Vista RC1

16. September 2006

After registering at microsoft and downloading Vista RC1 yesterday (2,5 GB) I decided to give it a try today. I had not installed Windows on my Notebook after my harddisk died last time but had left 10 GB free space in the partition table.

After booting up from the DVD and waiting some time a complete graphical installation wizards starts. You have to fill out your language, your Key and accept the license agreement. There are two installation modes, “Update” and “Expert”. “Update” was not availible as I did not start the installation out of Windows. In Expert mode you have exactly one choice, the partition information. There is an fdisk front-end that looks quite good though it does not know about linux partition types and gave me a bad error trying to format a linux partition with ntfs. Anyway, after deleting my spare partition and letting it create it’s own one, Vista was installed without demanging my other linux partitions while overriding grub.
Two reboots are necessary until the installation is finished, after the first you can enter your username and choose the background picture.

As expected, anything worked out of the box like it did with dapper. I have a Centrino notebook which has no special hardware.
– The WLAN drivers seem to be better in Windows because they connect faster. I hope this will improve in Edgy
– Suspend to RAM is also faster on Windows

There is lot of stuff preinstalled I would rather not need, like Media Center. The new Internet Explorer looks interesting but I immediately downloaded Firefox 2.0 Beta which works very good, too. All in all, Windows looks very media centered and wants to lead you to buy DRM-stuff very often.

The “Run…” field in the menu has been replaced with something which is more or less simular to the Deskbar-applet in Gnome.

Look and Feel
If there is some bling in Vista, it seems to be disabled with my graphic hardware. I really look forward to AIXGL in Edgy which hopefully supports my hardware.
The default theme looks much cooler as the ugly used in Windows XP. IMHO Gnome should also use a better default theme, maybe even parts of this suggestion.

I am a bit disappointed so far. I had expected that they would include really cool features in Vista which would really make me think about switchting back to Windows but they did not. There is nothing with is not also availible in Ubuntu Dapper.