Review: Windows Vista Beta 2

While this review is a month short of being fresh or new, the Beta program has been closed, so at least I have _some_ bragging rights. I couldn’t resist of course, in June, being an ultra-geek passing on a public Beta release. During XP, it wasn’t available yet, let alone the bandwidth that is required to pull a whole DVD off the Microsoft servers. So after a month of testing, what’s the verdict ?

First of all, you’ll notice your PC formerly running XP, seems a bit sluggish when running Vista. To check if it’s just my imagination or not, I fired up Half-life 2: Episode One, and behold, a freakin’ stuttering Alyx. On a full XP drive (non-defragmented), it’s far less noticable. One point in the minus.

NTFS has changed slightly. It’s enough to throw a few things off balance. For instance, using Partition Magic will leave you with a non-booting Vista. But at least a full backup can be made and restored using a TrueImage CD boot. Two points in the negative.

A nice feature (possibly a Symantec Ghost killer) is CompletePC backup. But while you can make a backup (not compressed, no incremental option), you can’t restore it just yet, as the boot DVD didn’t have the restore option built-in yet. No points there.

Any PC with XP probably has its network up and running in no time. So will it with Vista. Except, early on, I already noticed network was very slow, and didn’t come close to even reaching 10mbit. After manually setting it to full duplex 100mbit, it obliged with a high throughput file copy over the network. Ouch, another point in the minus.

Search: Normal file search in 2000/XP was slow as it is, but this current inception makes you jump up and down like a madman, while you’re yelling “ARE YOU F_#)*(%# BLIND ?” to the computer screen. Granted, it adds meta data search, but when doing a file search, I can tell you, you don’t want it. Add to the fact that you can’t find a single mp3 on my server (while there is a few Gigabytes of it in plain sight), doing the search will throw Explorer in an Indexing frenzy, making your PC sluggish for hours to come. Trust me when I say, it’s back to dir *.* /s for the coming years. A FEW points in the minus.

User Access Control is supposed to be helpful (for instance, prevents catastrophic results after an accidental click on a virus while being logged in as admin) by adding extra questionaire pop-up windows, but I can assure you about 99.9999% of the Beta users will have turned it of within an hour of use. It’s bothersome and repetitive. No points here.

Aero Glass, yay. Nice (transparent) eye candy, but a bit non-functional. Again, no points. (Where’s the promised 3D GUI ? And why bring a fully capable game PC which can ran all games in high quality in 1024*768 in XP to a crawl ?)

Remote Desktop protocol upped again by 0.1 point. Protocol only adds Network Level Authentication, nothing spectacular like tunneling or encryption. Half a point there.

Some other diagnostic tools are included (like a memory tester), but it’s unclear if Windows Defender (for spy-/ad-/malware detection) will stay free or not. Another half a point there.

And finally, only one point awarded, is to the advanced reporting tool (spiced up status windows from XP’s Task Manager), with CPU threads, memory and network usage clearly stating who uses what where and how.

All in all, nothing shocking for XP users. Maybe it’s something for big companies who might be able to get a tighter control over their workstations. But who will spend extra money on a new operating system and then spend triple that amount to upgrade the PC’s to a level at which any casual gamer will broadly smile at.

One Response to “Review: Windows Vista Beta 2”

  1. Qbix Says:

    Thanks for the review Kimputer!

    I don’t have motivation to try it out myself, so I’m happy with such non-stating-vista-is-super review

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