The December Community Technical Preview of Windows Vista released yesterday is now available for download by MSDN Universal subscribers, but the official beta testers got it yesterday and some first looks are coming in. Predictably, Paul Thurrott has launched on a comprehensive review and the first installment, Part 1: Setup and User Interface, is now online. Lead-in:
I think people are going to be surprised by how good the Windows Vista December 2005 Community Technical Preview (CTP, or build 5270) really is. After years of painful delays and an uncertain couple of months since the last CTP, Microsoft shipped a near-feature-complete Vista build to testers this week, and the prognosis is extremely positive. From what I can see, Vista has turned the corner. The December CTP is an exciting release, stable and full of new features.
He also has 5 galleries of screenshots at the Vista Activity Center.
However, as good as it may be, the December CTP is still not feature complete and as Nate Mook reports at BetaNews, the trademark Vista sidebar from the “early days” in 2003 won’t make its reappearance until the feature complete Beta 2 is released next year.
Still, Microsoft reiterated that it hopes to have finished most of Windows Vista’s features by the end of December. A feature-complete build will likely be delivered in February. That means developers and beta testers won’t be able to provide feedback on the Sidebar until its ostensibly set in stone.
And any other new features that make their first appearance in Beta 2 as well.