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Colin

Windows Vista Product Editions Preview

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Although not surprised, I thought 2 was enough

but 7 :blink: I wasn't able to browse much, but have they released a pricing structure yet?

vista_sku_01.jpg

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Depending upon price, I think most people will end up with Home Basic. Premium is where I'm at. :thumbsup:

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dan wants ultimate

no mention of a MCE tho....

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I was reading that whole thing, and from what I gather so far, hardcore gamers like us are pretty much going to have to go with the Ultimate Edition.

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Just a bit info on the test stages of vista.

Build number 5231

Microsoft Windows Vista Build 5231 (Community Technical Preview 2) Review

After years of silence and doubts, Microsoft's Windows Vista project is finally moving ahead with confidence. In September, Microsoft released its first Community Technical Preview (CTP) version of Windows Vista (see my review), a post-Beta 1 (or, depending on your perspective, a pre-Beta 2) interim build of the next Windows version. But the company also announced that it would be releasing monthly CTP builds going forward. Today, Microsoft delivered the second CTP build, also called the October 2005 CTP, or build 5231.

Like its predecessor, build 5231 doesn't feature the fit and finish or build quality one might expect from a true beta release. It's seriously performance challenged, and has issues with many hardware devices and applications. But it does come with a number of new features, including--for the first time--a fully functioning version of Windows Media Player (WMP) 11, the Vista version of Media Center, a new Network Center, and other features that weren't available in previous builds. For this reason, build 5231 is eminently interesting, and a marked improvement over build 5219, despite its many flaws. No, you won't want to run this puppy as your full-time OS. But it's still worth a look.

What's new in build 5231

Though the basic UI hasn't changed in this build, much has changed, both large and small. We have major new applications like Windows Media Player 11 and Windows Digital Gallery, major updates to existing functionality, such as the new Media Center and Tablet PC features, and hints of things to come, including the first reference to Windows DVD Maker. In this section, I'll examine the new features that really set this build apart from Beta 1 (see my review) and build 5219

Windows Media Player 11

I've been waiting for months to write about Windows Media Player 11 (WMP 11), and now that it's out in a publicly available release, I can finally let you know how wonderful it is. While it's inconceivable that Microsoft can do anything about the popularity and success of Apple's iTunes and iTunes Music Store, WMP 11 is a huge leap forward compared to previous WMP versions, eliminating much of the complexity we've come to expect from Microsoft's bloated Media Player offerings. But the biggest news in WMP 11 isn't that it's simpler. In WMP 11, Microsoft has taken the notion of a media library and turned it completely on its head. If you thought you needed Media Center to get a visual look at your music collection, think again.

The basic WMP UI is intact, though things have been simplified dramatically. A new control pad sits in the center of the base of the player (Figure) (which will be made translucent in later builds--this revelation was later verified by Microsoft's Sean Alexander), and this control pad motif is replicated in other Vista applications, including Windows Digital Gallery and Windows Picture and Fax Viewer (see below). The menu bar, optional in WMP 10, is now gone for good, and the options you'd access there have been moved to various other places. In lieu of the toolbar buttons found in WMP 10, WMP 11 utilizes a row of tabs similar to those found in Office 11. When you just click a tab, like Now Playing, you are brought to that part of the UI, and in this manner, the tabs work just like the toolbar buttons in WMP 10. But when you mouse-over tabs in WMP 11, you can see that there is a drop-down menu associated with each tab (Figure). These menus give you additional choices (Figure), including access to the all-important Options dialog (Figure).

The tabs themselves give you a few different default options that what we're used to in WMP 10. Library has been replaced by Browse, for example, and Guide is now Windows Media Player. That latter option, incidentally, appears to be empty in this build but will eventually guide users to services such as Napster and MSN Music.

Media Center

Let me be clear here. I love Media Center. I mean, it's not perfect, and I've certainly had my issues with it, but Media Center is good stuff. That said, Microsoft has apparently screwed up the version of Media Center they're intending to include with Windows Vista. It is a complete disaster in this build.

How can I even begin to express how awful Media Center Vista is? They've taken a UI that was iPod simple and turned it into the functional equivalent of the control panel in a 727 airplane. What was once beautiful and elegant is now bloated and ugly. What was once easy to use is now indecipherable. And what was once something to brag about is now something to be ashamed of.

Looking ahead

By definition, build 5231--the October 2005 CTP--is just one step along the long road to the final release of Windows Vista. As such, it includes numerous features that are half-realized and will change dramatically before next year. Microsoft noted that features like Windows Media Player 11, Migration Wizard, Power Management Center, Windows AntiSpyware, and Windows Calendar will all change in the coming CTPs. Also, some major features, like the Sidebar, Windows Gadgets, and Windows DVD Maker are not yet present in this build. Stay tuned. It's all starting to come together.

Availability

Microsoft tells me that it will ship Windows Vista Build 5231 (Community Technical Preview 2) to technical beta testers, and MSDN and TechNet subscribers, on Monday, October 17, 2005 at 8:00 am PST. Given the company's past issues deploying these releases to MSDN and TechNet especially, it might be later in the day or week for some customers. Build 5231 will not be made generally available to the public, as it is aimed primarily at developers, IT professionals and the technical community.

Conclusions

Windows Vista Build 5231 (Community Technical Preview 2) could have been horrible and I'd still be happy about it, because we're finally getting regular Windows Vista builds. That build 5231 is not horrible, and includes a number of exciting new features, is just the frosting on the cake. After a rough beginning and a particularly bad 2004-2005, Windows Vista is finally on track. And that's good news for all Windows users, not to mention Microsoft, which, let's face it, desperately needs some good news on the client side. This month, build 5231 is that good news. I hope things continue this smoothly going forward. So far, so good.

Early builds gold dust.

Looks good though.

If you want to read the rest itshere

Colin

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ill go with ultimate i guess if its not like 500$

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ill go with ultimate i guess if its not like 500$

I hope to God its not.

Hmmm.... Bill Gates + New Windows Op system to be shoved down our throats + the one version many hard core gamers are likely going to want the most = you hope not? :blink::blink: I dare say it will be time to get out the vaseline because you know darn good and well Microsoft isn't soft and they won't be giving us nothing for it. :wall::wall:

Stout Hearts

|RE|Warhawk

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It's not like MS is forcing you to upgrade as soon as the software hits the shelves. Stick with XP for a few months or even a year then upgrade to Vista. When I bought my copy of XP Home via NewEgg it was only $90.

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This version I think will do nicely.

Windows Vista Ultimate Edition

The best operating system ever offered for a personal PC, optimized for the individual. Windows Vista Ultimate Edition is a superset of both Vista Home Premium and Vista Pro Edition, so it includes all of the features of both of those product versions, plus adds Game Performance Tweaker with integrated gaming experiences, a Podcast creation utility (under consideration, may be cut from product), and online "Club" services (exclusive access to music, movies, services and preferred customer care) and other offerings (also under consideration, may be cut from product). Microsoft is still investigating how to position its most impressive Windows release yet, and is looking into offering Ultimate Edition owners such services as extended A1 subscriptions, free music downloads, free movie downloads, Online Spotlight and entertainment software, preferred product support, and custom themes. There is nothing like Vista Ultimate Edition today. This version is aimed at high-end PC users and technology influencers, gamers, digital media enthusiasts, and students.

The marketing message: Ultimate Edition is the "no compromises" version of Windows Vista. It provides the best performance, most secure and complete connection to the office, and is optimized for the individual. Everything you need for work or fun is included. It is the best operating system ever offered for the personal PC.

Colin

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Since Windows has made major changed so pirated copies cannot receive upgrades, I think since everyone will have to pay why not lower it down to only 50$ per base edition and 150$ for the full package?

Its not like there not going to make any money off of it... geesh they should be posting profits in a month no problem at all.

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I'm not even going to think about 'upgrading' until I know that Vista is compatible with my audio/video apps and games, and that the Evil Empire has not included even more draconian privacy-invading programming into Vista than there is in XP Home. I've been running XP Home for ... two or three years now. I see no real reason to 'upgrade' so far.

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Windows Vista Activity Center

Paul Thurrott. Bio

Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows is dedicated to providing all of the information you need to evaluate Microsoft's upcoming Windows platform technologies. This Web site provides continuous updates about these future Windows platform products and related technologies, while offering reviews and technology showcases, all designed to give you the information you need to decide which upcoming Windows version is for you.

Paul Thurrott has over a decade of experience investigating Microsoft and its products. Paul is the author of over a dozen books about Windows, Web and software development, and other computing topics. His most recent titles are Great Digital Media with Windows XP and Windows XP Home Networking (both of which were recently updated to second editions), and the co-authored Windows XP Power Toolkit, which was published by Microsoft Press.

This guy has done an amazing job on the site and information based web pages.

I looked around for about a month now and this site seems to be the best by far.

His latest idea is as you can see is Windows Vista Activity Center

The information is up to date on the current builds and Technicle feedback.

Windows Vista Activity Centre

Colin

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This Update 1st December.

I thought I would keep this post upto date as its realy the future for a lot of us and its interesting stuff aswell.

This latest edition is the instalation procedure and screen shots within Beta 5259.

Have a look its great.

Screen Shots

Ill add to this say once a week so you dont get too bored.

Colin

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We'll see.

I have this in my "Watch closely for a good bit before buying" category with GRAW.

Definitely going to watch for a bit before I give Microsoft any money, and get the Longshaft for it.

No OS for home/gaming PC's in the world is going to be worth more than 200 bucks, and from the looks of it, hardcore gamers will want and probably need the Ultimate Edition, and I have a bad feeling Uncle Bill and the Darkside Empire are going to want 250-350 bucks for that.

Edited by Specter

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This is most important to me...

Q: When will Windows Vista ship to customers?

A: Microsoft is targeting the second half of 2006. At this time, Microsoft will also ship Office 12.

I'm excited for the new release. This will all happen about the time I'm hunting down a laptop so I hope to get a brand new laptop with brand new Windows... very cool indeedy. :D

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So far, it looks like XP with a few more graphics is all.

The truth will be in the kernel itself and how it runs.

But so far, I didn't see anything there that XP doesn't have, except for a few more RAM eating graphics.

The truth will be in the running, not how purty it is.

Most folks I know, shut off all the graphical crap anyway to increase performance.

What we need is efficiency and compatability, not purty graphics.

So we'll see the truth when we see how it runs and handles apps.

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To me this looks like windows XP with just a more sleek, mac like look to it. I am betting on the real differences to be in the performance though. Im bummed now, because im hoping to get a brand new computer by late january or early february, only to learn that vista will be out in the summer :( .

Edit: LMAO specter, I just realized, we made the exact same post!

Edited by element11

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To me this looks like windows XP with just a more sleek, mac like look to it. I am betting on the real differences to be in the performance though. Im bummed now, because im hoping to get a brand new computer by late january or early february, only to learn that vista will be out in the summer :( .

Edit: LMAO specter, I just realized, we made the exact same post!

ROFL ! !

I didn't think you were old enough to know who The Doors were.

LOL ! !

That'll teach me. :lol:

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I see those 7 versions...but did I not read that their will be both 32 and 64 bit versions to choose from? 14 versions???

HACK

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To me this looks like windows XP with just a more sleek, mac like look to it. I am betting on the real differences to be in the performance though. Im bummed now, because im hoping to get a brand new computer by late january or early february, only to learn that vista will be out in the summer :( .

Edit: LMAO specter, I just realized, we made the exact same post!

ROFL ! !

I didn't think you were old enough to know who The Doors were.

LOL ! !

That'll teach me. :lol:

Were you reading my jim morrison quote in my sig?? Well, im not old enough to know who they are but i love their music!

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