Windows Vista: More little things in the December CTP

In August I mentioned some of the little improvements in Windows Vista Beta 1 that made using my computer more enjoyable.  Now that I've installed the December CTP (released yesterday), here are some screenshots of a few new things that instantly jump out at me:

Finally!  A decent calendar and clock when you click the time in the Taskbar.

A separate dialog enables you to change the date and time.  The shields indicate actions that require elevated privileges.  These are now used pretty consistently throughout the UI.

Start menu searching has more enhancements, although you still can't search the control panel from here... (grumble, grumble...)

The new standard Save dialog caught me off guard, but clicking "Browse Folders" gives a familiar experience.

The Control Panel now has a Recent Tasks section in the lower left corner.  That's handy!

Speaking of the Control Panel, it has several new areas, including:
(Click on the thumbnails for larger images.)

A cool Network Map:

AutoPlay settings:

A handy Performance Center:

Also, be sure to check out the December CTP for the Microsoft Visual Studio Blah Blah Blah WinFX Development Tools.  It's an add-on for Visual Studio 2005 that includes a first peek at "Cider," the WPF designer for Visual Studio!

Comments (12)
  1. Kerschenbauer W. says:

    Where can we find the download?

    It is not yet available under MSDN Subscriber downloads?

  2. ricster says:

    just a question regarding the fx, assuming you’re a clock cycle nazi like me, can you really bash it down to classic windows style? i.e. turning off all menu transitions, smooth scrolling, and "show window contents while dragging/resizing"?

    as well as being a mhz hoarder i actually prefer windows life without these enhancements, as i can get stuff done very fast without waiting for the effects to finish, e.g. have menu sub menus that pop out instantly, not wait 2 seconds first, which i find quite annoying, to speed that up they could always cache the loading of submenu icons, so they appear after it has opened where they are needed. in fact i think that philosophy could be extended to much of windows at present. instead of forcing me to wait for it to show the "handy" icons and effects, show me the information first and pretty it up as it goes along. all optional of course, some people like their computers warm, friendly and fun. personally i prefer it cold and harsh and as fast as possible.

  3. Marko says:

    Yeah! What gives, I checked the MSDN download site and no December CTP. I got exited there for a bit!

  4. Brian says:

    Why has this not made it onto MSDN yet.

    Why tell people then fail to deliver.

  5. Yikes, sorry for the confusion… apparently the Windows Vista December CTP was only released to private beta program participants. I didn’t realize that!

    Well, if you’re a developer, here are some other December CTP bits you can play with:

    Microsoft Pre-Release Software WinFX Runtime Components – December Community Technology Preview (CTP):

    Microsoft Pre-Release Software WinFX Language Packs – December Community Technology Preview (CTP):

    Microsoft Visual Studio Code Name “Orcas” Community Technology Preview – WinFX™ Development Tools:

  6. William Luu says:

    Wow, that looks interesting Adam.

    And that clock looks a lot like the one seen on the Longhorn era sidebar (,1871,s=25983&iid=52041,00.asp).

  7. PatriotB says:

    I know that this blog focuses a lot on WinFX and WPF, but it would be really great if Microsoft would document and support non-.NET apps using the DirectUI APIs. It is used to do a lot of cool stuff in XP and even more stuff in Vista — e.g. all the control panel pages. It would be great if other apps could use these APIs as well.

  8. Pradeep Kumar says:

    That looks nice, I am trying to work with January CTP. I have the following.

    .NET 2.0 runtime

    .NET 2.0 SDK

    WinFX Jan CTP runtime

    Windows SDK

    WinFX extensions for VS.NET

    I get the following error when trying to run XAML applications

    System.Windows.Serialization.BamlParseException: Error at element ‘StaticExtension’ in markup file ” : Could not load type ‘System.Runtime.CompilerServices.NGenAttribute’ from assembly ‘mscorlib, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089’.. —> System.TypeLoadException: Could not load type ‘System.Runtime.CompilerServices.NGenAttribute’ from assembly ‘mscorlib, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089’.

    Any idea whats going wrong?

  9. Adam, when you click on the click and click the small arrows to move the next month, click them VERY fast, as if you were impatiently trying to get to a far away year. It will NOTICED that and switch the view to "decades" which is worth seeing.

  10. skirt says:

    I’m not familiar with the Windows Vista

    but I know it is a good thing.

  11. It was almost nine months ago since I pointed out that The WinForms DateTimePicker and MonthCalendar

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