Hello Vista

I finally installed Vista Beta 2 (Feb CTP, Build 5308) last night. The installation went smooth and seems like the basic drivers (sound, video, printer) were taken care of. My Dell Flat Panel is still being treated as a generic PnP monitor which wasn't the case with XP and I don't recall installing drivers for it.

One thing that did get my attention was the sheer amount of disk space used. I had installed Beta 1 a while back and I believe it took some where around 3-4 Gigs. But this one uses up round about 7 Gigs, yes 7. The Windows folder alone takes 5.97 Gigs (on disk). Thanks to Vista, I was reassured that HDDs really are cheap.

The reason I installed it on my machine was to start playing with some of the WinFX technologies. I attended a Vista presentation late last year, it was known as Longhorn then. I have to admit I wasn't very impressed from a regular user's point of view but hopefully Beta 2 will change that view. The windows explorer interface has changed and it took me some getting used to. The traditional menus (File, Edit etc) are not visible by default but you can choose to view classic menus if you please. Another thing was my home network detection. After configuring my workgroup I still wasn't able to get on the network. It turns out that the default firewall setting was blocking me to do so and after enabling it from there I was able to access other machines.

One thing I was glad about was that the Windows shortcuts still work as expected.