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Windows Vista, More Than Just a Pretty Face 381

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the don't-judge-a-book-by-its-bsod dept.
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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Windows Vista, More Than Just a Pretty Face

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  • by MistaE (776169) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:52AM (#18428049) Homepage
    Vista's a whore!
    • by ThatsNotFunny (775189) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:40AM (#18428673)
      Whores are less expensive, and less prone to viruses than Vista.
  • by snowgirl (978879) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:53AM (#18428067) Journal
    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.
    • by Applekid (993327) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:58AM (#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?)
      • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:39AM (#18428667) Journal
        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.
        • 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
          • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @11:11AM (#18429151) Journal
            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.

            It's very cool. In fact it's too cool, once you get used to it you can never go back. Fortunately you can replace window's desktop with a real window manager [sourceforge.net]. Add in Cygwin [cygwin.com] in a Terminator [jessies.org] window and it's almost tolerable.
        • by Sinbios (852437) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:55AM (#18428905) Homepage
          http://www.codeplex.com/vdm [codeplex.com]

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

    • by errxn (108621) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:05AM (#18428253) Homepage Journal

      It's kind of unfortunate that the Glass effect is transparent
      So, in other words, it's kinda like...glass?
    • by SEMW (967629)
      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: (Score:2, Informative)

      by amdandcode (952992)
      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: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by itsmilesdavis (985700)
      Dude, just move your porn off of your desktop.

      Then you can take all the screenshots you want.
  • 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, no
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Grashnak (1003791)
      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?
      • by smidget2k4 (847334) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:21AM (#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.
    • 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 applicati
      • by SEMW (967629)

        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 :)
      • by Hadlock (143607)
        Nice threadjack!
    • by SEMW (967629) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:17AM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by neoform (551705)
        "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?
      • by rbanzai (596355)
        Posting that you are NOT upgrading is quite valid. This is not just some simple tech forum, people are forming opinions about technology here. It's just as important to know that someone is NOT upgrading to a new piece of hardware/software/whatever as it is to know about those jumping in and upgrading. That you are NOT upgrading to CS3 is informative in its own way and might make people question if it's worth it for themselves.

        It's good to actually see different opinions, even if one doesn't agree with them
      • by SharpFang (651121)
        The question is more general.
        I don't see why ANYONE should upgrade.
        Sure there are those who WANT to upgrade, because of the e-penis factor, because of the hype, because they are misinformed.
        For now I haven't seen a single situation of someone who'd upgrade because Vista did something well, what XP did bad.
        Sure it's your freedom to make stupid decisions.
        It's my freedom to bitch about that just as well.
    • by linguizic (806996)
      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.
    • by stubear (130454)
      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.
    • by antdude (79039)
      If you're into games, DirectX 10 and newer games will require it if you want the latest enhancements. :( I will be forced too in a few years.
  • by vivaoporto (1064484) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:59AM (#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.
  • by SEMW (967629) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:02AM (#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? :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by xswl0931 (562013)
      Microsoft has a Expose clone already. Just install the Intellimouse software and press the middle mouse button.
  • 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.
  • ...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...
    • by Paulrothrock (685079) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:09AM (#18428299) Homepage Journal

      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."

      • by TWX (665546)
        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...
        • by dfghjk (711126)
          "They just require more effort and time..." ...and stuff. There's a reason her closet is a lot bigger than his.
      • by dfghjk (711126)
        ...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: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        *Real* women are free. It's the TCO that gets you!
  • Gnome + Beryl (Score:5, Interesting)

    by solevita (967690) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:17AM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by slartibart (669913)
      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

    • X won't load at all on my machine (drops to a command prompt and gives me some cryptic error that no one on the Ubuntu forums had a real/working answer for.) It runs Vista fine though...

      I figure I'll give linux another go when fiesty fawn is released.
    • by AusIV (950840)
      I run beryl on an Intel integrated GMA chip. I have a Celeron M processor and 512 MB of memory. This is a fairly minimalist setup by today's standards, but beryl has no noticeable impact on the performance of my machine. I hate to think of how poorly Aeroglass would perform.
      • by solevita (967690)
        Sounds like you've got a similar setup as mine; 1.6 Pentium M and 512 MB of RAM shared between the system and the onboard intel graphics card. Running XP I was always one click away from dropping another gig of RAM into it, but now I'm running Ubuntu I think I'll save my money for some more exciting purchases.
        • by Splab (574204)
          Running Beryl on a somewhat faster machine with default install it runs smooth as you guys say, but when you start cranking up the eye candy the performance drops (especially blur effects).

          But one thing I've noticed is it is very very VERY memory hungry, in fact I think windows XP might be a tad envious. (Currently Beryl et al. will eat about 300MB). I haven't tried vista so I don't know how much their eye candy eats up, and I'm not going to try it since nvidia won't make drivers for my MB chip set.
  • by WaZiX (766733) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:20AM (#18428415)
    I get to make this article burn in flames!!!

    I just never get tired of it!!! (27th time and still going!)
  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:25AM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SEMW (967629)

      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).
      • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @11:15AM (#18429201)

        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).

        Your statement with regard to PDF is factually incorrect. Adobe never refused to license it to anyone. They have an open license that applies equally to all comers and MS doesn't have to do anything fancy or sign anything to get such a license.

        The quarrel with MS and Adobe was over the fact that MS was planning to break the law by illegally leveraging their Windows monopoly and Office near monopoly in order to promote their tools over Adobe's offerings. All of Adobe's complaints applied to both XPS and PDF and both of them were part of the plan and already written by the time Adobe said anything, so you can't claim MS created XPS as a response to Adobe's actions. Instead of risking the courts ruling that MS's office suite constituted monopoly power in that space, MS withdrew the features from that bundle, but they are still including the XPS features in Windows in violation of the law. Since Windows has already been declared a monopoly, this is just one more abuse and MS figures that by the time the courts take any action against them they will have already destroyed that market beyond any repair and they'll just have to shell out a few million bucks or take some pointless action that does not really help years after the fact.

        I encourage you to please not continue repeating the MS FUD about PDF licensing, which is and has been open to MS and all other comers for a long time. It just doesn't mean MS can use that license in a way that violates criminal law.

        • by dpilot (134227)
          Sorry, but you're spouting the "Old Slashdot Meme" here, that Microsoft is a frequently anti-competitive company which uses it's monopoly position in the OS and Office environments to maintain that position and sell other products.

          The "New Slashdot Meme" is that Microsoft is an oft-maligned, but innovative company with a robust research and development organization, and all-in-all they bring needed, well-received products to the market. That they have few/no viable competitors is because their products are,
    • by dpilot (134227)
      There appears to be more lock-in than you mention...

      The native Vista APIs appear to have become .NET, version 3. Essentially, cross-platform development has to go back to the drawing board, perhaps even start from scratch. This may well force developers to decide, "Vista-only" or take the time and effort, including time-to-market of crafting a new portability layer. In other words, if they try to be cross-platform, their Vista-era products are going to be late.

      Theoretically, Mono would be in the best positi
  • 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.
    • by SEMW (967629) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:45AM (#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).

  • by FltrGrpher (210933) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:31AM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by SEMW (967629)
      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.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by FltrGrpher (210933)
        Thanks for the heads up, I've done that before, and would leave it that way if I were using it personally. But since we're developing for machines that will most likely have this on, or at least this is the worst case they would, I have to leave it enabled to work through the heartburn it gives our application.

        This still doesn't fix the problem of editing of config files in notepad. Still have to run as admin, drag and drop is disabled... same for cmd prompt using drag and drop to cd to a specific directory
    • File x-fers on my test machine are easily 50% faster than those on an identical machine running XP.
      Oh, and don't get me started on the network performance. Vista is leaps and bounds ahead of XP when it comes to transfering files accross the network.
    • by bogie (31020) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @01:44PM (#18431461) Journal
      I shouldn't constantly be staring at the stupid green bar at the top of Explorer waiting for Vista to finish displaying the files in a directory. I love it when some of the photos never get thumbnails. Explorer in Xp for all of its warts is noticeably faster at displaying directories and copying data around.

      You just know there is some insane DRM checker running 50,000 a second to check to make sure that your actually allowed to view you own files.

  • by yeremein (678037) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:53AM (#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).
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SEMW (967629)

      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

      I'm fairly sure that all of Vista's built in applications use WPF and are thus DPI-independant. If you're running at the default 96dpi, I'm not sure in what way you expect them to look different to in XP. I think the point is that when you change the dpi, they scale smoothly and unblockily (I assume you don't see it with magnifier because it just enlarges the pixels, it doesn't redraw everything). IStartedSomething [istartedsomething.com] has a nice gadget where you can see the same screenshot at different DPIs, if you want to

    • by dlim (928138)

      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, for heaven's sake).

      The .NET Framework 3.0 has a full library and WYSWYG interface for building WPF apps using managed code. (It also runs WPF on XP SP2 and Win 2003) Why do you think that will discourage people from developing WPF applications? Are you talking about C++ apps exclusively?

  • Why oh why can't we have Flip3D and the mini-tab-previews without Aero?! Please don't tell me it's not possible to render the classic theme with WDM!
  • Okay, I get it. Vista is better. Better security model, better UI, better API's...that's as much praise as I'm willing to heap on it right now, but overall I think that's pretty fair. And, all things being equal, I think Vista would be a good investment for a lot of companies.

    But all things aren't equal. That pretty face comes with a pretty steep price tag and some pretty draconian restrictions. On top of the higher costs associated with Vista, you're STILL paying for anti-virus and firewall protecti

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