Since Release Candidate 1 of Vista arrived last Friday and has now been made available to millions of Customer Preview Program (CPP) members (download here and caveat here), there has been a deluge of news and reactions:
Paul Thurrott provides a two part review (, ) which is mostly good news except for the Vista x64 versions which are “software compatibility hell.” He balances that, however, with The Dark Side of Windows Vista RC1 which points out some deficiencies, including the perennial favorite, User Account Control:
Yes, UAC is dramatically less annoying than it was in Beta 2. And yes, Microsoft has addressed the very egregious problems and bugs I found in this software earlier this year. And you know what? UAC is still annoying. It’s still really annoying.
Thurrott proposes a solution, but I suspect that there are a lot of folks who are just going to be turning UAC off. Microsoft’s Alex Heaton says UAC has improved in RC1 and has a video to prove it, but Steven Parker suggests that Microsoft incorporate a per-user UAC on/off switch.
Brandon Leblanc says Vista is definitely on the right track, but drivers are still a problem.
Preston Gralla says Windows Vista RC 1 is almost ready for prime time.
Paula Rooney reports that Partners Say Vista RC1 Close But Not Quite Ready.
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes reports that the Windows Experience Index is much improved since pre-RC1 build 5536. This is the built-in Vista hardware performance rating tool which I’ve mentioned before which seems unfortunately destined to be come the universal yardstick for hardware comparisons. Also related – Ed Bott says Vista isn’t a hardware hog.
Ed Bott provides 10 essential tweaks for Windows Vista RC1
Todd Bishop reveals What Windows 2000 and XP say about Vista’s schedule.
Joris Evers asks Will Vista stall Net traffic? No, it isn’t everybody downloading RC1, it’s the way Vista’s IPv6 support will hit DNS servers.
Latvians clutch sides and cry ‘fowl’ over Microsoft Vista. Vista translates poorly in Latvian.
Microsoft’s Vista Launch Critical To Chip Co’s. They have to be kidding.
As it gets closer to the release of Vista and Longhorn Server, there’s the expected drum beating for new features, many of which are often overlooked in light of the glitzy new Aero UI. One such feature is a completely rewritten networking stack. Paul F. Roberts at eWeek reports on some resulting new functionality that Microsoft is talking up:
Microsoft Corp. is banking on enhancements to what it has dubbed the fundamentals to entice enterprises to upgrade to the next version of Windows, known as Vista.
Microsoft will use the RSA Conference in San Jose, Calif., in February and the company’s TechEd conference in Boston in June to demonstrate and evangelize the security enhancements in Vista and its upcoming “Longhorn” version of Windows, said Mike Schutz, group product manager for Microsoft’s Windows Server Division, in Redmond, Wash.
One focus of those presentations will be IPSec, a venerable protocol used for securing message data at the network layer as well as for authenticating the source of data packets sent over networks.
Traditionally, IPSec has been used for Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections from remote users through the enterprise firewall, but Microsoft suggests it would be useful to use it to isolate sections of the enterprise from each other.
In Vista and Longhorn, IPSec is used to do both domain isolation—which blocks untrusted connections to domain members—and server isolation—which restricts traffic to trusted domain members and user groups—according to Microsoft.
Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP SP 2 currently support server and domain isolation, but it will be much easier to deploy the technology with Vista and Longhorn, Hameroff said.
Fulton County (Georgia) government is a pilot customer that thinks it’s useful, but a Gartner analyst is doubtful this has general applicability.
There’s more on the new stack here and here, but the biggest objection I see is that these features seem to be very Microsoft-centric in that they require both Microsoft clients and servers. You’ll likely be out of luck in a heterogeneous environment.