Microsoft recently released another public beta of Windows Vista so I downloaded it as soon as possible. I just got around to installing it. This isn’t the 64 bit version though like I got last time; I have read that was slow for a lot of people so maybe not releasing another public 64 bit beta yet of it was smart.
It does seem a good bit faster than the last build I tried. My system still rates a 1.0 on the Performance Score even though the average of the components is 3.22, but now there is an explanation why. The “Base Score” is “determined by lowest subscore.” That does make sense since a major bottle neck can slow down the system significantly. But in my case, all I loose is gaming graphics and Aero. For many users that would not be a big deal. Since the scoring system appears to start at 1, you would expect that system to totally suck. But Microsoft says, “a computer with a base score of 1 or 2 usually has sufficient performance to do most general computing tasks…” So how do users differentiate the really horrible systems from the not so bad ones?
I opened up IE (which again didn’t appear in the Quick Launch toolbar until first run) and clicked on an article on Homer Simpson on the opening MSN page. I was then presented with a Suspicious Website popup, saying the site might be a phishing website. Good to know their system works so well it tags their own site.
I have not seen the UAC dialog much, but that could be because I was setup with an Administrator account. I thought users were supposed to be Standard Users. Looks like MS wants there to be at least one admin on the system other than the built in account. That makes some sense, but is going to leave that one user more vulnerable that necessary.
I really miss the Up button in Explorer. I use that all the time. You can do basically the same thing using the URL bar, but not by simply hitting one button in a constant place. I often would traverse folders very fast using the Up button. I hardly ever use the back and forward buttons.
I really like the ability to type commands or program names into the Start Menu, it really makes finding programs easier and faster. That is a good thing because I hate the menu otherwise. It is not nearly as easy to use as the Classic Start Menu or even XP’s menu. I like that My was dropped from the System places, but now they are hard to find. I keep looking for My Computer or My Documents and they just aren’t there. Computer and Documents just don’t stand out.
I pressed the “shutdown” button in the start menu and of course, being Vista you aren’t supposed to actually power off your system. It attempted to go into suspend or hibernate (whatever the default is) and quickly popped out. I assumed it was because I wiggled the mouse as I let go, but when it came back my wireless mouse was no longer recognized so I doubt it. Using the keyboard I again hit the shutdown button. This time it seemed go half to sleep and would not wake back up. Good thing I wasn’t trying to put Windows to sleep.