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- Welcome Vista!
I got the Beta-1 of Windows Longhorn (Vista) in my MSDN Subscription mail this month, and I was tempted to install it to see what it is all about. Since this is just the Beta version, it does not allow you to override your current windows installation (what a relief!), but requires 6GB of space on an NTFS partition. For all of you who were expecting Vista to be considerably different from previous Windows', well, apart from the GUI, dont expect a lot of changes from it. The GUI, I agree, is really cool and fast (performance-wise); but for us hardcore developers, it seems a bit...well...how should I put this...over-childish. The vastly multi-colored GUI seems unreasonable and unnecessary. When I say that the GUI is fast, I dont mean that the whole OS is fast; its just that buttons and menus respond more efficiently then Windows XP and/or its predecessors. Some of the features are really slow, like when I double-clicked the volume icon in the system-tray, it literally took a few minutes (NOT seconds) for the volume control dialog to open. An Avalon applicaion with a cool GUI would look far more attractive deployed in Windows XP instead of Vista which would over-shadow it with its own GUI.
A cool thing I found was the Text-to-Speech Voice called Microsoft Anna that comes with Vista. The TTS still has a long way to go before it can compete with the ScanSoft Speechify TTS engine, but compare that to the horrible TTS voices (Mary, Mike, and Sam) that came with the Windows XP, it is absolutely wonderful. All in all, after using Vista myself, I am yet to comprehend the real reason for an operating system that has taken so long to develop and does not have all the changes I was expecting, but has enough to get most Windows users excited.
Click the following links to see the screenshots I captured of Windows Vista.
Open Dialog for Images
Control Panel Window