Successfully Installed Windows Vista Ultimate

As a dogfooder who tried Windows the Vista Beta, man has this product come a long way. Kudos to the Windows team for dramatically improving just about everything in the product.

Here’s some key things to remember:

Backup your files – Always good advice, but don’t forget to export your IE Favorites and your OPML blog roll from your favorite blog reader before starting.

My PC: Dell XPS M170 (pre dual-core), 2GB RAM, 80 GB Hard drive.

My Installation List

  • Windows Vista Ultimate Edition
  • Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite
  • SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition
  • Visual Studio Express – Full support information here
  • Windows Live Messenger
  • WinZip 9 SR1
  • Windows Live Writer Beta
  • Visual Studio Team System
  • Mezer Tools – Screen Capture
  • iTunes
  • Firefox
  • Adobe Reader
  • Office 2007 – I love Office 2007, killer app
  • Office 2007 Add-in (Save as PDF or XPS)
  • New York Times WPF Reader
  • Expression Web
  • Windows Grep
  • Digital Image Suite 2006
  • Ventrillo
  • World of Warcraft


Other Personal Notes

  • UAC can be annoying: But you can turn it off by clicking on your user account, selecting personalize and turning it off. This is a personal decision everyone needs to go through, but I’m thankful there’s an option to turn it off.
  • Everything is both new and familiar: That may sound like a contradiction, but while there’s a lot that’s new in the operating system, I don’t feel lost and I can intuitively figure out where things are. In that sense, I don’t see customers getting “lost” in Vista.
  • What doesn’t work: RSS Bandit – I’ve already pinged Dare, I’l let you know what I hear back
  • It’s Faster: World of Warcraft performance is faster than on Windows XPSP2 both in terms of frames/second and the feeling of responsiveness. Unexpected but cool 🙂
  • What Driver didn’t work: My Sierra Wireless AirCard 860 didn’t “just work”, but luckily the good folks at Sierra Wireless do have Windows Vista drivers, but make sure to download the (almost hidden) option #2. The first option is for Cingular’s weak-sauce software while the second is Sierra’s driver. Use the second one.
  • Favorite secret feature so far: Intelligent copy and paste. When I copied over my old machine’s Windows XP “My Documents”, it recognized the structure and asked me to move things like “My Music” or “My Pictures” to the new folder structure (C:\Users\Danielfe\Music or C:\Users\Danielfe\Pictures)
  • Favorite keyboard shortcut: From Peter’s blog, hit Windows Key+N to launch apps in your quick launch, Windows Key+1 launches the first app, Win+2 launches the second, and so on
  • Full list of Windows Vista shortcuts: Can be found here
  • PowerShell looks cool: The version listed here is in fact the RTM 1.0 version, the team just needs to update the labels.


All-in-all, I think users will be pleasantly surprised by Vista and the sky is not actually falling.

Comments (9)

  1. Tim Anderson says:

    > UAC … This is a personal decision everyone needs to go

    > through, but I’m thankful there’s an option to turn it off.

    A personal decision? If you mean, you have the power to decide, then sure. If you mean, it doesn’t affect anyone else, then that’s incorrect. There are two reasons why:

    1. If your machine is infected by malware because you disabled UAC and starts pumping out more malware or spam, it is directly affecting others.

    2. If people see that Microsoft staff aren’t using UAC, then they will be less likely to use it as well. After that, see (1).


  2. Responding to Tim

    1. I actually made no implication about how it would affect anyone else, I don’t know how you read that in my post.

    2. If I do it, then everyone else will? I don’t think you give the average blog reader enough credit to think for themselves.

    Second, I’m assuming you already know that we have known issues with developer tools support on Windows Vista (coming soon) –

    And that there are a number of issues running as RANU

    There are also issues with running XNA Game Studio Express which the team will shortly be adding more information on.

    I personally play roller hockey (, and so do numerous Microsoft staff members, does that mean our customers should? Or that there are no consequences?


    If you want to read some message that you see and spin this blog post as a Microsoft employees don’t use UAC post, more power to you. I am sure the next blog reader will use the fact that I listed iTunes as an installed app as proof that I don’t use Windows Media Player or because I installed Adobe Reader, I don’t use Word or XPS.

  3. Tim Anderson says:

    Apologies, I didn’t mean to offend. Simply, I was asking what you meant by "a personal decision", and challenging it a little because ultimately we are all on the same network (the Internet).

    My view is that Windows security is a huge issue both for Microsoft and actually for every internet user. UAC looks like a pretty good effort to improve it, so to my mind it is in all our interests to try and make it work.

    And yes, I do think that the Microsoft blogs are influential. There is plenty of evidence for that – 99% in a positive way (so thanks for your contribution, and for taking part in this conversation).

    You didn’t say whether or not you have UAC enabled and I’ve made no assumptions about that.


  4. Malcolm says:

    RSS Bandit works fine in Vista. You have to launch the .exe directly rather than using the installed shortcut.

  5. Responding to Malcom – I re-installed the latest build (.42) and ran from the exe directly like you suggested, but when I hit File…Import Feeds… it just dies (opens about four task try Windows) and the Imports Feed menu is displayed undrawn.

    I’m running full Aero Glass so maybe that’s the problem?

  6. zzz says:

    "you can turn it off by clicking on your user account, selecting personalize and turning it off"

    If you’re running at home as the "admin but not quite" default security, will using that turn in completely off? And does that affect IE protections? Also would it be safer to just use the admin approval "elevate without prompting" instead of turning it off from personalize? I’ve been using this mode assuming it’s safer than turning it off totally.

  7. Sean Chase says:

    Roll Horde on Frostwolf.   🙂

  8. Quan says:

    i have kyoreca Aircard KPC650, how do i make it work with Windows Vista ultimate? please let me know thanks.

  9. Joel says:

    hello there i was wondering if anyone could give me any tips on how to get world of warcraft with the vista software

    reply soon:)