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5365 DesktopOkay, I am a lot less concerned about Windows Vista after seeing this build than I was with build 5308. The “fit and finish” of this build is way beyond what 5308 was. All of my device drivers for a Thinkpad R52 were automagically detected and installed. I haven't had a chance to see if the Thinkpad-specific software works yet or not; I hope to try that tomorrow. The widgets work nicely. LUA still blows; and I am not going to re-hash the arguments. However, it presents itself in a much nicer way; dimming the screen to call attention to its request. However, I have the registry key memorized to turn it off, so it is the first tweak I make after installing the OS. Hopefully the Beta 2 build will include some useful information when you see the LUA dialog.

Of course, on a Thinkpad I will never have Aero Glass, despite my 128 MB of video memory. I just don't think the integrated Intel video chip is ever destined to get the drivers needed. However, the OS still looks very sharp. The new wallpapers and screen savers were a nice treat as well. I was beginning to think that after 10 years and gazillions in developmental dollars they were going to stick us with the same wallpapers and “Windows Logo” screensavers as in the previous two versions.

This version is also running very smoothly with no freezes or crashes. Very occasionally it will “go away” for about 15 seconds and then “come back.” But it is very minor. Office 2007 runs nicely on it as well as of the technical refresh build. I am buying Office 2007 for the improvements in Outlook and OneNote alone. With these two product upgrades I am saving a lot of time managing my data and information that gets gathered and processed on a daily basis. More with less energy spent. I don't have access to a TabletPC anymore so I cannot report on that aspect of this build, but I have to think it has all the improvements I have seen in the non-tablet related pieces as well.

Media Center was the one thing that brought the OS to its knees. I thought I would select it for grins to see what you get – and wow, did I suffer for it. Trying to get through the setup wizard was slow as molasses and despite the fact that I had been browsing the internet on my wireless connection for two days prior – Media Center just could not connect to the internet using it; and knocked the laptop off of it several times. I finally had to reboot to get it working again!

WMP 11 looks even nicer than before. The interface is very slick and much more minimalist than with WMP 10. I also like the music services integration (mTV URGE for example) much better than in previous versions as well.

I am also going through and seeing what third party software plays well with this build. BlogJet, FoxIT PDF Reader and CA eTrust ITM all work fine.

 

Posted on Monday, May 1, 2006 2:26 PM | Back to top


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