First looks at the December Community Technical Preview of Windows Vista continue to appear:
Honestly, it’s been a long time since I’ve felt this good about Windows Vista.
I’ve found out that Microsoft expects to deliver the next CTP in February 2006. That CTP will be the first given to testers that includes all of the features that Microsoft intends to include in the final version of the product.
But I’ve noticed that my computer runs much faster under solid LDDM drivers than it does my XP ones. Microsoft’s made some great strides there. Speaking of which, here’s an interesting observation: Office “12″ runs at least 5x faster under LDDM-enabled Windows Vista than it does under Windows XP. It even runs better on Windows Vista than Office 2003 does on XP.
The most annoying thing, by far, is User Account Control (UAC). For power users, it’s probably the most annoying thing ever invented. For end users, they buy Windows preconfigured with a bunch of apps, so they probably won’t encounter it as much. But there’s no way to disable it for a few days while you’re setting up a clean install, or even shut it off for a few hours. There ought to be a way to tie the protection to a USB key, so that while it’s in, you’re not bugged about it. The whole point is to not run as an administrator, but that’s exactly what I’m doing to avoid being bothered by it.
LDDM is the new Longhorn display driver model which is incompatible with the old Windows XP display driver model (XPDM) and the reason Vista requires new video device drivers. The UAC prompt that is causing the problem is what pops up when a non-adminstrative user tries to install a new program. One of the objectives of Vista is to improve security by getting folks not to always use their systems as administrators, but a lot of what end users do, like install or update applications on a new system, is technically “administrator work.”