Longhorn and Vista Beta 2 impressions

Lots of new things going on in my “geek” life, this is my first blog post using CS 2.1, it is awesome and lots of new features.   The same theme goes for Vista and Longhorn beta 2.   I plan on sharing my experiences with Longhorn and Vista.   I haven’t been this “geeked” over beta software since ASP.NET 1.0.  When I first got into IT work (11 years ago), I would install prety much any software on my primary workstation.  As most of you can guess, I rebuilt my main PC over and over.   The longer I’ve done IT work, the less I would install just anything on my primary workstation.  Call it experience or just trying to avoid a problem.  :))   Vista and Longhorn beta 2 are different,.  I was quoted back during pre-beta ASP.NET 1.0 days, it was “one of the most stable betas ever released by Microsoft”.  How times have changed, I’m so impressed with Vista and Longhorn that I am willing to install on my primary desktops.  All 3 workstations of mine are running beta OS software.  My primary workstation is an AMD 64 x2 with 2 gig of RAM.  For the first time, I am using 64 bit as my primary OS.   Talk about a change. 🙂  Here are some first impressions.

The Good!
Things are different, I am impressed the flexibility of being able to install certain “roles” and “features”.  Terminology is different in Longhorn/Vista which is taking time to learn after using Windows 2000/2003 and Windows XP for years.  I’m really excited about IIS 7, which is one of my primary focuses.  IIS 7 is a totally different than other releases.  For those who did not know, http://www.iis.net/ is a new community site released focusing on IIS.  I encourage you to check out the site.  Bottom line, things are different which is a good thing.  I enjoy surfing around at all the new icons in the control panel.  Here is a list of software so far installed on my desktop

  • Visual Studio 2005
  • SQL Server 2005
  • Office 2003 / Frontpage 2003 (I need this for work)
  • WS-FTP
  • WinRAR
  • Symantec AV 64 bit.
  • MSDN Library.
  • IIS 7 (all components)
  • .NET 1.1 framework and SDK
  • .NET 2.0 framework SDK

Software that did not install or having issues.

  • Visual Studio 2003


  • My first machine installed great and the ‘dcpromo’ worked without any issues

The Challenging!

With anything new, there is bound to be changes.  How I am used to working is different with Longhorn / Vista.  Here is a list of things that didn’t work or seem challenging.  These are just my opinions, I know using beta software things have changed over previous releases but when you are used to doing it a certain way it takes a bit to adjust. 🙂

  • Windows Explorer – I miss the tree view when navigating files and folders. There is a thing in the help file explaining how things have changed.  I’ve spent my share of time in the help section.
  • Intel PRO/Wireless card did not work on my laptop with Longhorn.  I am primarily a server guy, Longhorn did not like my wireless card.  It would recognize the name but I couldn’t connect to the wireless network.  I searched Intel’s site and drivers were available during beta 1.  I’m assuming this will be the same for beta 2.  For the time, I installed Vista beta 2 which does work with my wireless NIC.
  • How to add / remove programs.  This is different, I like the new “Server manager” to manage which Windows components are installed.  I’ve run into a couple issues when installing the “Web server” role ASP.NET and .NET Extensibility “Role service” didn’t install the first time around and required another attempt to install successfully.
  • Use Windows “classic” folders option.  This is mis-leading, why say using classic menus when the skin does not include things like the Tree View.  Yes, I miss it but will adjust. 
  • User account control – I think this is the right term, this is a new feature to not run as full administrative privileges.   To be continued on working with this feature.  So far the prompts are somewhat intrusive.  I wish there was a single option in the local security policy to “turn off UAC”
  • Using the MMC console.  This is another change that I’m getting used to and how MMC snap-in’s.  Finding how to administer various services and features takes some looking for the right section.
  • NIC drivers in general.  All my compaq and 3Com NIC’s do not work.  (my first experience of having perfectly good hardware not work.)

Steve Schofield
Microsoft MVP – ASP/ASP.NET
ASPInsider Member – MCP

Managed Complex Hosting
#1 in Service and Support

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