Windows Vista Beta 2 Impressions and Downloads
Vista Beta finally went public. That means that anyone can download Microsoft's crappy beta version of Windows Vista. It is available only on a DVD or DVD ISO download, which goes along with the information that CD-ROM distributions are done for. You can download the program, and get your serial number here:
If after you have your serial number the download link is reported as busy, you can download the ISO files directly:
Windows Vista Beta 2 x86 version
Windows Vista Beta 2 x64 version
The beta expires June 1st, 2007.
My impression is that Vista Beta 2 is just OK. The one thing I love is that with Aero enabled, the graphics card is actually doing all the calculations to render your desktop instead of your CPU wasting clock cycles doing it (they should've been doing that for years.) The interface is great in terms of eye candy, almost seems like they're finally on par with Mac (almost.)
On the flip side, the User Accounts Access feature is implemented horribly. Basically it's Window's version of prompting for a root password (or in this case the Administrator's.) However, they've executed it so poorly that it takes seven or eight prompts just to delete certain files. The interface also responds a bit sluggishly. Of course a lot of programs that worked fine under Windows XP crash in Vista, and Microsoft has gone and conviently moved the location of almost every familiar feature or configuration that we've been used to. Say goodbye to File menus (at least until you figure to how to restore the "Classic" file menus.) Vista also has a bad habit of trying to force me to save files in the god damn "Documents" or "Pictures" folder, even after I've saved a million of them in a row, each time I got to save another one... it wants me to save it in "Documents." It needs to seriously shove off.
I don't know. It's still just a Beta, not even the first Release Canidate yet, so helpfully they'll fix the deficits and polish up the whole thing before it's actually released... or they'll just continue to put out crap like usually. That's just my two cents.