The most annoying aspects of Windows Vista

Posted on February 20, 2007. Filed under: Vista, Windows |

PC World publishes a laundry list of irritants in Windows Vista, including the “anorexic” feed reader for the Sidebar and User Account Control (an official Lifehacker Vista pest):

“We often worry about Microsoft playing Big Brother, but now it’s playing Big Mother, attempting to protect you from your own rash impulses to run new software. Try to download a program, and Internet Explorer will block it. (“It’s for your own good. You can’t be too careful, you know. Who knows where that program has been!”) Unblock it, and IE will ask if you really, truly want to download the software. (“These programs can be dangerous, you know. I just don’t want you to get hurt.”)”

Other complaints include the slow and constantly-scanning Network Places area (yup) and Windows’ assumption you’ll only be storing your data in the Documents directory Vista set up for you (indeed).

+ The Most Annoying Things About Windows Vista [PC World] [via lifehacker]

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How to Install a Vista Upgrade on a Blank Hard Drive

Posted on January 31, 2007. Filed under: Vista, Windows XP |

from Gizmondo – I love Microsoft. We had just started to resign ourselves to the fact that we were going to need Windows XP on our hard drive if we ever had to reinstall our upgrade version of Vista. Then they came up with a solution left open a gaping loophole. That’s right, you can install the upgrade version of Vista on a blank hard drive. The bad news? The workaround’s almost as much of a pain in the ass as the original problem, requiring multiple installs…

Basically, start the setup for your upgrade version of Vista on a blank hard drive, but don’t enter the product key. Instead, install it as a 30-day trial. Once Vista’s up and running, run setup again, entering your product key this time. Do a clean install, then pat yourself on the back for saving $80 not having to keep XP around in case you want a new hard drive at some point.

Act fast, cause there’s no telling how long this little hole’s going to stay open.

+ Workaround Discovered For “Clean Install” With Vista Upgrade DVDs [DailyTech via digg]

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Find Vista drivers at RadarSync

Posted on January 29, 2007. Filed under: Downloads, Drivers, Vista |

When you’re upgrading your PC to Windows Vista this week and you’re missing hardware drivers, check out RadarSync’s collection of Vista drivers, compiled in one place for your download pleasure.

Windows Vista is better than you’ll expect at finding drivers for your obscure whoozywhatsit card, but this bookmark’s a good one to have, just in case.

Free Vista drivers [RadarSync via Gizmodo]

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How to upgrade from Windows XP to Vista

Posted on January 18, 2007. Filed under: Vista, Windows XP |

Planning to make the move to Vista when Microsoft ships the new OS at the end of the month? Tech site ExtremeTech tells you everything you need to know about upgrading your XP PC. For example, is your system even a candidate?

You can only perform an in-place upgrade from certain Windows XP versions to certain Windows Vista versions; you can’t upgrade any of the pre-Vista Windows operating systems (including Windows 9x/Me and Windows 2000) to Vista without performing a clean installation.

+ Upgrade from Windows XP to Vista [ExtremeTech]

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Take a Windows Vista test-drive on the web

Posted on January 10, 2007. Filed under: Microsoft, Vista |

Try Windows Vista without installing it on your PC. A new Microsoft Virtual Labs site lets you test-drive the Business version of the OS, right inside your browser.

The site provides a self-guided tour of Vista, dividing all its features into categories like safe, efficient and connected. Within each category you can view a video or take a test-drive of various features. When you opt for the latter, you effectively get Vista running in a window. You can poke around, try the new apps (like Sidebar and Windows Meeting Space) and so on.

Two catches: First, the test drive requires Internet Explorer 6 or later. Second, on my system the virtual-machine Vista ran dog-slow, though your mileage may vary. Even if you don’t plan to adopt Windows Vista when it ships later this month, chances are good you’ll end up with it eventually. This is a neat way to get familiar with the look and feel of the new OS.

+ Windows Vista Business Test Drive [Microsoft]

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Screenshot Tour: Windows Live Mail Desktop beta

Posted on November 6, 2006. Filed under: eMail, Microsoft, Online Applications, Vista |

Microsoft’s new email client, Windows Live Mail Desktop, offers access to all your email accounts and web site subscriptions in one place with powerful built-in search. Last week I ripped into the new Mail client bundled into Vista. But WLMD, despite the mouthful that is its name, is separate and much more smartly-executed software. It bundles feeds, contacts, newsgroups and multiple email accounts (with seamless Gmail support!) into an attractive interface with fast as-you-type search that rivals Google Desktop. Now this is an improvement over Outlook Express – except for the part where you have to sign in with your Windows Live ID (aka Passport) to use it. The WLMD beta is available as a free download, but if you’re not up for buying – just a little window shopping – come take a look at a quick screenshot tour.

+ Windows Live Mail Desktop Beta Screenshot Tour

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