In getting a bit caught up in the whole virtual machine thing in recent weeks, I decided to finally have a go at installing the latest beta version of Microsoft's upcoming Windows Vista.
I installed it as a virtual machine under VMware Server, but thus all the ultra-pretty effects of the new 'Aero' interface wouldn't work because of the apparent difficulty of virtual machines using a graphics card. So I had to use the toned-down interface which still nevertheless looked quite good.
'Enough talking, show us some screenshots!' i here you say, below are a few selected thumbnails, you can see the full screenshots here.
To put down my own views on this beta: although it looks impressive, the visual novelty usually wears off very quickly, so you can't really base your opinion it. There were a little buggy things that I found irritating, but hopefully they will get ironed out before the product is properly released. Overall, all the extra bundled software (like Windows Sidebar, Calendar, Defender, DVD Maker, Mail, Movie Maker, Photo Gallery, etc) are very welcome, the overall look is familiar but new and different, and the more intuitive navigation will please average users but probably annoy seasoned Windows professionals.
Once it does get released, it'll be a bit strange moving away from XP. I've really liked the past 5 years between Windows releases. I always thought the one release every 2-3 years was a but much myself, so i've welcomed an extended amount of time where things have pretty much stayed the same. Generally I have liked XP: it has been much more stable than previous versions and I think it's suited the past era well.
I dunno, I guess it's also been the version of Windows that I have matured on computer-wise since I started my IT degree in 2001. Although I knew my way around before, now I know my way around a whole lot more, and in most cases can actually offer sound advice to the less computer literate around me. Thus the version will even more-so take some re-learning and re-getting-used-to.
With new Windows releases i've always gone by the motto of 'after the release of a new Windows wait 6 months to a year for other people to iron out the bugs before you get it'. This time it may be a bit different: partly because I'm so much more involved in IT than ever before, but also because i'm curious to see how many bugs there will be in it.
One one hand you can say because of the almost total availability of high-speed internet, a lot more people have been able to try and test the new Windows while it has been in beta, and therefore a lot more bugs should have been caught than in previous circumstances. But on the other hand, this Windows is so much more complex than ever before (heck, it's been about 5 years in the making) so that might make it even more buggy than ever before.
I know I haven't been too coherent this entry, so apologies for that. Normal less-geekiness blogging will return soon.