Vista RC2: goodbye, XP


Well, I’ve taken the plunge: I flattened my laptop yesterday, and installed Vista RC2 (5744) and the latest Office release candidate (4518.1006). So far I love it, and I haven’t encountered anything in the first 24 hours that looks like a bug. This is the first time I’ve had such a smooth and trouble-free experience in installing any version of the 2007 Office clients, which seems a good sign that we’re getting close to an RTM-ready build.


My tired XP configuration, with dozens of programs installed and un-installed over the last year, had become quite flaky and was taking nearly 20 minutes to simply boot up. A few too many Office beta versions and interim builds, I think. So the single biggest benefit I’ve experienced so far is that my system boots so much faster. I’d imagine that’s more due to the flattening than Vista RC2 itself, but it’s nice nonetheless.


my Vista desktopAnd things look absolutely great now, both Office and other programs. It’s nice to see the aero glass effects on old programs like FileZilla (which I use for SFTP). And although I love all the panoramic photos that come with Vista, I prefer a dark background that’s not too busy so I put a photo of my own on the desktop: the lights of Spokane from Mount Spokane, taken on a day when I hiked up all three mountains (Spokane, Day, and Kit Carson) alone two years ago.


A quick aside for my fellow photo nuts: that image is exactly as taken, with no adjustments of any kind. That final glow of sunset, as shot from a big heavy tripod on the side of a mountain, was one of my favorite moments of natural light I’ve ever had the chance to shoot.


There are a few things about Vista that most “power user” types change, and so have I. I have the UAC stuff disabled, since I’m installing and configuring so much software right now that it just feels in the way. And I added the Run command and a command prompt back to the Start Menu and a few other little touches like that. But the basic things I need to do are all working flawlessly, and I strongly recommend going to RC2 if you can.


I think I may now be able to say that I won’t have XP running on any of my machines ever again. So long, old friend, thanks for the memories …

Comments (3)

  1. Doug Mahugh says:

    No problem, Tim, I appreciate your thoughts and your passion for security.  I’m certainly not recommending anyone disable UAC, but that does seem to be fairly common among the folks I’ve talked to.  And as I said, I’m installing and configuring so much software right now that it just feels in the way — I don’t intend to leave it that way.

    One of the things I really like about working at Microsoft is that we’re free to disagree with the consensus and reach our own conclusions.  I’ve heard of other big tech companies where that’s not encouraged, but around here that’s the norm, and I guess on the UAC I’m a bit out of the mainstream in my view.

    <i>A brief digression …</i> that’s not just the UAC, actually: I seem to be pretty far out of the mainstream in my view of security issues in general, be it PC security, personal security, national security, or anything else.  As one of many examples, I live in a neighborhood (Rainier Valley) that most of my co-workers would go to great lengths to avoid even driving through, because it has the highest rate of violent crime in Seattle.  But I love the wide variety of people in that neighborhood, and feel pretty bored in other neighborhoods where there’s more consistency and predictability (and safety).  To each their own. 🙂  My point is, there’s not one approach to security that fits every person and every situation, and I have no doubt that your view of the UAC is much more common than mine!

  2. Well, I’ve taken the plunge: I flattened my laptop yesterday, and installed Vista RC2 (5744) and the latest Office release candidate (4518.1006). So far I love it, and I haven’t encountered anything in the first 24 hours that looks like a bug. This i

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