August 25, 2006 3:35 PM PDT

Windows Vista inches forward

Microsoft released an interim test version of Windows Vista to some corporate testers on Friday, and said it will expand the program to selected tech enthusiasts soon.

The software maker, which is planning to broadly launch a "release candidate" test version by the end of September, said that it has delivered a more modest update (build 5536.16385) to businesses that are part of its Technical Adoption Program. It also has sent it to members of its TechBeta tester pool and of its MSDN developer network.

In addition, Microsoft intends to give the test version next week to about 200,000 of the 1.5 million tech enthusiasts who participate in the Vista Customer Preview Program (CPP).

The Redmond, Wash.-based company has been struggling to get the operating system update out the door. Last year, it cut features from Vista, in hopes that would allow the software to make it onto PCs by the 2006 holiday buying season. However, in March, Microsoft said it would have to delay Vista further, with plans for a mainstream launch in January.

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In May, the company released its second beta version of Vista, the last update to be made broadly available for testing.

Microsoft has already selected which of the CPP testers will get the updated build and has notified them by e-mail. Those who weren't selected will have to wait until the release candidate is available to update their test version of Vista. The company said the goal of releasing this build beyond the technical tester pool is "to diversify ecosystem feedback."

The new test version does not include any new features, but a representative for the software maker said it does include "quality and performance improvements based on feedback Microsoft has received to date."

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killer OS ?
Is Vista an XP killer ? i don't think so. The new systems that use vista will be unnecessarily expensive reducing PC sales. Mac is no cheap either. Go with Linux !! Woohoo!
Posted by Hardrada (359 comments )
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I'm sorry.. but as an average computer user who plays games and reads email and blah blah like alot of ppls out there, i think any version of linux has a looong way to go before hitting 'main stream' i've tried installing linux on several computers (suse, redhat, mandriva, whatever i could find) and there was always one problem or another. Either i couldn't use my network card, or my graphics card wouldn't work or it just wouldn't boot. Now i'm not a linux nay sayer in terms of the whole idea, i think the linux distro's i've seen are kewl and such, but if my mom can't install it, its not going to happen.
Posted by BeamerMT (64 comments )
Link Flag
of the new PC's that have shipped in the last two years will run Vista fine. Some might need a small memory upgrade....say another 512meg...$50 or less.

You only need a DX9 video card to run the high end Vista Aero Glass GUI. DX9 capable video cards have been out for over 4 years now. If you dont have one for some reason a cheap one with 256megs of memory can be had for $70 or less at Newegg.

You will need a DX10 video card if and when you play a game that is DX10 only...most new games will fall back to DX9 hardware. Fully DX10 games wont be mainstream for two years or more.
Posted by Lindy01 (443 comments )
Link Flag
Killer Question, Not the OS.
The question this post asks is "Is Vista an XP killer?" Wait a minute now. I bought XP for about $200 a few years ago. Is not Vista the next incarnation of the same, Microsoft GUI? Does it not have Internet Explorer, Windows Explorer and the other accoutrements that XP and its ancestors have? If you look, you can see the slow evolution. So, the question is meaningless because Vista IS XP. If its not, that's news to many, many XP owners. I understand the rapaciousness of Microsoft, they are attemtpting to own everything by monopolizing the desktop, and doing it illegally but who cares so long as they're an American company, right? That kind of megalomania requires the kind of person who'd rape and then, adding insult to injury, take all the cash and credit cards from your wallet.

An Aside:
The above is said from maybe 15 years of paying taxes to Microsoft. Watching them steal technologies (IBM had Topview or something like that, signiicantly earlier the MS had its GUI. The concept did not originate there.

But OK. There is good news. I think Bill (Gates)has been saved from a legacy of a ruthless, relentlessly acquisitive, typically American, businessman trying to take over all the world's desktops. And I'm being serious. He's spared himself, redeemed himself. He has gotten his cake, and ate it too. His legacy will note the theft, greed, illegal business practices, shere megalomania of Bill Gates, in which time he became the richest man on the planet. But then he (somehow, somewhere) "got religion" if you will. And having more maoney than he could ever spend in tens of lifetimes, he is now giving generously to charities. You see? He's done it again! He's pulled one over on us; made himself a Great Man, not a great, greedy man. He is genuine, though. He never claim to be a nice guy while accruing all that wealth and power, after all.)

So VISTA is XP. VISTA is XP's next "incarnation" the way it previoiusly was Windows 2000, you see?

This is what I mean by saying the question is meaningless. I'd like to know who thought Vista could even be an "XP killer." The concept, I hope you see, is wrong, faulty, an error in cateogory.

Who are you, Hardrada? No offense, but I'd bet your twenty-something. The good news is your absolutely right about new systems costing too much if they are "Vista ready". But you haven't learned about Wintel, I think. Son, I hope you know there is collusion between MS and Intel (hence the popular term, "Wintel"). It is surely Intel who wanted VISTA to require mucho expensive hardware. Who knows how hard they pushed MS on this. Such an unsubtle way to sell one's product. Intel, Microsoft, these are not entities to which the ordinary rules apply.

Vista must be an upgrade to XP, or MS will indeed lose a lot business to Linux. I've got 256K of RAM. There's no way I will double my RAM (Vista requires AT LEAST 512K) to meet the basic requierements of Vista! What a racket, you see?

Be Good, and who are you?
Posted by montdor1 (1 comment )
Link Flag
MS inches, others make leaps and bounds forward.
The systems I work on for a living run BSD, AIX, Solaris, NetWare (still going!), Linux of course and the occasional Apple OS desktop/laptop. There have been so many innovative changes to all these platforms. Yet networks based on Microsoft technologies have been stagnant for years. I asked an MSCE one day if he was bored with his work, I would find it terribly boring to work in such a stale environment. But he reminded me of the never ending excitement he has when his servers are hacked, his Exchange system regresses to a Virus Exchange with LookOut clients, and of course rarely 6 months passes by where a patch from Microsoft brings his network to its knees.

He then tells me about all the new features his IE7 beta has, rather stupidly I might add. All of these things Ive been using with Mozilla products for years. And these are solid production products, not betas that have compatibility and on-going security issues.

If you look at IT from a worldly perspective youll see a fundamental shift of IT away from Microsoft reliance happening on a large scale. But here in the US we are sadly losing out on our IT lead in the world by sticking to a dieing breed called Microsoft. It reminds me of a 58 year old technician working here who is still thinking though problems as if it were 20 years ago and this firm was on a mainframe.
Posted by extinctone (214 comments )
Reply Link Flag
One thing and only one thing will release us from MS's grip
And that is a 100% Windows-2000 compatible OS, made by someone other than Microsoft. It'll have to run no more than 50% slower than the original Windows 2000. Now, since the source code of Windows 2000 was leaked (after hackers broke into MS top secret dev servers), it seems quite feasible. Welcome the "legal", "cleanroom" perfect clone: ReactOS.
Posted by Fictia (32 comments )
Link Flag
Wow the ignorance is amazing.
Your post is clueless on so many levels its amazing you manage to cope with working on so many different legacy systems.

Microsoft has introduced new and varied technologies in vast quantities. Far more than any of its rivals by a long long way. A few examples would be Office 2007, Vista, Exchange 2007 (wow the stuff that does is really amazing!), Visual Studio, Smartphone OS, Windows Media Centre, and the tablet PC OS. $5 Billion on R&D pushes everyone else way way down the road. Sure XP is getting old now, but Vista is great.

Amusing you mention 'when servers are hacked' - after all you are far far more likely to be hacked running a Linux server these days than a Windows one. Just look at any website defacement statistics for the past couple of years. Not to mention having to wait twice as long for patches for Linux compared to Windows on average, and having 3 times as many security vulnerabilities to deal with if you run Linux. Not to mention all the integration issues of getting those Linux patches to work together...

Outlook 2003 has had one critical vulnerability since it was released over 3 years ago. Patched before anyone exploited it. This is why exterprise companies are still ditching legacy solution like Notes, Oracle, Openmail, etc. and migrating to Exchange by the thousands and its market share is still growing.

IE7 - well yes IE was left to rot for a while, but IE7 is neat. Not quite as feature rich as Mozilla, but its close enough for most users and of course its supported by Microsoft - that means a lot in the enterprise space.

The numbers dont show any shift away from Microsoft. Quite the reverse in fact. Linux usage is still stuck at approx 0.3% of web users - zero growth for the last few years, and Microsofts market share is stable on the desktop side.

On the server side Microsoft is still gaining share against legacy Linux and UNIX systems - especially in the web server market. Microsoft has gained nearly 10% in the last few months alone to take its market share above 30% - mostly at the expense of Linux / Apache.

It sounds like you are a 58 year old technician, still dreaming that UNIX will one day rule the world. You need to wake up, smell the coffee and realise that Microsofts latest OSs beat Linux hands down on pretty much everything - especially TCO, security and performance. I cant remember the last benchmark I saw where Windows didnt beat Linux. I think it was on NT4...

No matter how many Windows performance innovations the Linux kernal team seem to adopt (e.g. per processor cache lists) they are still playing catch up.
Posted by richto (895 comments )
Link Flag
The OS of Rich
Yes Yes Yes Vista is Faeture Rich with beautiful Temes Newly designed explorer,but what's the cost?
A linux os with unbreakable security can just run with 2Mb(Command) or 16Mb(older Gui linux)

But Windows for vista asks 512Mb and recommends 1Gb of RAM.

64-bit dual core would be nice.So should we just throw out the computers brought a 1 or 2 yrs back.

Vista Operating System alone takes 5Gb of Hard Drive Space.Should we Keep other files in our pockets? a computer brough in year 2004-2005 mostly has a 20-40 Gb Hard disk.

With All These Does Vista Still Have The Security comparable to Linux.

I tried Vista and my computer was attacked by w32.pinfi virus.I could not run Vista For more Than 2 Days
Posted by Downloads_Prasanth (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
stop with the 128meg Linux one wants that...or at least no one that is trying to use the PC to be productive....and not just prove a point.

Go to

Dual Core 64bit CPU (Intel 805) < $100
1 Gig of RAM $85
160gig Seagate SATA Hard Drive with a 5 year warrenty...$58.

Wake up hardware is cheap. Vista will need a tad more than XP and will give you a tad more stability and way more features.

Most hardware bought in the last two years can handle with Zero upgrades.
Posted by Lindy01 (443 comments )
Link Flag
You must be dumb then!
The only way you can get infected with Pinfi on Vista is to execute an infected file, and then to tell Vista that you trust that file when it asks you.

Clearly your own dumb fault. Just like SUing to root on Linux and running an unknown script could do something nasty. Except hardly anyone bothers as only 0.3% of web users run Linux...
Posted by richto (895 comments )
Link Flag
Geez its degenerated into another troll debate...
Lets straighten this out here:
Just because a majority of users use Windows based operating systems doesn't mean that they are better or worse; it just means that they're popular because they come preinstalled on almost every computer. Linux may only constitute .36% of desktop access use, but it serves at least 30% of sites on the internet. That means every time you surf the internet you are more than likely using Linux at some point, albeit indirectly. And this is for good reason. Linux is vastly superior to Windows as far as the underlying technical structure goes, and regardless of what anyone says is MUCH less likely to be infected than Windows based machines. However, it is NOT well suited for the average desktop user. The user interface(s) are all deeply flawed in various ways, especially consistency. But by far the biggest problems are multimedia and hardware support; in order to simply set up the basic requirements of a system its almost a requirement for basic users to wade through online forums in search of the one dude who knows how to make the mp3s play, to put in the proprietary 3D supporting graphics card drivers instead of the almost worthless open source ones, to make multiple sounds play at once, etc. This is all very possible and the end result is awesome, but the trouble involved in setting all this up is simply ridiculous. Linux is far more suited to the server room and other similar environments in which functions that don't encroach on the web of patents companies have set up, and that's exactly where it has and will continue to prosper. At the present moment Linux is only suited for desktop consumption by advanced users. As such, Windows Vista will come to dominate the market once again as the only real contender for mainstream acceptance (Except maybe if MacOS X decides to support normal hardware configurations, reduces the price of their software / hardware and convinces others to preload it - unlikely at this juncture). It doesn't matter whether its good or not; Vista will be on everything you buy.
Posted by rpgamer28 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Bravo! Well said.
I agree with you 100%

Nice to know that I'm not alone out here..

I get tired of the"... ___ sux and our's rules!" rhetorical crap.

Posted by GreyClaw (81 comments )
Link Flag
Not sure on either
Ive had problems with both MS and Linux. MS sucks in terms of security and their "updates" that bring whole networks down, and linux in terms of compatibilty. I've been trying to get a boot disk of ubunu linux to work for months on my labtop (compaq R4000) and it wont work. I've used suse on a school computer and it worked really good but the GUI had somewhat of a steep learning curve. But the same thing goes for Windows. When exploring deep withing the OS be carefull of everything or you will mess something up.
So im not sure on either right now but im leaning towards linux.
Posted by hothorse04pc (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not quite
Concerning your reference from mi2g:

Aussie Cybersource company CEO Con Zymaris said the report
lacked any raw data, references to sources and had a broken

He told the INQ:"In pulling apart the limited amount of
information that is given by Mi2g it seems that the company did
not include automated penetration attacks in its study." Mi2g
also failed to factor in viruses and malware, something that open
source expert Bruce Perens told Linux Pipeline, here that it was
"pretty ludicrous" when even its own study said that the financial
impact of viruses on Windows is tremendously greater than the
penetration on Linux.

However, on the company website here, an Mi2G spokesperson
defended the report insisting that manual hacker breaches were
more common in Linux.

He said that good administration is central to working with
Linux and these were lacking in the global market.

Manual breaches can be much more complex and sophisticated
than automated ones proliferated through malware.

The company is mightily miffed at what it calls clandestinely
attacks funded, aided or abetted by vendors or special interest

Previously the company stirred up a hornets net when it came
out in favour of Apple and BSD, because the entrenched
supporters of Linux and Windows felt that mi2g was guilty of
'computing blasphemy'.

So obviously you must support Apple and BSD then!
Posted by curtegg (38 comments )
Reply Link Flag
XP is good enough
XP is good enough, I see no reason to spend my money of Vista. Plus I am migrating slowly but surely to OS X, so I see no reason to buy anything from MS no more.

I bought Win 3.1, 95, 98SE, stopped there, and had my Employer buy the 2000 and XP, if they pay for the Vista and supply me with hardware, then I might run it :- )

I have good computers already capable of running Vista, but rather have Linux on it, can get more work done without crashing.

My choices are:

Linux ( prefer the original Slackware )
Windows XP

I think now that I look back, XP is to date the best OS MS put out, and I am only talking about the 32bit XP, not the 64 bit version, that is unsupported by a lot of things.

I can't even get a Anti-Virus for 64-bit XP Pro, other then the MS solution, nothing seems to work at 64bit.
Posted by rmiecznik (224 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Personally, I wont move to another 32-bit OS as an upgrade, I would stick with XP. If Vista is able to assembly a feature complete and consistent 64-bit OS with excellent support to Multi-Core processors, it would be irresistable.
Posted by YankeePoodle (785 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft = Legacy
The US, Great Britain and a shrinking number of other countries/cultures still clinging to 'the Microsoft way' are very quickly losing the IT leadership positions in the world.
Posted by extinctone (214 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What can we do? Stick with XP????
The review says RC1 is no good, what do you think?
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Posted by zxocuteboy (45 comments )
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