Review: Vista Needs More Fine-Tuning

By Jason Brooks  |  Posted 2006-05-23
At WinHEC May 23, Microsoft released Build 5384 of Windows Vista, a.k.a. Windows Vista Beta 2. Based on eWEEK Labs' tests of the near-Beta 2 Build 5381, we can report that Vista has been progressing steadily, but it will require some more tightening up before it will be ready to shed its beta label.

In particular, Vista's new 3D Aero Glass user interface, the one causing most of the are-you-Vista-ready ruckus, tends to flake out at times. As our tests with Longhorn Server illustrated for us, however, Vista manages to deliver the goods without Aero Glass enabled at all.

We've written about the testing builds of Vista a couple of times already. We opted this time to chronicle, in screen shots and words, the initial Vista experience from the standpoint of an appropriately rights-constrained non-admin user.

eWEEK Labs also looks at Office 2007 Beta 2. Click here to read the review.

Windows XP's "limited" user accounts are known as "standard" accounts in Vista. Only time will tell how Vista users will respond to the standard of eschewing admin rights when they aren't strictly required.

For the start of our standard-user tour, Vista's jump-off screen is fairly helpful, and that's a good thing. The user interface changes have left some commonly accessed functions in slightly different spots than they were before. Links to common operations are organized a bit differently in Vista—the operation for changing display resolution, for instance, now lives in a "personalization" panel.

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