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Windows Vista - Not So Bad?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the needs-some-salt dept.

378

Shantyman writes "ZDNet has a counterpoint to the negative impressions of Vista's Beta 2 going around. Entitled Vista Beta 2, up close and personal, Ed Bott writes: 'I've spent the last three months running beta versions of Windows Vista on the PCs I use for everyday work. February and March were exasperating. April's release was noticeably better, and the Beta 2 preview - Build 5381, released to testers in early May - has been running flawlessly on my notebook for nearly three weeks.'"

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Microsoft eating their own dogfood? (5, Interesting)

yagu (721525) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404491)

From the very first paragraph of the article:

Up in Redmond, Microsoft developers proudly talk of dogfooding the software they write. Running beta software is the only way to learn what works and what doesn't. A copy of Windows Vista running on a test machine in the corner isn't likely to get a serious workout. To find the pain points -- another popular Microsoft expression -- you have to run that beta code on the machine you use every day.

Wasn't there a slashdot reference to an article in the last week where Microsoft "was considering" removing admin access from their employees? That doesn't sound like "eating their own dogfood". As long as they're all running Windows with the highest access levels (admin), they're potentially missing serious security problems.

Since Lowest User Access (LUA) is a huge issue around tightening Windows security, running Vista within Microsoft means little around testing security. And, unless they're shipping Vista with defaults of non-admin user accounts, the beta testing world isn't likely to bang on that code hard enough.

It's not clear from the article, nor do I know enough about the Vista beta (not about to try it on any of my machines...) whether the LUA concept is in play. Any beta testers out there care to weigh in?

Re:Microsoft eating their own dogfood? (2, Insightful)

feldsteins (313201) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404520)

Jesus, do they actually use the acronym LUA? *shudder* It's just a vivid reminder that they make this stuff for corporate IT departments and not for me.

Re:Microsoft eating their own dogfood? (3, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404551)

> Microsoft eating their own dogfood?

Just two things to say about dogfood:

1) Food is what goes into a dog, not what comes out of a dog. (Corollary: That which comes out of a dog isn't food.)
2) It's coming out of the end of the dog into which food doesn't go. (Corollary: Unless you're into that sort of thing, in which case, we don't wanna know.)

Re:Microsoft eating their own dogfood? (2, Funny)

boldtbanan (905468) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404761)

Have you ever watched a dog? They eat their own shit/vomit all of the time, just like MS.

Re:Microsoft eating their own dogfood? (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404559)

Also, having the developers using Vista and having grandma use Vista are 2 entirely different things. I don't have any problems running windows 2k and keeping it free from viruses/spyware/bloat. Yet this seems to be the biggest problem for home users.

Re:Microsoft eating their own dogfood? (3, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404699)

There's one very important thing that you're missing: just because the current employees have admin priviledges doesn't mean that they aren't running with LUA, it just means they have the OPTION of running as admin.

MS employees apparently really do believe in the dogfood thing (from what I hear from an employee) so I find it reasonable to think that at least many of them usually run as LUA.

The news from the other day would remove the option and force them to run as LUA, which very well may make things worse from this point of view because then there won't also be a lot of people running as admin.

Re:Microsoft eating their own dogfood? (4, Insightful)

VertigoAce (257771) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404891)

With Vista, even admin users don't run with elevated permissions. I'm logged in as an administrator right now. If I try to create a new text file at C:\ I get an access denied message. If I click the button to continue with the operation, I get a second dialog box warning me that a program is about to do something that requires higher permissions. This then gives me the option to continue or block the operation.

I assume with a limited account, you would have a similar experience, but would need to type in an admin password to continue.

The point is that programs do NOT automatically have permission to do admin operations. Admin or not, the user experience will be quite similar, forcing programs to work without elevated permissions.

Re:Microsoft eating their own dogfood? (0, Troll)

bondsbw (888959) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404714)

"eating their own dogfood"

1) Dog owners eat dog food in an effort to understand the dog.
2) Microsoft developers use Vista everyday in an effort to understand the end-user.
3) Microsoft proudly labels the above practice "dogfooding".

So, according to Microsoft, end-users must be dogs.

Re:Microsoft eating their own dogfood? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15404944)

I will be sure to shit on their lawn the next time I'm on the Microsoft campus!

Yep (5, Informative)

bmajik (96670) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404740)

I partially agree with you, and because of my unix background, I am running vista as a non-priviledged user.

There are two aspects of this. The first is that, if you truly are running as a low-priv user, you need to get elevation prompts at the correct times to be able to live life. This works pretty well, although I keep a cmd.exe window running as local admin sitting around sometimes.

The other aspect of this, however, is that in the real world, a lot of people just dont run as admin, and a lot of apps just can't. So a bunch of work has gone into making admins "virtual admins", so to speak, where operations that actually require priviledge use still involve user interaction/confirmation.

In that sense, people running "as admin" are getting the customer experience - and internally, the way the "did you really want to do this, Mr. Admin?" stuff works is passionately debated :)

My opinion is that people are complaining about the wrong problem - as we continue to eliminate things that require priviledge use, the amount that we have to care about putting up with a just-in-time priviledge escalation model goes down.

Re:Microsoft eating their own dogfood? (1)

CagedBear (902435) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404773)

Microsoft's best practice courses preach to always login with a restricted account and use runas to execute anything requiring higher privileges.

Microsoft IS Eating Their Own Dogfood (5, Informative)

Quantam (870027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404775)

I disagree with your assessment of the situation. Microsoft employees running as admin means two things. Of course it means that they don't have to worry about programs that require admin (or have bugs if not used in admin mode). But even in this case, your hostility is misdirected. MS produces some of the programs most capable of performing correctly in limited user situations I've ever seen (in fact, I can't think of any notable bugs in MS programs when running as limited user, apart from obviously administrative programs, like chkdsk or defrag). That's why I was completely indifferent to the news that MS employees might have to run as limited users: they already know how to play nicely in the limited user situation. What REALLY needs to happen is that third-party developers who write these steaming pile of shit programs need to be forced to use limited user mode. There's absolutely no reason some of these programs (Intuit's It'sDeductable comes readily to mind) need to be admin.

However, running as admin opens them up to all the nasty exploits and viruses (especially if they're using IE), those being probably the biggest blunder on Microsoft's part. As a limited user, a virus can delete your MP3s and porn. As admin, a virus can reformat your entire hard drive, install a rootkit, etc. If that isn't eating your own dog food, I don't know what is.

Sorry this post is a bit scatterbrained. I'm in a pretty big hurry :P

Re:Microsoft IS Eating Their Own Dogfood (1, Troll)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404974)

Oh No.. How is sony now supposed to install their secret rootkit DRM into your computer now if it has to ask permissions??! /The correct answer of course is that Vista will come with this DRM already installed.

Re:Microsoft eating their own dogfood? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15404841)

Making most Microsoft employees work with limited accounts is probably the best thing Microsoft has done for security in a long time. The only reason for using an admin account on Windows XP all the time is that you have to jump through hoops to get most software to work under limited accounts. And why is that? It's because developers don't look at the limitations of normal user accounts when they write their software. Not having to worry about write permissions is easier than making sure your program only writes where it's supposed to write on a multi-user system. Microsoft couldn't remove admin rights from the accounts that are created during installation. It would result in a support nightmare for them, because most software wouldn't work right. Only if they make sure that programs are built with limited user rights in mind can they make that switch and the first step to doing that is to make developers feel the pains of the security conscious users. I'm looking forward to a Microsoft OS where a virus or Sony CD can not install a rootkit because the system is protected from normal user activity.

Re:Microsoft eating their own dogfood? (1)

Fry a Lad Up (513448) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404914)

Wasn't there a slashdot reference to an article in the last week where Microsoft "was considering" removing admin access from their employees? That doesn't sound like "eating their own dogfood". As long as they're all running Windows with the highest access levels (admin), they're potentially missing serious security problems.

I thought the idea was to see if the system was usable without admin privileges. Haven't some people argued that it's too much pain to run as a non-privileged user? that people are almost forced to run in admin mode which generally makes the system more vulnerable?

So may be dog food is "non-admin mode is usable". And it will help identify the tasks the actually require privilege escalation. And help reduce those tasks or ease the process in some way.

Re:Microsoft eating their own dogfood? (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404926)

As long as they're all running Windows with the highest access levels (admin), they're potentially missing serious security problems.

They're not all running with admin access, as I understood the story, just the developers. The whole thing sounds like the usual struggle between programmers and engineers wanting everything exactly the way they want it the moment they want it, and the sysadmins who want to keep them from breaking things. You get that on Macs, Unix, VMS, or anything else.

Re:Microsoft eating their own dogfood? (1)

jamesl (106902) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404948)

MS has over 60,000 employees and not all are programmers, developers, engineers, testers etc. Those that have no need to run as admin shouldn't. Their feedback on how Vista performs in a non-admin environment is valuable also.

Not So Bad (0, Flamebait)

Roody Blashes (975889) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404492)

It's not out yet, so it has no practical track record in real world use. It could just as easily be huge, steaming pile of crap as the work of God himself for all you know.

Re:Not So Bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15404827)

It could just as easily be huge, steaming pile of crap as the work of God himself for all you know.

I bet one is easier than the other.

"Not so bad" isn't good enough (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404887)

"Not so bad" is OK when you have little control over the product/service/whatever ("army food is not so bad", "the weather is not so bad") or when you have to make some sacrifices to get something you want ("the weather was not so bad, but the view was great").

However, you have to do a lot better than "not so bad" to convince people to buy your product when they have choices. Would you go eat at a place that was described as "not so bad"? Win98 was the last release of windows where most customers could see some real benefit in switching from the previous generation (hey I still have a W98 box here). For most people there is no compelling reason to switch to from W98 to ME and then XP. I expect that for most people the difference between XP and Vista will be even less compelling.

It's a sad reflection on a once-great company that their flagship product that has cost billions to produce is "not so bad".

Runs flawlessly (2, Funny)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404497)

Wow it runs on at least one computer. Excellent! Good job Microsoft.

Anyone one else got it working yet? Maybe you can get your story posted to Slashdot too.

Re:Runs flawlessly (2, Funny)

daern (526012) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404609)

Anyone one else got it working yet? Maybe you can get your story posted to Slashdot too.

Works fine here.

Well, you did ask...

Re:Runs flawlessly (4, Funny)

Mayhem178 (920970) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404626)

Turns out the guy didn't really get it working, he just had this [ytmnd.com] taped to his laptop.

Re:Runs flawlessly (1)

lucifig (255388) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404682)

It seems fair, as there are about 5 articles a day on /. about how bad Vista is.

It is odd how a positive review isn't news but the myriads of negative ones are.

Re:Runs flawlessly (1)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404779)

Nah... to be fair they should post at least 30 stories about people getting it working, to be a fair represntativ sample.

Because you know, every time a program works as intended, it deserves a Slashdot story.

A great accomplishment (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15404767)

ZDNet confirms it: Windows Vista is "not that bad". By attaining the coveted "not that bad" status, Microsoft has created the greatest operating system of their entire history.

Re:Runs flawlessly (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404924)

From the article:

April's release was noticeably better, and the Beta 2 preview - Build 5381, released to testers in early May - has been running flawlessly on my notebook for nearly three weeks.'

Wow! And to think, I've been running OS X Tiger since April of last year.

not another one! (0, Offtopic)

slack_prad (942084) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404501)

we have had enough of vista 'news' !

Re:not another one! (0, Offtopic)

Pulse_Instance (698417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404752)

At least it isn't another article about the Wii / PS3 although I like occasional news on the systems it seems that almost every thread on every news section has something about either one in it and that is starting to get old.

Or, to put it more accurately (4, Funny)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404503)

MS's checks from april and may cleared.

Article is really a collection of screenshots (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404504)

There's no article here. It's a collection of screenshots with a little blurb at the top. He's excited that you can change Vista's theme to one of eight different colors. This is not news for nerds.

Re:Article is really a collection of screenshots (5, Insightful)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404577)

Yes, because Slashdot has never run a story of just screenshots of KDE, Gnome, a Linux Install program, or any other pre-release software.

Re:Article is really a collection of screenshots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15404867)

Whoo Hoo. the shillboy springs into action defending MS!

Go shillboy go!

Re:Article is really a collection of screenshots (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404958)

That seems to imply that people around here don't find those articles just as annoying , and they do.
The only difference is that it is highly unlikely that there was any payment received for the reviews(to be a touch cynical).

Re:Article is really a collection of screenshots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15404977)

KDE, Gnome, a Linux Install program, or any other pre-release software.
So, KDE, Gnome, a Linux Install program are pre-release software? Damn, now we know why Linux hasn't hit the desktop yet :( -- because they are all still BETA??

Re:Article is really a collection of screenshots (1)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404659)

To be fair it does try to explain what is new in Vista Forever compared to the earlier incarnations. The blurb is a little brief though and I wasn't exactly getting excited reading it, but then I am not the target market. I am sure some people get excited about the new true transparency effects, which is the only thing I can see that would make me upgrade (the continuous promises of upgrading to get more security sound good - but I no longer believe it).

the new Reliability Monitor, which sifts through event logs and helps you track down the cause of crashes and slowdowns.

Well at least they finally admitted that Windows can crash. I wish they had called it the Unreliability Monitor though. ;)

Re:Article is really a collection of screenshots (1, Insightful)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404709)

Reads like a MS fanboy or an MS plant job.


The Vista interface
You've heard all about the Aero interface and Glass effects, but did you know you can select from eight colors and vary the transparency of the see through window elements? There's no denying that the Vista interface is better looking than the bright blue XP Luna look...

So they called it Luna? I thought it was Fisher Price. And 8 colors to choose from? That means it's pre-programmed that way and not dynamic like the current appreance settings you can change.

File management
Oh, and Vista has a Backup program you might actually use.

If I can't restore a backup on a different machine, it has no use.

Security
There's no question that the new security features work as intended.

As intended by whom? Will it protect the user or just confuse/piss off? Is it just some default interface that professional Windows users will understand how to navigate AND is it easy enough to understand for a common person that may only spend 4 hours a week with the OS?

Performance and reliability
Vista is packed with a bunch of features that have hardly received any publicity. You've probably seen the hokey Performance Rating dialog box, which measures your PC's resources and assigns a 1-5 rating. But I'll bet you haven't seen the Performance Diagnostic Console, which is like Task Manager's Performance tab on steroids, or the new Reliability Monitor, which sifts through event logs and helps you track down the cause of crashes and slowdowns.

My above comment hold true for this. How is a common person who uses email and stores images going to benefit from this when they won't even understand what they're looking at? This is more of a powertoy for heavy users and shouldn't be a featured bullet point of why someone should purchase this.

On the web ...a suprisingly useful Calendar program

About damn time. Seriously Microsoft, always late to the party.
And that should be a bullet point of an application that is included.

Re:Article is really a collection of screenshots (1)

gregbains (890793) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404818)

To be fair to Microsoft in the screenshot it has 8 preset colours but also a transparency bar and a colour mixer to select your own settings, so it is dynamic, it just comes with some pre-picked ones to make it easier. See here [zdnet.com]

Re:Article is really a collection of screenshots (2, Funny)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404947)

To be fair to Microsoft in the screenshot it has 8 preset colours but also a transparency bar and a colour mixer to select your own settings, so it is dynamic

So you're saying that I can choose any colour?

Re:Article is really a collection of screenshots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15404846)

This is not news for nerds.

Contrary to popular belief, this is news for nerds.

Let me fill you in on a little factoid.

Back in the 80's nerd power grew. Dominate movies took society at large by surprise. Revenge of the Nerds, Better off Dead, Some Kind of Wonderful, Sixteen Candles and many others started to change the psyche of America and the World. By the 1990's the nerds had become so powerful and revered that they were actually more popular than those who had held them down. Even though the dotcom days died (largely attributed to non-nerd managers who werent able to understand the 'trekkie' types genius, which lead to bad business focus that these great ideas couldnt save), nerds retained their allure culminating with the development of underground hits that tried to catch the 80's style such as Donny Darko or Napoleon Dynamite.

But the nerds had grown so popular that the enbodiment of what a nerd is had changed. Now the non-nerds of the 80's are infact the nerds of the new millenium.

So infact this story is for nerds. The new ones.

I even think you sir, though baffled by my logic and powers of keen insight, are one of the new.

Does "not too bad" count as a good reason? (3, Interesting)

pla (258480) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404537)

April's release was noticeably better, and the Beta 2 preview - Build 5381, released to testers in early May - has been running flawlessly on my notebook for nearly three weeks.

I haven't tried b2 yet, but from my experience with b1, I didn't so much have a problem with "stability" as the fact that it had nothing new that I wanted.

Not to say it doesn't have PLENTY of new ways to waste CPU and memory, as well as DRM-to-the-core, but I can't really say I consider those a reason to upgrade.


Rearranging the clicky-widgets doesn't make it "new", and taking away the user's rights on their own machine doesn't make it "improved". Making it harder to pirate doesn't make it "secure". Throwing in an SQL server turned on by default might make it "biger", but not in a good way.

Re:Does "not too bad" count as a good reason? (3, Insightful)

SEMW (967629) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404622)

>...taking away the user's rights on their own machine doesn't make it "improved".

I could quote literally hundreds of Slashdot posts in almost any past thread about Windows criticising Microsoft for *giving* user's all (i.e. admin) rights on their own machines, in contrast with Linux, MacOS etc. Finally Microsoft agree and take them away (not an easy move considering that, since it'll be installed on the computers of people who have no idea how to use a computer, transparent ease of use has to be near the top of their priority list), and all anyone can do is complain about it.

I agree that the early implementationg (UAP) were severely flawed, but apparently that's one of the things that the beta 2 release much improves. Criticise them when they deserrve it (admittedly 95% of the time) but give them credit where it's due too.

Re:Does "not too bad" count as a good reason? (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404704)

Windows users are spoiled by the preceived "convenience" of always-on admin rights. Taking that away will create bitching from some of them, and I would agree with you that it's unfair, had Microsoft not lovingly made the bed in which they must now lie.

Re:Does "not too bad" count as a good reason? (1)

pla (258480) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404723)

I could quote literally hundreds of Slashdot posts in almost any past thread about Windows criticising Microsoft for *giving* user's all (i.e. admin) rights on their own machine

You could quote my own posts on that topic back to me as well. :)

But I didn't mean that to refer to Vista (possibly) making users run as non-admin by default - I meant to refer to the entire Secure-Foo-Path nonsense (aka DRM) that Microsoft has seemingly chosen to embrace, thoroughly against the wishes of just about everyone except Hollywood.


I actually applaud MS for UAP - if they can get it to work well. The biggest problem I see there will come from getting (at least most) preexisting 3rd-party software to still work... Yes, they could just take the stance that apps need to specifically support it, but even Microsoft would know that amounts to quite a cop-out.

Yet Another Vista Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15404539)

YAVA - Yawn.

I agree (4, Insightful)

theheff (894014) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404544)

I have to agree with this post. I ran the April and May release quite a bit, and was extremely impressed. Simply put, Vista is eye candy. In the early betas Vista was almost identical to XP, it just looked a new skin and the same old OS, but the latest releases have really turned my head. It's easy to bash something new from MS and write bad reviews about how it won't install right on your Lenovo and such, but after I actually gave it a chance, I was thoroughly impressed by the performance and usability. I can't wait to see the final product.

Re:I agree (1)

eln (21727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404623)

Okay, so it's pretty, but what does it actually DO? I don't care what new skins they've come up with, I want to know what features work, what features don't work, which new features are useful, and which aren't. This thing has been out for almost a month, can't somebody write an actual in-depth review beyond "I could/couldn't get it to work on my laptop?"

Re:I agree (1)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404693)

Simply put, Vista is eye candy.

So you're saying that "upgrading" to Vista is for looks?

Hey everybody, I got a new [gnome-look.org] version [kde-look.org] of Linux [enlightenment.org] !!

Re:I agree (1)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404834)

You don't get it. A skin doesn't look cool until Microsoft copies it.

Running smoothly? (5, Insightful)

Devil's BSD (562630) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404556)

He says it's running smoothly, but the screenshot of the stability monitor says otherwise...
http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?page_id=65&page=19 [zdnet.com]

At least Microsoft has given us a way to prove how unstable our systems are... whenever Windows Vista is finally released.

Re:Running smoothly? (1)

racazip (829595) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404625)

The page says "(Note: This screen is from build 5381, although the application looks identical in Beta 2.)"

Re:Running smoothly? (4, Funny)

bishiraver (707931) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404637)

I love it. "Failure Type: OS Stopped Working." Real informative there!

Re:Running smoothly? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404888)

That really gets to the crux of the matter. Window's current logging is utterly pointless. I have never _ever_ been able to track down a problem by looking at the system event log, which is extremely frustrating because it's the first place I look when Unix based systems have problems. For some reason no windows application (or driver) ever logs anything more informative than "permission denied--but I'm not going to tell you where" or "crashed". They will happily log umpteen zillion useless "everything's Ok!" messages. Because of this, it's many many times harder to track down problems on Windows machines than it is on pretty much any other platform. Seriously, do the developers think their users would be scared if they actually told them what the problem was instead of just tossing up a generic "access violation" message?

Re:Running smoothly? (1)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404981)

Products like Exchange have many levels of logging that you can turn on.. If you turn it all on you can fill a HD in no time.

The event log has built in filters so that you can see only the types of even you want to. If applications are not logging errors it is the app developer not the OS that is at fault.. The event log API is not exactly a secret.

Re:Running smoothly? (4, Funny)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404639)

I have to say that MS must have enormous balls to add a "stability monitor" to Windows.

"Stability Index" is going to become the new "Uptime".

Re:Running smoothly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15404654)

but as you can see, it sometimes runs at 10... 10 percent, so it only blue screens every 10 mins, right?

Re:Running smoothly? (1)

SEMW (967629) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404658)

I do love them putting "OS stopped working" as the reason for system failure. Combined with the meaningless hex numbers listed in 'failure detail', it provides nearly as much information as "General Protection Fault"...

Re:Running smoothly? (1, Insightful)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404672)

Actually you're jumping to conclusions based on a picture. The mere fact that such items were logged tells you the system was functioning. If parts of it don't work well, its a beta, regardless the core stayed up and running along with the monitoring tools so it sounds like the user probably didn't even notice.

Again, that is me jumping to a conclusion based on a picture so I can be wrong as well but I do know if the memory got logged then the system wasn't that bad off. The scenarios surrounding it are completely unknown. The OS stopped working error could have occurred by running software that writes to protected memory and the resulting denial appears as the error. Lots of possiblities.

Proving XP instability is quite difficult not because the tools aren't there to mine it but because most people don't have stability problems unless they have hardware problems. Same with 2003. Let's move on please and concentrate on security and performance which is where Vista has yet to prove itself. Although in reality Vista performs better on equipped machines than XP does. When you get towards the lower end of the requirements XP becomes a better option. That will always happen though, kinda like running SUSE 10 on a 386. Granted not as dramatic.

Re:Running smoothly? (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404861)

He says it's running smoothly, but the screenshot of the stability monitor says otherwise...
http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?page_id=65&page=19 [zdnet.com]


From the link: "Note: This screen is from build 5381, although the application looks identical in Beta 2.)" Since the article and uptime comments were about Beta 2... I don't think you have a valid point. Good (almost) catch, though.

Re:Running smoothly? (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404946)

According to that chart, his system is becoming less stable almost every day. Starting from a "10" on May 6 he's down to about a "6" on May 22. It looks like Vista Beta is all downhill.

Re:Running smoothly? (1)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404950)

From the article you linked:
"(Note: This screen is from build 5381, although the application looks identical in Beta 2.) "

Java is broke (2, Informative)

acidrain69 (632468) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404561)

Java doesn't work. We run it on a machine with a projector in our conference room. It was looking good till we tried to join an online conference :)

Can't necessarily blame MS for Java though. Although I can blame them for trying to change the spec and the whole Sun-MS lawsuit fiasco.

Re:Java is broke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15404698)

Try upgrading to the latest version of Java.

Re:Java is broke (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404742)

Your company runs a Beta OS on the PC in your conference room? Maybe you misunderstood the word "Beta" for "eternal version" (Can happen if you've used google too much lately).

The proof is in the pudding (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15404566)

Many reviewers wrote fawningly over Windows 95 back in the day. Their usage didn't happen to strike its biggest problems very hard. The test for Vista is when hundreds of millions of people are using it, not a few reviewers on their desktop and an odd laptop

Re:The proof is in the pudding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15404923)

mmmmm pudding

Vista works (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15404574)

Me and some of my coworkers have been running vista build 5308 and I just installed build 5381 on those machines and they have been running very well. The install was improved and the interface is running a lot smoother and the new ati beta drivers are working good too. It's also running directx 10 now compared to 9L in the last build. We also have Office 2007 Beta 2 running on it and that too is working very well, We have both machines on a 2003 active directory network with exchange. The UAC does get annoying when it keeps asking you if your sure you want to do things, but a quick skim through the local security policy solved that :-) All in all I'd say Beta 2 has improved greatly over the past few releases. The memory usage at least is way down. It was using about 750mbs on our machines. I am upset that an Athlon X2 4200, with 4 gigs of ddr-400, a sata2 80 gig drive, and an atix1300 with 265mb on the card only gets a 3 out of 5 on the stupid rating system. Especially when everything works smooth, including the 3d page flip. I do feel that the "minimum requirements" that microsoft posted are of course a joke but that's nothing new.

Re:Vista works (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15404732)

good that your company pays you to do work for Microsuck for free, you idiot

Re:Vista works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15404782)

As opposed to just working for free for OSS/Linux... you idiot.

Re:Vista works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15404976)

So, what flavor was the Kool-Aid??

Vista and MS is for CS noobs (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15404656)

Deal with it. The same boys who run Vista are the ones driving a puny 4 cylinder ricer with all the stickers plastered all over it. Vista is for boys who buy their computers at Best Buy, clueless CS noobs and losers. Deal with it Vista rice boy.

Re:Vista and MS is for CS noobs (1)

j_kenpo (571930) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404823)

Funny... I always thought Gentoo was for Ricers [funroll-loops.org]

I think my Grandpa said it best.... (1)

Rendo (918276) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404663)

"Back in my day boy, things didn't need no beta testing. It just worked" Okay, maybe he didn't say that, and maybe it's not as funny as I thought it'd be. However I gave up on Windows months ago, and no matter how stable it gets, I don't plan on using Vista. I'd rather use a system that has global support and concerns for the well-being of it's customers. I personally use Ubuntu, and aptly wait for the June 1st launch of Dapper Drake. It may not be near Windows "user-friendliness" to date, but it's working a lot harder and faster than Microsoft is and it only delayed itself for 6 weeks to make the system for user-friendly. All this talk about Vista, makes me want to tear my eyes out. It's just a glorified XP for christ sakes. :/

This is probably paid advertisement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15404677)

I doubt its a real article. This is probably paid advertisement

I'm running it to post this! :) (2, Interesting)

bmajik (96670) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404694)

I was just thinking "i know i like it better, but really, what do i like better about it?"

Then something occured to me.

Right now, i am copying 4GB of files off a usb disk to a network share. The shell file copy stuff has been completely re-worked (shell file operations has always been something that i have hated)

In vista, you get an expand/collapse pane to get details of what it is doing, and it seems to happen in its own thread. The copy dialog window shows up as its own window that you can minimize/restore/whatever, and best of all, it doesn't hang/slow down the shell in any way.

Note that XP and OS X (as of 10.3) get this badly wrong - the file copy dialog in both tends to be slow to repaint itself or to respond to window messages, and if you use a separate explorer/finder window to try and access the destination you're copying to, the window lurches slowly to try and redraw.

Not so with Vista.

So there you go - here is something that was so annoying to me in XP that I had just stopped using the shell to do any sort of large file operation - i'd break out cmd.exe and xcopy. Vista has fixed at least some of the file copy problems very admirably.

There are a lot of cool "small" things that I see, but maybe you have to be kind of nerdy to apprecate them? The task manager has some cool features on the build I am running. The eventviewer (eventvwr) is a completely new animal and is way cooler than the old one

A nice use of the pervasive desktop search integrated into the explorer windows is in Control Panel. We're pretty good about changing control panel wildly between releases, and I never remember which menu your system environment variables or enabling remote desktop or changing it so that the "Explorer:Start Navigation" sound is (none). Now i just hit "start->control panel", click in the search box for something like "sound" and i get search-as-i-type results that are pretty accurate and take me right to the control panel i want to go to.

Is any of that a big deal? No. Does it make me love Vista when i think about how much i hated doing that stuff on XP?

Yes

Apparently, there are a lot of "big" changes under the hood of Vista, but you don't always see them in a big way.

Re:I'm running it to post this! :) (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404766)

What no more staring at "2 minutes remaining" for four hours? A feature of Explorer I first came to love in NT4.

Re:I'm running it to post this! :) (1)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404824)

Or if you pull the network cable out, the little piece of paper will keep flying forever as if something is happening.

Re:I'm running it to post this! :) (1)

SensitiveMale (155605) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404836)

Now i just hit "start->control panel", click in the search box for something like "sound" and i get search-as-i-type results that are pretty accurate and take me right to the control panel i want to go to.

Another feature stolen from OS X; specifically 10.4 Tiger.

Begginers will complain about the added security.. (5, Insightful)

adolfojp (730818) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404718)

Windows 2K brought stability to the windows platform. Windows Vista should bring enhanced security through its pseudo sudo strategy.

Although win 2k and xp had limited user accounts it did nothing to enforce their usage because it would alienate novice users who wanted to install their shinny new Easy Birthday Card Creator software. Now the process that grants admin rights will be simpler to use but I can bet that many people will complain about the extra "hassle" that they will encounter when installing software.

Of course, you can only do so much to secure an operating system that is geared towards users. It is only a matter of time before Joe User decides that it is a good idea to provide the admin password to install the latest malware ridden "Fun Emoticon" package.

The best strategy that MS could do to improve security would be to bundle an intro into the OS that explained the basics of its new security features.

Re:Begginers will complain about the added securit (1)

OmegaBlac (752432) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404909)

The best strategy that MS could do to improve security would be to bundle an intro into the OS that explained the basics of its new security features.
And I'm sure that most users will skip it, quickly launch IE, and begin downloading all the malware-infested apps that they feel they can't live without. And if they can't skip the "intro" by pressing Cancel/Exit/Skip, they will get up and do something else until it is over. The average Window (l)user just does not take security seriously and no video tutorial will change that. It's people like that, that keeps money depositing into my bank account. ;)

It doesn't matter. (0, Troll)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404734)

It doesn't matter if Windows does a good job or a bad job. People will have to take Vista regaurdless of how good or bad it is.

Slashdot might not as well cover how good or bad Vista is because in Vista and OSX are closed source OSes. Users have no say in how good or bad a proprietary OS is. So we might as well not deal with it.

I Personally wish that people would stop consuming, and giving creed to closed OSes, and no, OSX is not an Open OS. I don't care how like BSD it is.

Re:It doesn't matter. (2, Insightful)

linguae (763922) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404845)

I Personally wish that people would stop consuming, and giving creed to closed OSes

Why? Some people need proprietary OSes and software in order to do their jobs. Some people need it because the best tools are available only in Windows or OS X. Some people use proprietary software simply because they like it better than the FOSS alternatives (provided that they know about the alternatives).

I'm a user of proprietary software every day (although I'm also a FreeBSD user). People aren't going to switch to FOSS software for everything until it does everything that the best closed source software does (plus more)., and very easily too.

Re:It doesn't matter. (1)

adolfojp (730818) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404879)

I use Windows XP, Ubuntu 5.10, and SuSE 10.1. I develop software for a living.

There are many things that I don't like of the three operating systems. In theory, I could modify Ubuntu and SuSE to my liking. The reality is that I couldn't do that if I tried, and if I tried, I wouldn't have the time to achieve anything significant.

The idea that Open Source software is needed because it allows the end user to modify its own system is utopic at best. Most people can't use a command line to change a configuration file. Most people want their software to work. Windows Vista and OS X was designed for most people.

I drive a car. I do it every day. The fact that I can't or don't wish to tweak it doesn't take away from its utility or value.

I think the real news would be.... (1, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404744)

I think the real news would be "how much does it cost to buy a computer that can actually run Vista?"

Not trying to troll here, but ferchrissake! If I have to upgrade at a cost of hundreds of dollars just to run it, I don't want to know, I don't care, and I know its not going to run on that $100 laptop. While it might work for some, and perhaps many, it still looks like a very fancy gun for MS to shoot their own feet with. Testing stories so far don't seem to allude to any magical improvements, or reasons that Vista is a "must have" product. Nobody I know is buying up hardware so they can upgrade to Vista when it is released. Except for gamers and those with serious hardware requirements, nobody needs that much hardware performance really. Until streaming media is commonplace, they won't need it. Speaking of which, does anyone know if Vista does streaming media well? While its using all that hardware, does it get anywhere near acting like a multimedia system to replace all others?

Perhaps these are stupid questions, or just plain cynical thinking, but I just don't get it... to me, its sort of like building a bigger hummer with lower mpg while gas prices are climbing with nothing to stop them from continuing to climb. Not many of the bigger gas guzzlers are going to get sold....

Re:I think the real news would be.... (2, Informative)

EvanED (569694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404978)

My computer is 4 years old almost (3 years, 10 months). It wasn't top of the line when I got it, though it was pretty good. It's gotten a RAM upgrade, but as far as internals go that's it.

The Vista hardware evaluation wizard thingy they had posted to /. a little bit ago had only one complaint -- the amount of hard drive space I have. And if I changed around my partitions a bit so that C: wasn't only 12 GB, it wouldn't complain about that.

The hardware requirements to run Vista, even Aero, I think are vastly overplayed.

Vista *looks* better, but ... (1)

boxlight (928484) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404754)

Judging by the screen shots, Vista certainly looks better -- but I hesitate to give Microsoft any respect for that as they've basically (once again) derived a look and feel from Mac. This time it's specifically derived from the glossy back Mac has been using here-and-there in Tiger and in their marketing material since the release of the black iPod Nano.

Still -- it does look better, I'll begrudgingly admit.

But that being said, Microsoft continues to neglect the more important although subtle useability aspects of their UI. They still insist on using huge amounts of real-estate for insignificant information. They continue to overuse pop-ups and tool-tips as band-aid solutions to problems conveying system information.

Since Microsoft has no qualms blantantly copying others' features, I don't understand why they continue to settle for a second rate implementations.

boxlight

Forget it, it's not free! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15404755)

Gah, you're forgetting the most important thing: Free Software

Well, that's their marketing sorted (2, Funny)

adamwright (536224) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404763)

"Buy Windows Vista - It's not so bad!"

I wonder when Slashdot get's their creative fee? ;)

that sounds like a selling point (4, Funny)

sentientbrendan (316150) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404772)

Windows Vista "Not so bad"

Windows Vista "Almost as good as XP"

Windows Vista "Several new themes"

I think microsoft has a winner here

and in other news (2, Funny)

joeyspqr (629639) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404802)

.. Denise running away with Sambora makes Charlie look like an ok guy ...

Vista never worked on my laptop (-1, Offtopic)

Laxator2 (973549) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404806)

Why is that ? Because I did not install it to begin with ! :-)

Amazing... (5, Insightful)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404812)

Ever wonder how MS get their media coverage? Here is a classic example, we are potentially TWELVE MONTHS away from widespread release on a product thats been in development for FOUR YEARS and people are "impressed" that a SECOND beta is relatively stable. And this is considered a news story.

Talk about generating buzz around a product to make people want it, and to cover up the yet more slipped release dates and the reduced functionality over what was promised. And it all comes down to a new look and feel and a bit of threading and the su command.

WOW FIVE YEARS DEVELOPMENT to get this into production.

I live in awe at Microsoft's ability to generate positive news.

Wait... (1)

TadZimas (921646) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404840)

"Windows isn't messing up"?
I think /. got hacked.

My problem (3, Insightful)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404852)

My problem with recent Microsoft operating systems has nothing to do with how well they run. I have to admit that they have been progresively better about that. My problem is how intrusive they are. How much control do I have over what my computer (my property that I paid for with my money) will and won't do.

Re:My problem (1)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404945)

In light of your post, from page 14:
Vista's firewall is capable of blocking outbound connection, but this feature isn't available for your control. You'll still need a third-party utility if you want to do more than stop inbound intrusions.

Why is that feature not available for our control?

Not to be mean, but it sounds like bullshit (-1, Troll)

gelfling (6534) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404865)

The UI is more or less the same except sexier, borrowing widgets from Linux.

The file system is the same except harder to use. And there's a new file search box.

Security is a lot harder to use and may or may not improve what has been MS's Achilles heel for decades.

It has a bunch of new diagnostic tools that are going to tell you there's no known reason your machine crashes and there's no identfied fix for it. In either case it's probably your non MS application that's the problem. And it won't be able to tell you anything about that.

And the networking controls, which few people ever have a need to address, are completely new.

Call me a cynic but NEW VERSIONS of something are supposed to be worthwhile, they are supposed to be dramatic. Everything else is just a dot release, a bug fix or a minor tweak. I just don't see the upside to transitioning thousands of machines to this. I don't see the PURE advantages of it.

suse + kde (1)

sum.zero (807087) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404874)

looks a lot like kde on suse, even uses lots of green and yast-like interfaces.

sum.zero

Re:suse + kde (1)

sim82 (836928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404968)

Exactly what I was thinking, when I saw the screenshots. Looks like kde from 3 years ago when the (now) uber-ugly keramik theme was state of the art. At the first look it was somehow stunning, but today ...
that kind of super glossy gui has not aged gracefully. Now it just looks dated.

This is awesome! (1)

mmell (832646) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404895)

But will it run Duke Nukem Forever?

Three weeks? that's amazing... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#15404980)

well..... No, it's not.

Let me know when it runs 366 days straight, even through patches.

People need to learn abuot program maturity. The industry is aware of it, but conviently hides it away so they can make more money.

I don't ahve a lot of hope for a product thats 4 years behind schedule. Sure it will be released, but the bloat is going to be tremendous.

For the recrd, I hope I am wrong.
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