Posts Tagged ‘Vista’

Vista Ultimate Dreamscene

I’m running Windows Vista Ultimate at home and bumped into a cool new feature available to Ultimate users as an Ultimate Exclusive. The feature is called Dreamscene and it makes it easy to replace your boring static wallpaper with exciting dynamic wallpaper – apparently, without taxing your system resources too much. If you’re an Ultimate user and good about downloading updates (even the optional updates) it’s probably already installed; if you don’t already have it installed, you can use Windows Update to download and install Dreamscene. While you’re updating – grab the Dreamscene Content Pack as well.

Instructions for activating Windows Vista Ultimate Dreamscene:

  1. Right-click the desktop
  2. Select Personalize from the menu that appears
  3. Select Desktop Background on the Personalizaton screen
  4. Select Windows Dreamscene for Picture Location on the Desktop Background screen
  5. Select a Dreamscene, your background will update, click Ok after you settle on a Dreamscene for your background. NOTE: If you don’t have the Content Pack installed, you will only see one Dreamscene in the list of available Dreamscenes. The Content Pack brings the number closer to ten.

Dreamscene is working pretty well for me on my modestly equiped Lenovo laptop so far. I like the liveliness it brings to the background – I have a rainy day scene running for my background. Oh, Dreamscene is also smart enough to go into a static state when the laptop is running on battery power. If you are a Vista Ultimat user – it’s worth a look.

Dreamscene
   (Vista Dreamscene: Select "Windows Dream Scene" for Picture Location)

 


From the Archives: Windows Vista Packaging Patched

Joel, over at Joel on Software, wrote today about his less than fantastic experience with the new Office 2007 packaging. Back in February of this year I wrote about my less than fantastic experience with the Vista packaging. I thought I’d pull that post back up to the surface in this "From the Archives" post. Enjoy. Microsoft. Suck this up and stop repeating your mistakes. Hire new uber-packaging experts.

—- From the Archives, February 2007, Windows Vista Packaging Patched —-

Earlier this week I came across a Windows Vista Ultimate package here in the office and discovered something interesting – a U.I. flaw in what was probably an uber-expensive package designed by uber-packaging experts from all corners of the world.

I saw the package sitting on a co-worker’s desk and was immediately interested. I’ve worked on designing software packages in the past so a package like the Windows Vista package that is obviously going to be well funded and the product of hundreds of hours of experience deserves some attention. I picked up the package, looked at the front, looked at the back, and proceeded to open it. To my surprise, and some embarrassment because my co-workers were watching, I had a hard time getting it opened. I don’t remember how long it took me to get it opened but I do know it was way longer than it should have been. Even after I got it opened, using what appears to be a last-minute hack, I had difficulty opening and closing the package. Is this for real? How many of these packages is Microsoft shipping? Did they test this at all?

The hack I referred to is illustrated in the photo I took below. The little red piece of tape attached to the top of the package can’t be part of the original design but without it I would have been really stuck. I’m sure the last minute hack was subject to protest on the designers part – it’s ugly. Did Microsoft "Patch" the Windows Vista package? We’ll probably never know.

Vista Package

By the way, I passed the package around the office for a little in-house usability testing and a lot of really smart people turned red trying to get the Windows Vista package opened in front of a crowd. That’s bad design – period.

Has anybody else had this experience? If so, comment.

Does anybody know who designed the package? If so, comment.

Related:

I found this post on the Windows Vista Team Blog that, after having seen the package for myself, is almost comical.

With Windows Vista and 2007 Office system, we didn’t just redesign the software packages themselves, but are also introducing new packaging for the two products.  The packaging has been completely revised and, we hope, foreshadows the great experience that awaits you once you open it.

Source – Announcing New Packaging for …


Windows Vista Packaging Patched

Earlier this week I came across a Windows Vista Ultimate package here in the office and discovered something interesting – a U.I. flaw in what was probably an uber-expensive package designed by uber-packaging experts from all corners of the world.

I saw the package sitting on a co-worker’s desk and was immediately interested. I’ve worked on designing software packages in the past so a package like the Windows Vista package that is obviously going to be well funded and the product of hundreds of hours of experience deserves some attention. I picked up the package, looked at the front, looked at the back, and proceeded to open it. To my surprise, and some embarrassment because my co-workers were watching, I had a hard time getting it opened. I don’t remember how long it took me to get it opened but I do know it was way longer than it should have been. Even after I got it opened, using what appears to be a last-minute hack, I had difficulty opening and closing the package. Is this for real? How many of these packages is Microsoft shipping? Did they test this at all?

The hack I referred to is illustrated in the photo I took below. The little red piece of tape attached to the top of the package can’t be part of the original design but without it I would have been really stuck. I’m sure the last minute hack was subject to protest on the designers part – it’s ugly. Did Microsoft "Patch" the Windows Vista package? We’ll probably never know.

Vista Package

By the way, I passed the package around the office for a little in-house usability testing and a lot of really smart people turned red trying to get the Windows Vista package opened in front of a crowd. That’s bad design – period.

Has anybody else had this experience? If so, comment.

Does anybody know who designed the package? If so, comment.

Related:

I found this post on the Windows Vista Team Blog that, after having seen the package for myself, is almost comical.

With Windows Vista and 2007 Office system, we didn’t just redesign the software packages themselves, but are also introducing new packaging for the two products.  The packaging has been completely revised and, we hope, foreshadows the great experience that awaits you once you open it.

Source – Announcing New Packaging for …


Windows Vista Myths

Don’t be misled by these 10 Windows Vista myths

Takeaway: The official consumer launch of Windows Vista has brought with it a great deal of confusion, misinformation, and some fairly ignorant assertions. Windows expert Deb Shinder debunks some of the misconceptions she’s been hearing, from exaggerated cost and hardware requirements to feature limitations and compatibility issues.


iTunes 7.0.2. Works w/ Vista

Apple is suggesting Windows iTunes users delay updating to Windows Vista until they can get an update for iTunes out. iTunes works fine for me on my Vista powered Lenovo – it was working fine on RC1 and it’s still working fine on the Gold bits today. I think this is probably just Apple trying to cast a shadow of doubt on the new operating system from Redmond. If it doesn’t work properly – it’s Apple’s bad – they’ve had plenty of time to prepare for the Vista launch. Apple is good at making their Windows-based customers feel 2nd class – Microsoft should leverage this in their efforts to market the Zune. I’m going to trade my iPod in for a Zune.

According to a company statement provided by Apple spokesman Derick Mains, “Although iTunes 7.0.2 may work with Windows Vista on many typical PCs, Apple is aware of some known compatibility issues and recommends that iTunes customers wait to upgrade to Windows Vista until after the next release of iTunes, which will be available in the next few weeks.” Apple declined further comment. – source


Vista Audio

 Vista Audio

Check this out. In Windows Vista you can manage the audio settings for each active application individually. Pretty cool. Still having problems getting Firefox to run – can’t seem to get it installed properly – notice the "Firefox won’t run suddenly …" application ; )


I commend Microsft for …

I commend the Microsoft leadership for allowing their employees to publicly criticize their business practices.  Philip Su, a Microsoft developer on the tablet team, does an excellent job in this wildly popular post. The World As Best As I Remember It : Broken Windows Theory. On the other hand, it sounds like the leadership in Redmond doesn’t have control over much these days. I think Bill’s plan is to leave on a high note – you know, like Seinfeld.


Vista Beta 2 and Office 2007 Beta 2 Bits Installed

 

Windows Vista

I installed the Vista Ultimate Beta 2 and Office 2007 Beta 2 bits on my Motion Computing M1400 tablet PC last week. I installed the bits in a computing fit after I managed to trash my user profiles on the M1400. Frankly, I didn’t expect Vista to install properly – I thought I’d waste and hour or two and end up with a fresh copy of XP on the machine. To my surprise I was wrong.

NOTE: I don’t like the way Windows manages user profiles – I’ll spare you the rant.

Vista Beta 2 installed on the M1400 flawlessly and I was installing it over a networked DVD drive. The installer even re-started the system once or twice during the process and it just kept going. I performed a “clean upgrade” which is different than a typical upgrade – it dumps the old Windows XP installation into a windows.old folder which you can delete after you’ve transferred any files or folders you might want off the old system. The installation process took between an hour and two and to my surprise I was sitting in the seat of a brand new working Vista installation when it was over – cool.

Vista isn’t a Windows XP update – the U.I. is radically different. I’m not going to get into the details – there are a lot of other places to go for that kind of thing. I can tell you that it’s going to take some getting used to. At this point I’m using the integrated Help features (which are in pretty good shape considering it’s Beta software) to bounce around the OS. 1st impressions are good. I’m looking forward to the fresh perspective. In my opinion this upgrade is long over due – the OS needs to keep up with innovations in the areas of tagging and RSS.

Office 2007 Beta 2 (I installed it for OneNote 2007) also installed flawlessly and installed these bits over a wireless network just for kicks. Again, 1st impressions are good and it’s refreshing to see something new. The ribbon (widely employed throughout the system) will take some getting used to but I can see the logic behind a task oriented U.I. – we’ll see how it does long-term. OneNote 2007 is great (I’m a big OneNote fan) – the OneNote 2007 team spent a lot of time listening to their customers and making improvements that makes sense – improvements that will really improve the usability of the application. More and more my work day is spent in Outlook and OneNote. Thanks OneNote team.

More to come as I bounce off of new things in the software so many of us use. 


Vista Upgrade Advisor

Windows Vista

Want to see how your machine (PC) will "make friends" with Windows Vista? Download and run the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor. One of my work machines is Aero capable, I’m hoping at least one of my home machines is.


Vista Versions

VistaToo many Vista versions? Hard to say, Microsoft is dealing with a lot of different people and they all have specific needs, so don’t jump on the "one is better" wagon without thinking about it 1st. As a home or small business user you might not want everything the Enterprise guy gets. ZDNet put together a good summary of what’s going to show up in the Vista box. Microsoft boxes us Vista

 


Vista: Windows Flip and Flip 3D

Vista Flip

Windows Vista is going to sport a bunch of cool new "User Experience" enhancements and I’m looking forward to the improvements. Flip is just one of the enhancements that I’m excited about. Flip makes it a lot easier to "flip" through your open windows using the Alt+Tab feature. If you use Alt+Tab to jump between your open windows you’ll be familiar with the frustration that comes with passing by your window selection – forcing the annoying 2nd pass. Flip makes it a lot easier to identify the window you want to flip to by actually showing you thumbnails of the open windows. Read about more Windows Vista U.I. enhancements.


Apple’s Market Value

Apple Logo
Last Friday Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, sent the following e-mail to his team.

"Team, it turned out that Michael Dell wasn’t perfect at predicting the future. Based on today’s stock market close, Apple is worth more than Dell. Stocks go up and down, and things may be different tomorrow, but I thought it was worth a moment of reflection today. Steve."

Last Friday Apple’s market value was $72.3 billion, Dell’s was $71.97 billion. I’m amazed. I still can’t believe Steve saved Apple from what most people thought was certain doom and with the Ipod (an MP3 player) for that matter – who would have thunk.

Maybe I’ll be using an Apple as my primary machine before the year is up – or maybe I’ll just be using their OS. Is a real OS alternative going to emerge from the Jobs hype cloud? I think it’s possible. I think Jobs might be secretly planning an all out attack on Microsoft and the OS they’ve been struggling with for so many years. I think he wants Tiger to work on the PC hardware platform. If he can eliminate the hardware problem (technically and from a business perspective) he can use the Jobs hype cloud to move the masses towards his OS. Compare the Tiger home page to the Vista home page – you can see Steve in the Tiger home page and Bill in the Vista homepage. Culturally, the two companies are very different – people are tired of Windows – if you give them a sexy alternative with low switching costs they might just jump ship. Time will tell.

Update: Chris Pirillo speculating on Apple’s future - Apple’s OS Comes Bundled with Windows on all Dell Machines - Apple Financial Results Q1 2006 Jan 18th

Update: Om Malik – 22 Days of Apple - blogging about historical trends in Apple stock


Windows Vista

Windows Vista
The next version of the Windows Operating System, code-named “Longhorn,” was “officially” dubbed Windows Vista today. Watch the “Longhorn” naming announcement video.
Microsoft is trying to keep the Windows Vista hype to a mininum – some analysts think this is an effort to protect the Windows XP revenue stream by not diverting focus from XP to an OS that won’t be available until late in 2006. Good idea.
I came across a sharp list of performance promises for Windows Vista that I think represents some of the best marketing I’ve seen in regards to the future OS. Why? It’s benefit oriented and I can immediately see the impact it will have on my Windows computing experience.
Peroformance Promises:

  • launch applications 15 percent faster than Windows XP does
  • boot PCs 50 percent faster than they boot currently and will allow PCs to resume from standby in two seconds
  • allow users to patch systems with 50 percent fewer reboots required
  • reduce the number of system images required by 50 percent
  • enable companies to migrate users 75 percent faster than they can with existing versions of Windows.

Additional Resources:
ZDNet – Good article related to the announcement


About palmIT

palmIT is authored by Cale Bruckner [LinkedIn], President at Concentric Sky, and former SVP Product Development at Palo Alto Software.

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