Sidebar Geek

My experience with Windows Vista. Windows Sidebar and Microsoft Gadgets.

Windows Vista Build 5231 October CTP Experience

I've decided to take notes on my experience with the new October Windows Vista CTP - Build 5231. Below are some of the notes and issues I took while playing around. Some of which might be small glichtes only happening to myself. Of course, if you find any work arounds to any issues I have talked about below, feel free to comment or send me an email.

  • Security Center Enhancements
    • Security Center checks five categories instead of three like in Windows XP. Security Center now checks “Firewall”, ”Automatic Updating”, “Virus Protection”, “Spyware Protection”, and “General Security”
  • Windows Antispyware
    a. Under Security Center and under the “Spyware Protection” category, you’ll find you can attempt to activate “Windows Antispyware”.
    b. Is Microsoft Antispyware turning into Windows Antispyware? I would guess yes as from Microsoft’s own website, the branding seems to be in the process of changing into Windows Antispyware although the program calls itself Microsoft Antispyware still in all major branding graphics.
    c. When attempting to enable Windows Antispyware via Security Center, it won’t enable because it cannot start. I am assuming the program isn’t installed.
    d. If you install Microsoft Antispyware Beta 1 manually, it still won’t active a green “On” symbol.
    e. Microsoft Antispyware Beta 1 seems to not work in Build 5231 – or at least very well.
  • Internet Explorer 7.0
    • User interface cleaned up a bit from Beta 1.
    • Able to subscribe to RSS Feeds within Internet Explorer and through the Favorites, you can see which feeds have been updated.
    • Unfortunately, IE 7 in this build doesn’t display anything that alerts you on any updated RSS Feeds.
    • QuickTabs feature works.
  • Windows Search
    • Windows Search, when doing searches, seems to take up an awful lot of system resources. More so in Build 5231 than previous builds I’ve used.
  • Windows Digital Gallery
    • I am making a guess here but it seems Windows Photo Library will now be Windows Digital Gallery which makes sense.
    • You can view Tags, Dates, Ratings and Folders all in Digital Gallery.
    • You can add tags to your photos but in this build, it doesn’t seem like the tags stick when you assign then. If you go back to the photo you tagged, it says there are no associated tags.
    • The “Windows Photo Library” folder under Program Files just takes you into the Digital Library – further implying Photo Library is now Digital Gallery.
    • Seems very slow.
    • My pictures do not show up in thumbnail view for some reason.
    • Digital Gallery cannot “Fix” images in .png format.
  • Windows Movie Maker
    • New “Windows DVD Maker” program within the Movie Maker folder in Build 5231 signifies the ability to create DVDs using Windows Movie Maker. I tried to use Windows DVD Maker but it tells me the proper codec for making DVD’s is not loaded and won’t start the program.
    • Windows Movie Maker has a bit of a new interface – kind of. It looks to be in-progress. Not too impressive yet but its exciting to see something is being done with Movie Maker after seeing it not included in previous builds.
  • Windows Calendar
    • Holy smokes! The interface has really improved.
    • You can actually use it in this build!
    • I was able to set up numerous calendars for different people and/or types.
    • I was able to publish to a WebDAV server but unfortunately it doesn’t publish right. Files are put on the server but you cannot use them for anything.
    • Supports subscribing to other people’s calendars.
    • Windows Calendar in Build 5219 supported publishing your Calendar as RSS. Please bring this back! Its not in Build 5231!
    • You can make Announcements to published Calendars. Way cool if this actually can work.
    • Alarms do not work. You can set them and think you set them but when you got back to that event, the Alarm is unchecked.
  • Windows Mail
    • Junk Mail feature just as good as Outlook 2003’s.
    • Newsgroups looks the same as they did in previous builds, offering ratings if you sign in with your Passport account I believe. I wish they would fix newsgroups so they don’t display such long names!
    • The interface doesn’t look quite like Outlook as much as shown on the Channel 9 Windows Mail video.
  • Taskbar Thumbnails
    • Very sporadic on what you can view.
  • Windows Address Book
    • Not much has changed since Build 5219.
    • The “New Contact” and “New Group” buttons don’t seem to work.
    • Not all information about the contact is shown in the columns. For example, if I enter a phone number in for a contact and there is a column for Primary Phone and the phone number doesn’t show up. Matter a fact, there isn’t a place where you even designate a “Primary” phone number.
  • Media Center
    • Never got it to work in previous builds. But it works for me now in Build 5231.
    • When scrolling through the menus, it’s a bit sluggish compared to Windows XP Media Center 2005.
  • Windows Diagnostic Console
    • Not sure if this was in the last build, but this is an impressive tool for analyzing your system’s resources such as processor and memory as well as network.
  • Windows Media Player 11
    • Tried to play a DVD and it crashed. Keeps crashing.
    • Looks like its pretty much WMP 10 with a new skin. The new skin is pretty cool though.
    • A lot better library browsing.
    • Ripping music into library works the same as it did in WMP 10.
    • The Windows Media Player taskbar feature is way too bright and when its minimized and displayed on the taskbar, you can barely see the buttons.
    • When trying to rename your “Untitled” Playlist at the right hand corner of the player, it fails to stick with the new name instead going back to “Untitled”.
  • Windows Volume Control
    • Totally redone. New interfaces and new features.
    • You can now control the volume for separate programs individually.
  • Virtual Folders
    • It doesn’t seem very easy to create your own Virtual Folders or lists. I’m working on figuring this one out a bit more.
  • Network Center
    • Now this is awesome. All your network needs in one central area in Windows. It offers a ton of new features like Network maps and Saved Networks. No more going to different networks and having to re-enter your settings in Windows. You can save networks and activate them whenever you need to.
    • Network mapping seems to not work for me in this build.

 

I will be adding to this has I progressively continue testing out this build.

 

UPDATED: October 17th, 2005

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Comments

  • I have had the chance to give Windows Vista Build 5231 - the October Community Technology Preview (CTP)...
    October 17, 2005 12:26 PM
  • shawnmor said:
    Thanks for the great Calendar feedback, Brandon. I'm the PM for Windows Calendar, and I'd love to have a chat with you, if you're willing. Shoot me an email at shawnmorATmicrosoftDOTcom...

    Thanks,
    Shawn
    October 18, 2005 11:25 AM
  • Here is the upcoming Release Schedule for the upcoming Windows Vista Beta and Community Technology Preview...
    October 18, 2005 12:59 PM
  • While bad news from the development point of view, there has been some detailed tire kicking and I expect some compatibility testing from folks who expect to initially support Vista in Win32 compatibility mode.

    ...
    October 20, 2005 4:54 PM
  • Sidebar Geek said:
    Here is the upcoming Release Schedule for the upcoming Windows Vista Beta and Community Technology Preview...
    November 26, 2005 4:23 PM
  • Sidebar Geek said:
    Here is the upcoming Release Schedule for the upcoming Windows Vista Beta and Community Technology Preview...
    November 26, 2005 4:25 PM
  • Sidebar Geek said:
    Here is the upcoming Release Schedule for the upcoming Windows Vista Beta and Community Technology Preview...
    November 26, 2005 4:26 PM
  • Sidebar Geek said:
    Here is the upcoming Release Schedule for the upcoming Windows Vista Beta and Community Technology Preview...
    December 3, 2005 4:18 PM
  • Sidebar Geek said:
    Here is the upcoming Release Schedule for the upcoming Windows Vista Beta and Community Technology Preview...
    February 6, 2006 1:11 AM
  • Sidebar Geek said:
    Here is the upcoming Release Schedule for the upcoming Windows Vista Beta and Community Technology Preview...
    March 25, 2006 9:55 PM
  • Sidebar Geek said:
    Here is the upcoming Release Schedule for the upcoming Windows Vista Beta and Community Technology Preview...
    March 25, 2006 9:56 PM
  • Sidebar Geek said:
    Here is the upcoming Release Schedule for the upcoming Windows Vista Beta and Community Technology Preview...
    March 25, 2006 10:00 PM
  • Sidebar Geek said:
    Here is the upcoming Release Schedule for the upcoming Windows Vista Beta and Community Technology Preview...
    March 25, 2006 10:03 PM
  • Sidebar Geek said:
    Here is the upcoming Release Schedule for the upcoming Windows Vista Beta and Community Technology Preview...
    April 22, 2006 10:40 PM
  • Sidebar Geek said:
    Here is the upcoming Release Schedule for the upcoming Windows Vista Beta and Community Technology Preview...
    April 23, 2006 12:07 AM
  • Sidebar Geek said:
    Here is the upcoming Release Schedule for the upcoming Windows Vista Beta and Community Technology Preview...
    May 6, 2006 12:13 PM

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