September 1, 2006 12:32 PM PDT

Near-final Windows Vista version issued

It's beginning to look a lot like Vista.

Microsoft on Friday issued Release Candidate 1 of Windows Vista, a near-final test version of the of the oft-delayed operating system.

Retiring Windows chief Jim Allchin announced the release Friday in an e-mail to testers. In his note, which was also posted to the Windows Vista Team blog, Allchin said there are "a lot of improvements since Beta 2," which was released in May. Among the changes he highlighted are tweaks in the user interface, more device drivers and improved performance.

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Video: First look at latest Vista build
CNET's Robert Vamosi shows off the latest build of Vista: Windows Vista RC1 (build 5564).

Work on Vista is not done, Allchin wrote. "We'll keep plugging away on application compatibility, as well as fit and finish," he wrote. He noted that software makers should use the RC1 release to certify their applications.

The software maker is shooting to wrap up development work in time to ship the operating system to large companies in November and have a mainstream launch of Vista in January.

The release candidate is available to some technical beta and corporate testers now and will be made available next week to testers that are part of Microsoft's MSDN developer network. The software released Friday is build 5600, a slight update to the test version Microsoft released in the past week to businesses that are part of an early adopter program as well as to a subset of the tech enthusiasts that have been putting Vista through its paces.

Microsoft declined to say when the consumers that have been testing Vista will get their hands on RC1. The last broadly available test version, Beta 2, was released in May.

Earlier this week, Microsoft's Canadian site accidentally leaked Vista prices onto the Web, and Amazon provided a clue to the software's availability.

See more CNET content tagged:
Jim Allchin, test version, tester, Microsoft Windows Vista, software company


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vista: 1 step closer, 2 steps farther back
I have Build 5536 running on a an AMD Athlon 64 and also on a
MacBookPro. The installers went smooth as silk, taking about 45
mins, Aero Glass looks good but it is nothing spectacular. On
the Apple many Mac specific drivers are not there yet, also
neither is the Program Compatibility Wizard icon that is linked
from the Vista desktop during the install.

The TOTAL re-arrangement of the user interface, Control Panels
and even the toolbar for Internet Explorer is actaully going to be
a big time-waster...many experienced users of Windows XP will
be LOST for several days as they fumble thru oddball menus and
Icons that were never there in XP, and later find the things they
need are renamed and moved to totally new locations.

Other than the gooey Look and Feel (an attempt to mimic Mac
OS X, which is far better than Vistas look) they have actually
gone backwards with this OS design. I predict major user
disappointment, and frustration.

As for Security....the User will be making More of the choices
about what is allowed to Install or Run, so the actual workload to
maintain this OS will possibly double the number of clicks and
dialog boxes that a person sees on a day-to-day basis...leading
to another 2 steps backwards in productivity.
Posted by (39 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I agree
I agree with just about everything you said. The re-org of the UI is a mess. The whole "virtual folder" thing is a nightmare if you ask me. And you're right.... the number of security popups is a total mess. Everyone will just hit "OK" and viruses will be as rampant as ever on Windows.

Let's hope these things are fixed in RC1.
Posted by ss_Whiplash (143 comments )
Link Flag
Windshields Are Bigger Than Rear View Mirrors
I recall the EXACT same stuff being said about a product named Windows XP. Sure, people will struggle for a very short period and then grow to love Vista more than XP ... just like we did with 98/XP.

It's like getting a new car. You learn the new dashboard, and you move on. Products should move forward, and avoid the mistake of getting mired in the past.

The new UI is actually more sensible than XP. I do admit that the virtual folder thing is a little odd, and will probably be for power users only. However, within 1 month of using Vista people will never want to switch back to XP.
Posted by MSFT Fan Boy (24 comments )
Link Flag
1 Step Closer, 2 Steps Past the Competition
Jack, Anyone who is lost for several days trying to find things that are right in front of their face are most likely still using Windows 98. What "total re-arrangement" of the UI do you speak of? I've deployed Beta 2 around to a few users and its already boosted productivity, not to mention they love the look and feel and actually do have a better sense of whats going on and where they are in the OS and/or App.

As far as your mimic comment goes, Vista's UI is fully capable if not more capable than OS X when rendering things on the desktop (just not quite refined enough yet, but we'll see in RC1). I too am using Vista on my MacBook Pro now. Going backward in design? *** are you talking about? The significant changes to the UI and underlying technologies provide a pretty damn robust and powerful environment for anyone..Not to mention the customization elements in the UI that allow you to pretty much do whatever you like as far as look and feel - something the Mac has never done. Im not bashing the Mac..I use OS X daily, but to say that Microsoft is taking a step back is almost as shallow as Steve Jobs WWDC Keynote  him and his minions Jabs at Vista when they doesnt even know what the hell they are talking about..Quit drinking the apple too-cool aid, and come back to earth - Bring Jobs with you while you're at it...
Posted by SystemsJunky (409 comments )
Link Flag
Brace for the Vistapocalypse!
Within hours of its release, hackers will tear into Vista to find hooks for stealing home users and businesses' bank account credentials. Billions will be lost within hours and Microsoft will call the publicity of the thefts "gross exaggerations by the company's infinite enemies in the press."

The scandals will completely devastate the release of Vista and most businesses will refuse to deploy Vista when their IT staffs tell them the new OS will only attract even more attacks than patched XP systems.

MS will be reduced to issuing press releases about victorious deployments in "a bakery in Ottawa" and "a car wash in Sierra Leone" which the press will reveals were bought by MS a week before the software was installed.

Ballmer, always regarded as completely insane and emotionally unstable, will disappear without a trace. Psychics will lead police to his final resting place, his station wagon, parked behind the IGA supermarket in Spokane where police will determine he had shot himself 9 times in the face, reloaded, and shot himself another nine times in the back, a story that will briefly provoke skeptical reactions from the press.
Posted by Sumatra-Bosch (526 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This is my favorite part:
"Ballmer, always regarded as completely insane and emotionally unstable, will disappear without a trace. Psychics will lead police to his final resting place, his station wagon, parked behind the IGA supermarket in Spokane where police will determine he had shot himself 9 times in the face, reloaded, and shot himself another nine times in the back, a story that will briefly provoke skeptical reactions from the press."

lmfao... ***.. 9 times, a reload, and nine more times, right in the face. lol. Classic.
Posted by (461 comments )
Link Flag
you can go back to paper and pencil
and stay a sissy your whole life
Posted by cary1 (924 comments )
Link Flag
Novell XGL/Compiz Presentation
Feast your eyes on the future...which is out TODAY:


<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>

Can your Vista do this?
Posted by fxjamusa (36 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Good god!
I'd just want an OS that does it's job as an OS. The "wow" factor will definitely die down and you'll come to realize that those graphics effects in no way help with the efficiency in using the OS. Some of those effects are actually distracting! I hope Vista doesn't get overboard like that. I do like the concept of multiple screens but rather they be overlayed instead of in a cube.
Posted by spacydog (380 comments )
Link Flag
Gotta Love Novell
You have to tip your hat to any company that can survive and still try to aggreessively compete after years &#38; years of slipping in your industry. I was a HUGE Netware fanboy in the early 90s. I even jumped on the Unixware bandwagon for a while. (Anyone remember that?)

I suppose this is the future for some Novell customers. But, in my day job I work with large companies helping them to make IT investments. Most of them have plans (and many of them have current projects) to move off of Novell to more robust offerings like those from Microsoft and IBM. So, if this is the future, then it only applies to a small portion of the IT universe out there.

I can also tell you that I am seeing a change in attitude and experience to the Microsoft server platform in the world of enterprise computing. If my friends out West continue to mature Active Directory, Windows Server, their management/security suite and their "Office Server" vision then get ready. 10 years from now people will talk about products like Websphere, Linux, Oracle, Notes like they do today about Wordperfect, Dbase III+ and Novell.

For most, the future is companies that have visions that are compelling, broad and deep. Microsoft fits that mold. Unfortunately, Novell does not.

Posted by MSFT Fan Boy (24 comments )
Link Flag
A lot of this stuff already exists in OSX. The big difference is that
when Apple uses some of these tricks, they are USEFUL!
Posted by Europodboy (298 comments )
Link Flag
Can I run Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Frontpage and MS Office on this?
...because if I can't run these software, or for that matter other software routinely used in offices and home, then it's of no use...
Posted by cary1 (924 comments )
Link Flag
Devil's Advocate
You know, most people sort of knock Vista around (and sometimes rightfully so), but I am actually excited to see it released.

Yes, I can spend all day comparing it to my Mac OS, but what's the point? You can't possibly say anything that hasn't been said before.

And, despite the trouble, when I played around with Vista, I definitely saw the potential; it still is the coolest Windows release I've ever used. I've gotta give them credit for that.
Posted by toosday (343 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Devil's Advocate
You know, most people sort of knock Vista around (and sometimes rightfully so), but I am actually excited to see it released.

Yes, I can spend all day comparing it to my Mac OS, but what's the point? You can't possibly say anything that hasn't been said before.

And, despite the trouble, when I played around with Vista, I definitely saw the potential; it still is the coolest Windows release I've ever used. I've gotta give them credit for that.
Posted by toosday (343 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yeah its cool........ - For Windows its cool. Until you realise its all
been stolen from OSX, turned inside out and upside down. Thats
why the usability isn't what it should be and why those who
complain about things not being where they should be are
Posted by Europodboy (298 comments )
Link Flag
For windows users it just might be cool. For Linux and OSX users it is old hat.

Vista is a poorly implemented copy of linux and osx.
Posted by qwerty75 (1164 comments )
Link Flag
Go Vista!
The world is within 6 months or less of having what is sure to become the most widely used and successful new software release of 2007. This is great news for the industry, especially hardware manufacturers and game developers. Can't wait to get games like Crysis that will use DX10!! The demos looks INCREDIBLE!!!

I do hope Redmomd provides a way to avoid the extra "are you sure you want to that" dialog boxes that I've experienced. But, other than that the early Vista builds have grown on me over the past several weeks. Seems like another step in the right direction for my friends out West.

Can't wait to see the final product!!!

Posted by MSFT Fan Boy (24 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Avoid the extra dialog boxes
No probs, just login as root :D

Vista is still not ready and the extra 3-4 weeks of bugbusting
won't be enough, prepare yourself for some hefty updates the
months to come.
Posted by Peter Bonte (316 comments )
Link Flag
Why wait?
Why Wait? - Vista is a poor copy of OSX which has been around
for at least 5 years.
Posted by Europodboy (298 comments )
Link Flag
Don't forget
to take your meds!
Posted by paulsecic (298 comments )
Link Flag
Why do I want Vista again?
Oh, that's right, for the eye candy!
Posted by bobby_brady (765 comments )
Reply Link Flag
...Just buy WindowBlinds. Huge cost savings!
Posted by ogman (150 comments )
Link Flag
Its not that bad.....
hahaha. J/K. From what I have seen, I will stick with XP. Please someone come out with a better desktop OS. Before you Apple &#38; Linux guys come tearing in, you ain't there yet. You're getting close, but you need to think about the end user. For techies, they are fine and we can do pretty much everything on the other OS flavors, with the exception of Most Games. The problem is that software developers do not write enough mainstream software for the platforms and your average End User can barely use Windows let alone Linux. Some of us would like to try to switch to a linux desktop, but unless our vendors write software for linux/apple, we have to deal with what we got. Its time to lobby the hell out of them. Linux/Apple will NEVER catch on, until software devs start offering a choice of something other than windows written software....
Posted by ZeroJCF (51 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Macs run Windows apps you know.
Pretty much have three options....

1) Dual boot directly into Windows via Boot Camp.

2) Run Windows simultaneously using virtualization software.

3) Run Windows apps directly on OS X using Crossover instead
of Windows.

This "safety net" of options is giving many Windows users the
desire to actually try a Mac. Then they discover the Mac
software (that they thought was missing) mostly exists after all.
Posted by open-mind (1027 comments )
Link Flag
Is Vista for the NT-Windows what ME was for DOS-Windows?
The impression I got from different reviews and comments on Vista: it takes up significally more resources than XP, but in return it gives the user a shiny new UI and a lot of new nuisances. Somehow, this reminds me of the near-forgotton Windows Millenium Edition, which was by most considered as inferior to Windows 98 (especially 98SE), especially regarding stability.

In retrospect, it seems to me that ME was poorly designed on purpose. The next scheduled mainstram OS (XP) was based on the NT kernel, and Microsoft has always stressed that XP has a much higher reliability compared to Windows 9x and also the earlier NT incarnations. And for once, Microsoft mostly kept to this promise. Aside from the well-known security leaks, the base OS is really stable, and system crashes have become an extremely rare event.

Now, here is my idea -- if ME's purpose was to make users update to XP more quickly, does the same also hold for Vista? I haven't heard about the next generation of Windows after Vista, but I hope MS has to offer more than transparent window frames for computer users in the 2010s.

Oh, and if someone from MS is reading this - in a world where multi-core 64bit processors are toiling at rates of several GHz, why is my computer reduced to a sluggish crawler just because it needs to read the list of contents from a CD-ROM or DVD? This is really annoying.
Posted by gromace (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Stable??? Blue screen of death just yesterday!
Here is another example of an IT consultant selling Windows secure in the knowledge that it will create plenty of billable hours for him.

Yesterday, I had only been using the office PC (these are all new running XP SP2, since the office just opened) for a short time and I got the blue screen of death. I was not surprised at all, because experience has taught me that XP is not stable. This PC has an all in one printer attached via USB, and the blue screen came while printing an Excel file!!! It's routine for it to lose the connection to the scanner in the middle of a preview, not even getting to an actual scan! The scanner then becomes busy, so retrying is futile. Here we are, 25 years into the 'PC era' and simple things like printing and scanning are still big problems for Windows machines. How can anyone claim they're stable? It's gotten to the point where it's just easier to bring the documents home to my Macintosh, scan them in and email them to work.

What's really sad about this is that the example isn't out of the ordinary. Everywhere I go, I see lots of cases where PCs just don't work properly, but the users are convinced that it's their fault, so they don't complain, but avoid using the equipment.
Posted by Macaresafer (44 comments )
Link Flag
You are probably correct
MS is the only major (Sun, Apple, HP, and IBM) and minor (Palm, embedded, etc) OS manufacturer that does not use a Posix and *nix core.

I'm betting that the next major OS release of MS will be based on an Open Source *nix core, just like Apple's Mac OS X, which is the Mach and BSd kernel with an Apple Shell.

MS problems with Vista reveal the weaknesses of their current NT strategy. Their next step should be something like a *nix kernel with a Windows Shell.
Posted by Maccess (610 comments )
Link Flag
Re to Macsaresafer: Stop the BS!!
I am software developer and I run XP. At a given time I have at least a dozen apps running (outlook, couple of visual studios, Visio, few IE instances etc) and couple of dozen services (IIS, SQL server, proprietary services etc) and I generally use it 8 hours a day for weeks at end without even restarting. I have NEVER seen a blue screen (and you just happen to have seen one yesterday, how convenient), I have had the OS hang on me may be around 3 or 4 time this year after hundreds of hours of use. So go tell your stupid stories some place else. I only wish Vista is as stable as XP and more secure.
And about your father who you claim is computer illiterate, how do you know he can install the Mac OS without misconfiguring it, if he's never needed to!!!. My friend you have BS written all over you. I have nothing against Mac, its a good OS and I like it too, what I cant stand are the Mac fans BSing Windows without a clue.
Posted by FutureGuy (742 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You are a LIAR!
I have used PC's and Macs for 20 years! I have used as many OSes
as you can imagine. And you have not yet seen a blue screen? Were
you born yesterday?
Posted by benjiernmd (123 comments )
Link Flag
Blue Screen
All I can say is last week my XP froze in the middle of a program I have used for years. Did not install anything new or reconfigure anything. Got a lovely blue screen telling me my system registry is corrupt. No system restore points available either (they auto erase after 90 days). After three days (a weekend and a day off of work) talking to India, I ended up having to format the hard drive and reinstall EVERYTHING.

Funny, never had a mac do that.

Posted by devincutler (3 comments )
Link Flag
When vista does come out
Don't buy it, at least, not right away. Wait and see. Keep your ear to the ground and listen for the chatter on bulletin boards and chat rooms.

The last thing anyone wants is another M.E. disaster.
Posted by thedreaming (573 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Re: don't buy it . . . right away
I'm sure most businesses will get a copy or two for testing, but no
one except the very clueless will rush out to buy this service pack.

IMO, the bulk of Vista will be sold with new computers for the first
couple of years. Most existing machines aren't able to run Aero
and that's about the only new feature that's left in Vista. MS failed
to deliver on the rest of their promises.
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Link Flag
Vista Preinstalled
My current computer has a "Designed for Microsoft Windows XP" sticker on it, and works fine.

My next computer will have a "Designed for Microsoft Windows Vista" sticker on it, and will work fine.

The predictors of gloom and doom will once again be proven wrong.
Posted by john55440 (1020 comments )
Reply Link Flag
whenever it **** plzzzzzz tel me.
Posted by kannu500 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
I wanna vista Because it is verry importnet
Posted by thepulkalyana (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Vista RC 1 Sucks
<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by zxocuteboy (45 comments )
Reply Link Flag
beta testing
question if you are a beta tester do you get the final version free
Posted by riggers24 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag

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