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Windows Vista, More Than Just a Pretty Face

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the don't-judge-a-book-by-its-bsod dept.

381

Nash writes "Ars Technica takes a look under the hood of Vista, discussing the need for a new API and comparing the graphics engine in Vista to that of Mac OS X. 'With Windows Vista it will be possible to implement Exposé properly-with live window updates and low system overhead. That said, it doesn't thus far look like Microsoft will be doing anything so useful as Exposé. Though the blurred glass effect is rather attractive, it's not exactly useful. Other visual effects include miniature window previews when the mouse cursor is hovered over taskbar buttons and an upgraded alt-tab device, and Flip3D.'"

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More than a pretty face. . . (4, Funny)

MistaE (776169) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428049)

Vista's a whore!

Re:More than a pretty face. . . (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428083)

Well said.

A very special whore (-1, Troll)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428339)

... one that #$%#^s you instead of you #$^%ing it. Like in Soviet Russia.

Re:More than a pretty face. . . (5, Funny)

ThatsNotFunny (775189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428673)

Whores are less expensive, and less prone to viruses than Vista.

Glass Effect and Screenshots (4, Interesting)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428067)

It's kind of unfortunate that the Glass effect is transparent. If you take a screenshot of a single window, it will pick up whatever is behind the window.

So, say you have something you don't want to show up in your screenshot, but it's behind the Glass effect. It will show up in the screenshot.

Not normally that big of a deal, but it's kind of annoying taking a screenshot of a "single window" and picking up content from other windows.

Re:Glass Effect and Screenshots (2, Insightful)

SirSmiley (845591) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428125)

What about Alt+Print Screen, it only captures the active window...

Re:Glass Effect and Screenshots (1, Redundant)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428179)

This is percisely what I'm refering to.

Re:Glass Effect and Screenshots (4, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428137)

This is one feature I really like. I remember using NVTools to make all my windows in XP 75% transparent so I could "multitask" my screen real estate. Some applications which bypass the regular Windows GDI API tended to not be transparent and it usually was all for the best (games, mostly).

While I hardly ever have to perform screenshots, I guess now you just need to set up your desktop for a snapshot just like you might have to set up to get a halfway decent picture of anything in real life.

(I don't have Vista, but surely there's a way to turn off Aero if it's that big a deal?)

Re:Glass Effect and Screenshots (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428667)

This is one feature I really like. I remember using NVTools to make all my windows in XP 75% transparent so I could "multitask" my screen real estate.

Real operating systems have virtual desktops so you don't have to layer everything 3 windows deep. Vista doesn't even have a power tool [microsoft.com] to do it.

Re:Glass Effect and Screenshots (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428761)

You mean like the equivalent of "tabbed" desktops? One for my video encoding folders and related apps, one for the video game I'm playing and its forums/cheat sites, one for my music directory and winamp? That does sound kind of cool.

I usually meticulously position windows every login (because windows never remember regardless of the settings you choose) to have these all set up at the proper viewing, but having to fiddle with a 2-line deep taskbar to bring up the right ones for the task I want to do at the moment can be frustrating,

Re:Glass Effect and Screenshots (5, Informative)

Sinbios (852437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428905)

http://www.codeplex.com/vdm [codeplex.com]

It's still being developed, but works pretty well so far.

Re:Glass Effect and Screenshots (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428999)

Isn't the purpose of technology to make things easier, not harder? This would be another major negative to Vista - it makes things harder, and doesn't help me in any way that I've heard.

I don't need transparent windows for the most part either. A second monitor is much more helpful. The exception is the way that Apple's Mac OSX does property windows. Those being somewhat transparent is helpful at times.

It's not even "pretty"! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18428145)

I think it's difficult to even suggest that Vista offers a "pretty face". A large number of bloggers have written about the rather poor appearance of Windows Vista.

http://www.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/2006/10/26/ vista-the-good-the-bad-the-ugly/ [lockergnome.com]
http://pinderkent.blogsavy.com/archives/56 [blogsavy.com]
http://chris.pirillo.com/2007/02/27/windows-vista- im-breaking-up-with-you/ [pirillo.com]

And it's not like Microsoft was unaware of the problems. We had people pointing out many of the visual flaws throughout the development process:

http://www.winsupersite.com/reviews/winvista_5231. asp [winsupersite.com]
http://www.siliconvalleysleuth.com/2006/01/the_tru th_about.html [siliconvalleysleuth.com]

Re:It's not even "pretty"! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18428433)

Are you even reading the links you post? The first one mentions "ugly" as a cultural reference, and all it says is ugly is the price. It explicitly calls Vista pretty -- that's the first goddamn entry in "The Good".

Your second link just errored. Did you really mean to cut if off at 56 there?

Your third link doesn't really address whether Vista is attractive. It mentions "eye candy" once when comparing performance to XP. It also mentions "view settings"

I'm not going to re-read the preview articles and look for mentions about visuals after that load of crap.

Take it from a Vista user -- it's pretty.

Here's what I think is not pretty: IE7 looks like crap to me. I don't know why people like it. The new Windows Explorer also looks ugly, but in its case that's partly because it is far more functional than it used to be and the ugliness is in the information overload.

Last visual thing: I hate the way the start menu doesn't fly-out anymore but instead rearranges itself over the same goddamn column. You can switch it to classic view, but then you lose the search field. WTF? Why should I have to choose between flyout menus and SEARCH?

Every other change I can think of: pretty. This is obviously subjective, but then again, you're full of shit, and subjective trumps full of shit.

Re:It's not even "pretty"! (1)

Zonk (troll) (1026140) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428939)

Take it from a Vista user -- it's pretty... Every other change I can think of: pretty. This is obviously subjective, but then again, you're full of shit, and subjective trumps full of shit.
Vista is pretty by comparison to XP. But it's rather ugly compared to OS X Tiger or Ubuntu's Gnome.

Re:Glass Effect and Screenshots (5, Funny)

errxn (108621) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428253)

It's kind of unfortunate that the Glass effect is transparent
So, in other words, it's kinda like...glass?

Re:Glass Effect and Screenshots (1)

SEMW (967629) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428303)

May I suggest Kenny Kerr's Window Clippings [asp.net] , a (freeware) screenshot utility that "generates a transparent image - the shadow and glass have their alpha channel set".

From a review [interact-sw.co.uk] : "This isn't a perfect simulation of what real Glass does - it won't blur the area behind the title bar. This is because there's no way of building a bitmap file that will have such an effect. But given the limitations of what you can do with existing bitmap formats, Kenny's utility is as good as it's possible to get".

Re:Glass Effect and Screenshots (2, Informative)

amdandcode (952992) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428485)

Actually, there is a way to turn off transparency in Vista through the new redesigned desktop properties dialog.

I actually quite like the new UI in Vista--including the transparency effects, but that's about all I like. Beryl and XGL are actually a lot better, and they don't suck up the memory that Vista uses.

Re:Glass Effect and Screenshots (1)

mackyrae (999347) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428877)

Just move the window to a different virtual desktop...er, after downloading that extra app that brings Windows up to speed with Linux.

Re:Glass Effect and Screenshots (1)

ebingo (533762) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428985)

Why not just minimize all other windows? Too complicated?

It's all about choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18428901)

Well the great thing about Windows is you can always change the theme. Just about everything about the appearance is customizable.

Do you like the "Windows 2000" look? Use the "Windows Classic" theme.
Are you kickin' it XP style? Use the "Windows XP" theme.
Want to roll your own? Make your own custom theme, and save it. That way if you make changes you don't like, you just jump back to that theme. And you can even share your themes with your friends.

About 99.9999% of the Windows things Slashdot complains about can be easily resolved, and most of the time by just opening a help file and doing a search. It actually takes more effort to complain than it does to get answers.

Re:Glass Effect and Screenshots (1)

norman619 (947520) | more than 7 years ago | (#18429021)

Well, you can focus on the window you actually want to capture then use the alt key along with the print screen key and then you have captured only the window you wanted and not your whole screen.

Oh no (0, Offtopic)

conradov (1026760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428075)

here we go again... poor slashdot servers.

I'm sorry but I can't marry you... (0, Offtopic)

DrakeDrakerson (1076119) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428101)

because I'm in love with Bob from Accounting!

OS X not that bad. (1, Informative)

Hozza (1073224) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428121)

Of course, OS X also does live updates of windows in Expose, don't know why the article suggests otherwise.

Re:OS X not that bad. (4, Informative)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428171)

Of course, OS X also does live updates of windows in Expose, don't know why the article suggests otherwise.

From TFA: "The scaled windows that Exposé shows you are not merely static screenshots of those windows; they're the actual windows themselves, just scaled down. This means that they update live, and any changes in a window are immediately apparent to the user."

How do you read that as suggesting otherwise?

Re:OS X not that bad. (2, Insightful)

Hozza (1073224) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428193)

OK, so the summary of the article suggests otherwise then....

Re:OS X not that bad. (2, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428237)

I read the summary as indicating that previous versions of Windows couldn't implement it properly, but that Vista would now allow it to be done right. I can see how it could be interpreted the other way, though.

Re:OS X not that bad. (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428313)

Actually... I'm a Beryl user and Beryl does this just as Mac OS X does. But just yesterday I was talking to the Windows admin here and he has Vista with Aero Glass on his workstation. He was highly impressed by Beryl when I showed it to him a while back, butI was curious about the live update of the scaled windows in Vista. So I asked him to pop open a CMD window and ping something, then display all the scaled windows. It worked. The ping was still visible. So... it appears that Vista CAN do it, (we didn't test with video or anything though) and maybe it's not as efficient as Mac OS X or Beryl, but it CAN do it.

Re:OS X not that bad. (1)

SScorpio (595836) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428393)

Vista can do this with video as well. One of Microsoft's big things they liked to show off was video playing which in Flip3D. The video would remain playing and you could see it moving whether it was the front window or not in Flip3D, it also shows the running video from the thumbnail display when you hover over the minimized window in the task bar. It also doesn't appear to lag while your doing it either.

Re:OS X not that bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18428427)

Funny. I seem to remember seeing a very similar demonstration of that in the Summer of 2000--except it was Apple giving the demonstration.

Re:OS X not that bad. (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428693)

I've actually tested this with World of Warcraft running in a window. Set a character to auto-run and then used flip 3D, and it updates the entire playing window continuously in Flip 3D, Alt-Tab and the miniature preview windows you get when you hover over a taskbar icon, with no noticable loss of performance.

Not only that, but it puts a small version of the program icon in the bottom right of the preview just in case you're confused as to which program you're using.

Re:OS X not that bad. (5, Interesting)

mackyrae (999347) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428923)

A Windows tech asked me if I was running Vista when he saw Beryl. He tried to claim Vista could do all that stuff (cube, burning windows, Expose). Obviously, he was wrong. He was also shocked by how low my RAM usage was.

Re:OS X not that bad. (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428529)

And Vista does live updates. So I'm not sure what the point is trying to be made.

Pretty face but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18428143)

ugly body. I think this would be the first instance where a paperbag princess would have her whole body except her face covered by a paperbag.

Can you give me one good reason to "upgrade" ? (2, Interesting)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428151)

I don't know if Vista is a "train wreck" but I don't see any reason what-so-ever to upgrade.

I know some idiot is going post some "why don't you just use a horse and carrage" message. But, really, specifically, why on earth should I spend all that money, and go through all that trouble, for nothing?

W2K runs all of hw and sw. It's fast, and stable, it's not obtrusive, I know how to use it, and I don't need a new PC to run it. Not only do I not need that "eye candy" I hate it, I want my gui to look serious, not like a toy. W2K does not have all the DRM, WGA, and authentication cr@p.

So what does Vista do for me? How will Vista make me more productive? How will Vista save me money? Seems like paying money for an additional annoyance. I am not saying msft sucks, I am not saying vista sucks. But, this seems to be the worst "upgrade" imaginable.

Re:Can you give me one good reason to "upgrade" ? (2, Insightful)

Grashnak (1003791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428289)

No offense, but you're obviously not the target market. Since apparently you intend to continue to run your existing hardware and software for the foreseeable future, and don't have any interest in the newer interface, then there is no compelling reason for you to adopt any new OS - VISTA or not. What exactly would it take from a new OS to make you upgrade? We've already established that you like the current interface and don't want to have to upgrade your computer, so what features are you looking for?

Re:Can you give me one good reason to "upgrade" ? (4, Informative)

smidget2k4 (847334) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428425)

I'm in the same boat though. It doesn't really seem that there are any UI improvements that would make a switch the Vista worthwhile. I was not happy with the XP interface, and I tried out Vista. It wouldn't run on my three year old laptop. Being a broke college student, I have no interest in dropping a grand so I can have some pretty new UI. But testing it on other computers, I couldn't see any real compelling reason to switch, unless I wanted to have a slightly prettier start menu and have needless, not-even-that-cool looking GUI effects. Those are not killer apps for me. WinFS, the only reason I was excited for Vista, is not there.

So then I tried Kubuntu on my laptop, looking for a XP replacement with actual changes to the UI that meant something, and I found it. This environment (for me) is FAR more productive than XP or Vista could ever be. I was their target market, unsatisfied with XP and looking for an upgrade, and they let me slip through the cracks. Not that I really care, I found Linux and will probably never go back to Windows. Nice job, Microsoft.

Re:Can you give me one good reason to "upgrade" ? (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428325)

Yeah. Kinda like as if you had to give up sex so your gf could get a face-lift.

Re:Can you give me one good reason to "upgrade" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18428489)

Yeah this analogy works, but you'd have to specificy your gf is ugly, and then later you'd get to sleep with her again when she's hot as hell.

Re:Can you give me one good reason to "upgrade" ? (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428349)

I'm at the point where I hate computers in their current form. I'm pretty tired of the whole "window" UI paradigm. It's really a terribly inefficient human UI. I have to use tons of fine motor control to move the little mouse cursor around the screen and position it within a few pixels of what I want to use. If something I want is on the other side of the screen I have to move the mouse all the way from one end to the other, and use hand-eye coordination to get it to where I want. And if I have an application running that I want to use I have visually find the representation on the screen and then manipulate the mouse over to the icon to activate the application. Or if there is some application or file on my computer that I want to get to, I have to search through a bunch of folders and shit just to get to it. It's ridiculous the way it all works. I probably lose hours weekly just moving the mouse around the screen.
What we need is a completely new UI paradigm, something based on natural language and eye-tracking with some learning and AI, so I can just look at what I want and press a few buttons to activate it. If I want a folder, I can just say "accounting files" and the computer can get it for me instead of me having to go get it myself. I don't want to have to program the phrase "accounting files" into some crappy speech-recognition thing, the computer should be able to associate phrases with files based on context. It should learn as it goes along. Yeah I know, science fiction...

Re:Can you give me one good reason to "upgrade" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18428459)

Oh please! spare us your woes about moving a mouse pointer. I suppose that you hate having to walk to the frigde to get something to eat, to having to walk to the bathroom for a dump? Do you want someone to move your files for you, feed you, wipe your butt for you?? Give us a break, you wimpering, spoiled baby...

Re:Can you give me one good reason to "upgrade" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18428483)

You are looking for progress to be instanteneous. Sure, some of it would be nice, but if you are counting your precious hours that you loose weekly to clicking and moving your mouse, you really have three options. 1 - go back to abacus, pen and paper - won't loose time to clicking and your fine motor skills will not be used that heavily. 2 - learn a very powerful feature of all Windows - shortcuts. You can easily save 50-60% by using just the keyboard, but it would involve you spending time to finetune the program, rather then having it done for you. 3 - stick around, we'll get there someday. But it will be posters like the one you replied to (I am not upgrading) that will prevent full blown progress of UI.

Re:Can you give me one good reason to "upgrade" ? (1)

SEMW (967629) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428495)

If I want a folder, I can just say "accounting files" and the computer can get it for me instead of me having to go get it myself.
With the full start-menu search, and speech recognition; as long as the folder with accounting files in it is named "accounting" (or all the files have "accounting" in their name) I'm pretty sure this is already possible in Vista. You may have to wait for the next version of Windows for eye-tracking, though :)

DID YOU COPY/PASTE FROM OSNEWS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18428351)

Gee this same article, *and your exact comment*, word for word...
...were posted at OS News yesterday: http://osnews.com/comment.php?news_id=17521 [osnews.com]

Re:Can you give me one good reason to "upgrade" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18428363)

Because Vista raises the bar on stability and user interface, not just in the default UI. Programs aren't taking advantage of this yet. We'll get there, and then I'll laugh at you for posting this.

Re:Can you give me one good reason to "upgrade" ? (5, Informative)

SEMW (967629) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428373)

I don't know if Vista is a "train wreck" but I don't see any reason what-so-ever to upgrade.
I know some idiot is going post some "why don't you just use a horse and carrage" message. But, really, specifically, why on earth should I spend all that money, and go through all that trouble, for nothing?
I don't want to sound abrasive, but -- don't. No-one's forcing you to upgrade. No-one's suggesting that you specifically should upgrade. If you don't have any reason to upgrade, then don't. But that doesn't mean it's necessary to comment on every single story about any aspect of Vista "I don't see any reason for me to upgrade". I'm not going to upgrade to Photoshop CS3, but I don't go on forums, search for topics about CS3, and post "I'm not going to upgrade!", because it adds very, very little to the discussion. If there are no new features that are relevent to you, and there's no reason for you to upgrade, just -- don't upgrade. Simple as that.

Re:Can you give me one good reason to "upgrade" ? (2, Insightful)

neoform (551705) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428633)

"If there are no new features that are relevent to you"

Other than the pretty new theme, is there *any* new features that are relevant to anyone?

Re:Can you give me one good reason to "upgrade" ? (4, Insightful)

dc29A (636871) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428863)

Other than the pretty new theme, is there *any* new features that are relevant to anyone?

There are some interesting features of Vista, but none that can impress the computer illiterate folks other than: "Hey, it's pretty!". Tell computer illiterate people about UAC, SuperFetch, new IP stack, new driver model, display driver in User space, DX10 and whatnot and they'll stare at you as if you are talking some alien language. Of course once you mention they need to buy more memory (probably new PC so they see the "pretty") because their 256/512 MB laptop would crawl under Vista ... they won't upgrade.

But it's pretty! Then again, my mom would probably be lost with the new UI especially IE7, even if it's "pretty".

Re:Can you give me one good reason to "upgrade" ? (2, Informative)

SEMW (967629) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428907)

Other than the pretty new theme, are there *any* new features that are relevant to anyone?
Obviously I can't know which (if any) new features you, or anyone else in particular, will find relevant; so I'll refer you to Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Features_new_to_Windo ws_Vista [wikipedia.org]

And to a lesser extent:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technical_features_ne w_to_Windows_Vista [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security_and_safety_f eatures_new_to_Windows_Vista [wikipedia.org]

If I had to highlight one or two particular features, I'd say the one that I find most useful is the much quicker, Quicksilver [wikipedia.org] like way of launching applications, files etc. -- press the windows key, type a couple of letters from the application, and press enter.
Also, per-application volume control; and the much better native support for wireless networks and encryption.

Re:Can you give me one good reason to "upgrade" ? (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18429041)

Yeah, when you pay for the cheap $400 Vista license you get a free PC from Dell. If you shop for the right deal, you might even get a free printer to go with it!

Re:Can you give me one good reason to "upgrade" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18428391)

There are some other little things to like about Vista (using it now) but so far it's really not too different. I understand why you wouldn't want to pay serious money for it.

I did make sure everything at work was up to XP Pro at work, but only because W2K is out of product support.

Re:Can you give me one good reason to "upgrade" ? (1)

linguizic (806996) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428525)

You know if anyone from Microsoft heard what you just said they'll come out with some press release saying that people are hesitant to upgrade to Vista b/c 2K/XP was just too good.

Emulate Coke. (1)

Yoozer (1055188) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428815)

The solution is naturally to bring out "Classic XP" again half a year after the New Taste of Vista, and use a corn-based substitute for the commandline.

Re:Can you give me one good reason to "upgrade" ? (1)

svendsen (1029716) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428547)

So what your saying is you are happy with state A and don't want to go to state B? So don't. I mean it doesn't get any simpler that that.

So what does Operating X do for me? How does it make me more productive? This same question will be asked when the new Apple Os is, when a new Linux distro comes out, etc. Not everyone will need/want to u[grade. But for those that do there is another option.

Re:Can you give me one good reason to "upgrade" ? (1)

stubear (130454) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428557)

How about a "why should I give a fuck what you're going to do" response? Honestly, why does every article like this have to turn into a mass geek therapy session on Dr. Phil or Oprah? I don't care if you plan to upgrade to Vista and I believe that just about anyone else on Slashdot cares even less - if that's even possible, because I truly don't care.

Re:Can you give me one good reason to "upgrade" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18428747)

If you lose your installation disk or want more licenses, you can't buy them (officially). Windows 2000 will have no more service packs. In three years' time, you won't even have security hotfixes.

This is what happens with proprietary software. Eventually the copyright holder loses interest in supporting it, and you either have to upgrade, or lose support. There's no option for a third party to provide support, and it costs money to upgrade.

Vista, like any other proprietary software, will also have this happen to it. Its death is just seven years further away than Windows 2000's.

Pretty soon, you won't have the option of running Windows 2000. Microsoft will cease security patches, somebody will find a nasty vulnerability, and you'll be swamped with malware if you don't upgrade. You could pu this off by switching to the next version of Windows, but it's better to just switch to a Free Software platform that doesn't have obsolescence built in.

Haven't I... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18428161)

seen this article before?

Oh, I know it was on OSNews.com... yesterday.

Re:Haven't I... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18428297)

Go away, Eugenia. We all know you've got a raging boner for OSNews, you know, since you used to be an EDITOR at that fucking site!

The only reason it appeared there first is because you have young Thom Holwerda spending 23 hours each day reposting at OSNews the most popular links from Reddit and Digg. You guys should get him a hooker or something for all pointless effort. It's the least you could do for a volunteer like him.

New slogan... (5, Funny)

dark-br (473115) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428389)

News for the amnesiac. Stuff that mattered.

Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18428165)

and big boobies too! Oh wait... we're talking about Vista?

I will spare you the trouble to read the article (4, Informative)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428175)

Talk about bait and switch! It says that is more than just a pretty face but shows nothing but the history of Windows APIs and Eye (and maybe Ear) Candy. I will summarize this 8 page long article for you (emphasis mine):

Page 1: This is Part I of Ars Technica's three-part Windows Vista review coverage. In the coming weeks we will be expanding on this coverage, culminating in an official review when our testing is finished.

(... history of Windows APIs, why Vista does graphics and audio better than XP, yada yada ...)

Concluding remarks

The new APIs and all-new graphics stack are not the only things new in Vista. There have been major improvements in Vista's approach to secure computing, and many low-level changes to improve the experience of using the OS. I'll talk about these--along with some of the much-vaunted features that didn't make the cut after all--in my next article.

Re:I will spare you the trouble to read the articl (4, Funny)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428367)

Well, in fairness, if you pick a topic like, "How Vista is more than a pretty face," you'd have a hard time staying on topic too. It'd be like if I set out to write a factual article titled "The Easter Bunny's trip to Mars".

Re:I will spare you the trouble to read the articl (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428533)

It'd be like if I set out to write a factual article titled "The Easter Bunny's trip to Mars".

I'd read it!

Re:I will spare you the trouble to read the articl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18428411)

Common errors in english [tinyurl.com] + FF 2.0 auto-spell. No more excuses! -- thank you ;-)

Wait, I thought this OS was terrible! (-1, Flamebait)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428185)

This article insinuates that Vista is not the absolute worst operating system ever made? How did this make the front page?!?

Re:Wait, I thought this OS was terrible! (2, Funny)

Stray1 (862245) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428315)

Its actually a well thought out article. I especially enjoyed the comparisons to similar features in OS X. Unlike for of the literature I read when both these operating systems are involved, the author seems to have no agenda but to inform. Its a nice change.

Nicer still I'm liking the comments here (so far). Unlike the site where i first heard about this article (Digg), people can argue without using excessive caps, exclamation points or using the word 'fanboy' over and over again.

I'm pretty distressed about the new audio stack in Vista, traditionally using onboard sound slowed the computers other functions (for games and such). It kind of sounds like theres now no difference between using a soundcard and using the onboard equivalent. Does anyone know if this is true? Moreover does this mean games will be that much slower?

Re:Wait, I thought this OS was terrible! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18428845)

It kind of sounds like theres now no difference between using a soundcard and using the onboard equivalent. Does anyone know if this is true? Moreover does this mean games will be that much slower?

Short answer, "Yes".

Long answer, games that use HW acceleration via DirectSound3D will see no benefit from having a dedicated soundcard anymore. However, games using OpenAL [openal.org] will be able to use the hardware-accel provided by your soundcard.
Creative Labs has a project called Alchemy [creativelabs.com] for wrapping DS3D calls to OpenAL for "legacy" games.

The Alchemy page also has a lot more info on this topic.

Expose clone for the DWM already exists (3, Insightful)

SEMW (967629) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428213)

There already is an Expose clone for Vista using the Desktop Windows Manager (though of course not an official Microsoft one), here [labo-dotnet.com] (performance is apparently rather poor on that version, but there's a new version [labo-dotnet.com] coming out soon that improves this).

If you want something a bit different, there's another Vista DWM addon called Smartflip [osx-e.com] that presents the windows similarly to Apple's FrontRow.

I imagine as more and more people switch to Vista (or, more likely, get new PCs with Vista preloaded) we'll see more and more third-party addons to the DWM. Fancy-Effects-Eye-Candy war between DWM addons and Beryl, anyone? :)

I don't understand the summary (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428225)

Vista does live updates. Not only in thumbnails when you hover over the taskbar, but in the 3d window browser and the Expose-like tiled preview mode. The system requirements are pretty horrible, but it does look very nice when its running properly.

You can put lipstick on a pig... (2, Funny)

TWX (665546) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428265)

...but it's still a pig, and you're still not going to want to kiss it.

Unless you're in to that sort of thing...

Re:You can put lipstick on a pig... (5, Funny)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428299)

And what I've found with Windows is that people take that pig and say "Well, it works well enough, and all the clothes I bought for it fit, so I don't think I should switch over to a real woman. Besides, I hear that real women are very expensive."

Re:You can put lipstick on a pig... (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428319)

I wouldn't think that real women would be more expensive assuming similar levels of food intake and environmental considerations. They just require more effort and time...

Hmmm... Kind of like Linux or any other Windows-replacing OS...

Re:You can put lipstick on a pig... (1)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428807)

"They just require more effort and time..." ...and stuff. There's a reason her closet is a lot bigger than his.

Re:You can put lipstick on a pig... (1)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428865)

...not to mention that the appeal of a "real woman" is somewhat selective. In fact, the penalties associated with one drive some to seek alternatives ;-)

Not that I consider OS X to be a "real woman", but at least a pig will love you regardless of how much money you have.

Re:You can put lipstick on a pig... (1)

svendsen (1029716) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428955)

or what people are really saying is hey it works and it doesnt cost me a dime so why upgrade? The exact same reason people wont go to Macs or Linux or any other OS. If you have something nad it works most people aren't going to replace it.

Re:You can put lipstick on a pig... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18428975)

*Real* women are free. It's the TCO that gets you!

Re:You can put lipstick on a pig... (1)

jusDfaqs (997794) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428479)

And if you put enough lipstick on that pig, teach it a couple of new tricks, you can call it a pot belly pig. This allows for a higher asking price for the pig, maybe a better public response to you trying to sell them the pig in question.

"Better be on damn charming pig!"
Not really a quote but attributed to Samuel L. Jackson/Pulp Fiction
Enough said.

Gnome + Beryl (4, Interesting)

solevita (967690) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428385)

My laptop does all the effects mentioned in the article summary and more, even though the specs of it are far below what Vista requires. And I owe it all to Ubuntu, Gnome and Beryl.

There's no easy to find minimum required specs for Beryl, so I thought I'd just try it anyway and see what happens; I only really wanted it for Exposé anyway, so I wasn't too worried whether the rest of it worked. It works better than I had hoped and all effects work with no noticeable stress on my system.

Ubuntu, Gnome and Beryl, more than just a pretty face. I'm very happy with it all.

Re:Gnome + Beryl (3, Informative)

slartibart (669913) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428631)

Amen.


My girlfriend bought a cheap Presario laptop for her mother (who only speaks Portuguese) and wanted me to configure it. It came with Vista. It was the first time I had used Vista and I thought it was God-awful. The fancy UI effects were enabled and ran terribly slowly, and I got constant security prompts. I turned these off, but it was still unacceptably slow. I suspect 512mb is too little memory for it.


I planned on wiping the drive and going back to XP, but I decided to see how Ubuntu Edgy would run, since I couldn't easily find a copy of windows in Portuguese. It was a night and day improvement, it ran the way it should, even with Beryl. My GF thinks her mother will do just fine with it.


Honestly my first impression of Vista is "train wreck". It was so unusable right off the bat, that I couldn't even explore what might be nice about it.

Well in Beryl (3, Funny)

WaZiX (766733) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428415)

I get to make this article burn in flames!!!

I just never get tired of it!!! (27th time and still going!)

Re:Well in Beryl (4, Funny)

WaZiX (766733) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428453)

Never mind, I did get tired of it...

ever used Beryl? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18428471)

if you've ever used Beryl you've already seen some of the eye-candy and features Vista(Aero) is trying to incorporate. nice try, though, but too little too late and not nearly as flexibly as Beryl.

Vista==more vendor lock-in (2, Interesting)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428477)

While there were some interesting notes about the history of Windows API, it hints at the real motives of Microsoft. It seems that at every turn, MS has created a proprietary technology to force vendor lock-in. Rather than use OpenGL, MS has developed DirectX. Rather than use Adobe's PDF printing subsystem, they developed XPS. While there might be technical reasons for those decisions, the pessimist in me says part of the reason was for vendor lock-in.

Re:Vista==more vendor lock-in (2, Insightful)

SEMW (967629) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428565)

Rather than use OpenGL, MS has developed DirectX. Rather than use Adobe's PDF printing subsystem, they developed XPS
Whilst I completely agree with you about OpenGL; with PDF they did have the pretty good excuse that Adobe refused to license it to them for use in Office 2007 (which they were understandably pretty ticked off about, considering Adobe had freely granted it to every other office suite on the planet).

come on people..... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18428487)

where's the defectivebybuttsecks tag that is on EVERY vista article!!!!

Re:come on people..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18428639)

They're still busy consulting their mothers on how to spell complex words like "defective"

Really? (0, Redundant)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428493)

Yawn...

Ha! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18428505)

The Advanced Faggotry group proudly presents: The "haha" story tag

Why the New API will not help for years. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428519)

It will be a long time before people write a lot of code that ONLY runs on Vista. Hell there are companies still using W2K just because it works, is as secure as XP, and doesn't use as many resources as XP. XP will be around for years and people will want to sell software to people that are still on XP for years.
Welcome to the world of Windows.

Re:Why the New API will not help for years. (3, Informative)

SEMW (967629) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428737)

Why the New API will not help for years. [...] It will be a long time before people write a lot of code that ONLY runs on Vista.
Uh, you can install the WPF API [wikipedia.org] on Windows XP SP2 and 2003 Server: it's installed as part of the .NET 3.0 framework.

Even that given, though; considering it isn't yet installed on most XP machines, there are already a surprisingly large number of WPF-only applications. Copying-and-pasting from here [msdn.com] :

Yahoo Messenger for Windows Vista - New IM client (SCREENCAST).
New York Times Reader - Next-generation online reading experience for the NY Times (MSI).
Microsoft Calendar Printing Assistant - Generate printed calendars from your Outlook schedule (MSI).
Microsoft Expression Blend - Designer tool for building WPF experiences (MSI).
Microsoft Expression Design - illustration and graphic design tool (MSI).
Microsoft Windows Live for TV - 3D access to Messenger contacts from Media Center or IE (MSI).
Electric Rain Standout - High-end custom presentation software (SCREENCAST).
Wikipedia Explorer - 3D exploration of related articles from Wikipedia (APPLICATION).
iBloks - Mashup application for creating 3D movies (MSI).
RikReader - RSS Reader that integrates with Internet Explorer 7 (APPLICATION).
Nostalgia - Yahoo! Flickr browser and photo manager (APPLICATION).
Cine.View - Netflix movie queue manager (APPLICATION).
Cool Text Vector Draw - A vector drawing program with 1200 fonts available via a web service (XBAP).
Forbes.com Reader - News Reader Application from Forbes.com (APPLICATION).
Actipro Wizard - A control for building wizard dialogs in WPF (XBAP).
UniveRSS - A 3D Vista RSS reader (APPLICATION).
Xceed Datagrid for WPF Live Explorer - Hands-on demo of Xceed's free new Datagrid for WPF (XBAP).
DominoKen - Artistic 3D XBAP demonstration from Microsoft Japan (XBAP).
Denounce - Stand-alone podcast listener and blog reader (APPLICATION).
British Library Turning the Pages - British Library's 'virtual viewer' for some of their most precious books (XBAP).
ITN Hub Player - Video clips and news stories from ITN (APPLICATION).
Evolution Media Center - HTPC Front-end with stunning animations and dynamic XAML-skinning (ZIP).
OTTO - Online clothing shopping (APPLICATION).
Seattle Post-Intelligencer PI Reader - News Reader Application from Seattle P.I. (APPLICATION).
Roxio Central - Windows Vista Technology Preview - CD and DVD Burning application (APPLICATION).
Metaliq - Snowboarding data visualization (ZIP).
WeatherNews - 3D Weather visualization (XBAP).
Shiseido - Make up online shopping (XBAP).
DOSV - Computer Configuration (XBAP).
Warner - Movie Previews and Showtimes (XBAP).
Notescraps - Random information manager (MSI).
Valil.Chess.WinFX - Chess game (XBAP, APPLICATION).
NetAdvantage for WPF - Infragistics NetAdvantage for WPF 2007 controls (APPLICATION).
fnac.com - French retailer shopping experience (set system to French locale to run) (APPLICATION).
DevComponents WPF Ribbon - DevComponents Office 2007 Ribbon for WPF (APPLICATION).
Daily Mail eReader - On line reading experience for UK Newspaper Daily Mail (APPLICATION).
The North Face In-Store Explorer - Retail kiosk (MUST GO TO STORE TO EXPERIENCE).
Windows Vista Magazine - Using the same viewer as the British Library app (XBAP).
TempWorks fx - Staffing industry line of business application (SCREENSHOT).
Ricciolo PaperBoy - A complete RSS Feed Aggregator (APPLICATION).

Abyssmal I/O Performance and Usability (5, Informative)

FltrGrpher (210933) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428553)

I am a developer for a small software company and started using Vista on my workstation about a month ago.

I just switched back to XP sp2 for the following reasons:

        I/O performance for File Copy (HD to HD) was 5x slower than the same box running XP. No kidding. I was copying about 10Gb of files from one disk to another, and it took over 45 min to complete (and this was from a 10,000rpm RAID-0 striped drive to a SATA drive)

        Usability is total CRAP when UAC is turned on. This is the feature in the Apple commercial where the suit asks "Allow or Deny" at every exchange. This is NO JOKE.
        Something a simple as changing the DPI of your screen fonts requires that you click "Allow" on a dialog box before you do anything else.

        When you want to view processes from All Users in Task Manager, you have to do the same every single time.

        Copying or into a Program Files folder or Renaming a file requires 2 confirmation dialog boxes!

        Drag and Drop to some applications is disabled when it is "Run as Administrator", which you must do for some things to work correctly. This means no more double clicking on a txt file to edit it in notepad if that file is in a Program Files directory. Nope. You must launch notepad using "Run as administrator" then use the File-Open menu item to open the txt file.

        I would disable this but we develop software for enterprise networks and those machines will most likely have this 'feature' permanently disabled. I switched back to XP for my main workstation and I'm running Vista in a VM for now.

        Vista more than just a pretty face, it's a GIANT pain in the A$$ as well.

Re:Abyssmal I/O Performance and Usability (2, Informative)

SEMW (967629) | more than 7 years ago | (#18429055)

You probably already know this, but if you want anything that needs admin priveleges to be automatically granted them (without showing a UAC prompt), without losing all the other good features of UAC such as file and registry virtualization, use the group policy editor (gpedit.msc) to set User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for administrators in Admin Approval Mode to Elevate without prompting.

Biassed author (0)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428685)

The author rants on like Vista is wonderful but it must be terribly badly structured internally, as
its performance is terrible compared to XP and its a terrible resource hog too.

After running my own tests, I found most 3D-accelerated games run around 20-30% slower under Vista than XP. XP takes about 2GB of hard drive space, Vista takes over 12GB. I have 2GB of ram, but Vista uses about half of it without any apps running at all!!.

Furthermore everytime you do almost anything in Vista it keeps popping up this REALLY annoying dialog box asking for your permission to do what you just asked. That get old really fast.

After trying it, I decided not to even bother with Vista in the end, as for all that pain it really has no benefits over XP, and a lot of disadvantages, such as heavy DRM.

I now very happily use Linux for everything except gaming, which is the only valid reason I still have dual-boot (XP not Vista).

Re:Biassed author (1)

nuclearpenguins (907128) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428835)

Please inform us all where DRM restrictions have hindered you. I've been using Ultimate Edition since it came out and I have not had one issue with DRM. Or are you just jumping on /.'s usual FUD-slinging about anything MS?

Re:Biassed author (1)

torchdragon (816357) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428943)

Point 1: Immature graphics drivers. It will get better in time, just like it did for Win95, Win98, WinMe, Win2k, WinXP, OSX, and *gasp* Linux.

Point 2: Ok, hard drive bloat is bad. I agree with you there.

Point 3: Vista caches commonly used programs in your free ram so they load quickly the next time you use it. That memory is still available at any time for any other program. Welcome to actually using the resources your computer has available.

Point 4: I don't understand why people are so bent out of shape over the damn popup window. I've been using Vista for a week and its already part of my work flow. Yes, a box comes up. Fucking click it and get on with your life. When's the last time you bitched about sudo requiring a password?

And then after all that you snake in that nice chestnut of "heavy DRM." So... how are those HD movies on your Linux machine anyway? Oh... right, nevermind. But I'm glad you came onto /. with your completely non-biased review of Vista, thanks. (queue the "must be new here jokes")

Bong Hits 4 Windows (0)

EmbeddedHack (448369) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428759)

Nice puff piece. Lot's of eye candy - no meat and potatoes. Seems to be little more than a ploy to force you into using .net if you want vector graphics, although they certainly could have done that for a native API. The rest is security-cover-you-arse pop-ups and we all know who well that's going....

Aero isn't used to its potential (1)

Manuscript Replica (307437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428797)

What I don't understand is why MS went through so much trouble to implement Aero, only to leave the functionality which sits on top of Aero so lacking. That 3D window-flip thing is just nowhere near as useful as Expose, or something like it. Why would I want to put my windows into a serial line and then flip through them, one by one? I don't understand the usability win there. I feel like they could have harnessed the power of Aero to do something much more impressive.

Vista, or "White Guy Dancing" for short (0)

straponego (521991) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428811)

The only thing that seemed useful in Longhorn was the database file system. BeOS gave us a preview of what that would could be like, and it was Good. But all they delivered was security closer to industry standards (well done), lots of consumer-hostile features like DRM/spyware, and, oh yeah, they're aping Mac-like eye candy. Thanks, got that on the mac, got that in Linux with Beryl. I guess you can't expect thousands of highly paid programmers to deliver a commercial product to compete with a few geeks who hack in their spare time because they love what they do.

Vector-based UI? Where? (4, Informative)

yeremein (678037) | more than 7 years ago | (#18428883)

The article made a big deal about how Win32 and GDI are obsolete in Vista, and all the cool apps use WPF on the .NET Framework 3, and this makes them vector-based, so they're DPI-independent and magnify cleanly.

I use Vista every day at work, and I have never seen such an app. All the built-in Windows apps look just the same as they did in XP (with the notable exceptions of Minesweeper and Solitaire, which still appear blocky under the Magnifier).

Does Vista even come with any WPF applications?

And is the .NET Framework really the native API for this? Not a great way to encourage existing applications to be ported to WPF, as "managed code" does not play well with compiled languages like C++ (they can't even marshal bool properly [microsoft.com] , for heaven's sake).
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