file types do not even show the rating bar in explorer windows at all, however text files still do, but trying to rate the file results in nothing. That is clicking on one of the stars does nothing. I’m not surprised the functionality is currently disabled because it was very buggy in Vista build 5270. In fact so buggy it was very rare when you were able to successfully even rate a file. It would fail to rate about 99% of the time. But I’m sure it will be back, hopefully by beta 2.
- Windows update now works. In all previous builds windows update would fail to install updates. At least for me anyways. Also, the windows update tab has been removed from the system properties menu. It’s now only in the control panel.
- Most graphical glitches appear to have been fixed. I no longer suffer from little black dots appearing on all images. Would not matter what application you used to view the image either. Internet Explorer no looker constantly refreshes itself when view web enabled newsgroups. Now don’t get my wrong, there are still plenty of graphical problems, but at least for me most of the annoying ones have been fixed.
- Windows defender now works correctly. That is, I can now scan files and folders and remove spyware. In previous betas it would fail to remove spyware and would crash when trying to update itself.
- The best thing about build 5308 so far is that my CPU is now idle most of the time. Where as in previous builds, my CPU would always be running at least 20% CPU which made everything very slow. Not only that, but my hard drive is also idle most of the time. Though explorer.exe does crash a lot more, but luckily every time it has it automatically restarts itself.
- My raid controller still was now found during windows setup, so I still have to install the drivers after installing vista. If I try to install Vista build 5308 with my raid controller connected windows install takes an hour longer and I can not login once setup finishes, meaning I can not use windows at all. All previous builds have suffer from this. I hope to see this finally fixed with beta 2.
- Internet explorer is finally responsive. In build 5270 IE would use 100% CPU 100% of the time so I could hardly even browse the web let alone do anything else with IE running. Other browsers such as Fire fox or opera also run fine.
- The windows side bar is finally back in this build, however there is not much you can do with it since it only includes five simple Gadgets out of the box. And those five Gadgets are: the Feed Viewer, the Launcher, the Wold Clock, the Recycle Bin, and the Slide Show. That be said, in the coming weeks the side bar will become very active as Microsoft Gadgets will finally be compatible with Windows vista and live.com . :D For those of you who wish to create your own side bar Gadgets then be sure and give the Gadget Development Overview Guide a good read.