I am currently running Windows Vista Ultimate Edition Version 6.0 build 5308 on my home PC. This is a dual boot installation with my old Windows XP Professional so I have something to fall back on. There has definitely been a lot of progress since I installed Beta 1 back in July 2005. But I cannot help but feeling some disappointment as well.
The first sign of progress is of course Windows Solitaire 😉 Yes, it has improved! Actually a new version has been included since the PDC05 build of Windows Vista.
But Windows Presentation Foundation is still nowhere in sight ;( The WinFX runtime components are still not installed out-of-the-box. The .NET Framework 2.0 is installed out-of-the-box, but it is not used in any process right after Windows Vista boots. So the dirty little secret I blogged about for Windows Vista Beta 1 about still hold true in build 5308 ;( There are two pieces of software in Windows Vista that do use the .NET Framework: the Event Viewer and the Windows Media Center shell. The Event Viewer is still the same sluggish piece of crap that it was in Beta 1. Look at these strange triply nested corners for the view of an event:
The Windows Media Center shell in XP proved that you can develop shiny, flashy apps in .NET. However I find Media Center shell in Windows Vista has detoriated compared to the one in Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 (when are those product branders at Microsoft responsible for these terribly long names going to get fired?!) . It feels more static (the background has no moving glow), it has less shine and polish and usability has gone down.
Rabobank TV works just fine in this new Windows Media Center version, though 😉