Windows Vista Review Part 1

About this review

Welcome to my multi-part review of Windows Vista. It covers some of the most important aspects of the changes that Vista introduces so I’ve decided to split it up in to a series of reviews. Why you ask? Well, first of all the size of it, second of all I’m too lazy to write the rest so I’ll just put up the parts I’ve completed.

To the relief of technology followers and all those involved in the development of Windows Vista, the best part of 6 years of development has finally come to an end. Windows Vista has finally hit the shelves and is shipping with all new desktop and portable machines.

In order to evaluate the end result of the hard slog, I think it’s important to rewind back to the beginning of where it all began. You know, back to the days when we were still using floppy disk drives and CD-ROMs. Maybe that’s an exaggeration but it feels like it’s been that long.

The result of those 6 years is nothing short of monumental. To Microsoft’s credit, the hard work shows in the vast number of new features and overhauls from previous iterations of Windows. I’ve been following Vista since its birth and although it’s not what we all originally had in mind, it certainly is no minor update.

Vista – formerly known as ‘Longhorn’

We should really call this Vista V2 or Vista Lite, Mac fan-boy genes aside, Vista or Longhorn as it was called in early development stages began with a large list of major changes. After 3 years of development, they realised that what they were working on was too big and too complicated. It just wasn’t going to work. So they decided to scrap the project and start again with a more realistic feature set.

I can’t even begin to imagine how the developers must have felt when they heard the news.

Changes had to be made if Microsoft were ever going to release the successor to XP this side of the decade so a lot of the features were eventually dropped or pushed back in to later service packs. WinFS was the major feature of Vista that isn’t present today. WinFS was meant to be a new file system that allowed for improved searching not only on your local machine but also across networks.

Not to worry, WinFS is said to be still in development and will ship in a service pack for Vista.

2007-03-20 Onwah Tsang

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