Archive for the ‘Beta Testing’ Category

OS X vs. Vista

Juni 4, 2006

Well, when you see Vista alone, it is a decent OS with vast improvements over its predecessors.

But, when i see this video over there at google video about OS X and than compare it to my experience with Vista, Vista lacks a lot of things.

In OS X, everything runs smooth, there are animations that look cool but don't prevent you from doing useful things. In Vista, you can count animations and transitions with the fingers of one hand. That's so boring!

Vista did include rudiments of stylish animations and such things back in early longhorn 4xxx series alpha builds before they decided to go on with win server 2003 sp1 bits. In the 4xxx series builds Avalon was the key technology for presenting the whole UI of Longhorn, but Avalon still was in development and it's not a good idea to build the UI of a OS on a technology that itself is still in development. This and other things were the reason for Microsoft to make a restart in the development of the OS we now know as Vista.

Now, the whole UI in Vista is based on Win32/GDI technologies, mixed with stuff that's new in the 2007 Office System (Net UI). The only thing that's based on Avalon or Windows Presentation Foundation, as it is called now, is the Desktop Window Manager (DWM) which is responsible for the only few animations we see in Vista, namely the minimize and maximize animations, flip 3d and such things.

Windows Presentation Foundation is still in Vista but only used for the DWM, as stated before, and as a plattform for software that still has to come on market when Vista is done, but no WPF in Vista's applications itself, so no cool transitions in the application windows itself, so no OS X like style.

I hope that MSFT is able to deliver a comparable UI experience in terms of animations and transitions in Vista R2 or at least in Codename "Vienna", Vista itself won't be on par with OS X in these departments. That's a pity!

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Thoughts about Windows Vista Beta 2

Mai 29, 2006

Although other people like Chris Pirillo have posted alot of feedback around the beta 2 of vista, I have to add some things that i don't like:

When i round trip in windows explorer, using the keyboard to navigate is not possible unless you select a folder or file with the mouse. this makes it unimpossible to navigate by keyboard. note that this behavior can only be seen when you opened another place in it after you opened the windows explorer itself. Hopefully this is just a bug.

Why does the sidebar have 1 pixel transparent borders on the left and right side when it is in the "in front" mode? It doesn't have those borders when set to normal.

Why do some Controls like scrollbars or also some buttons have a nice rollover fade animation effect while others don't? Compare for example hovering over the breadcrumbs bar, the drop down arrow of the search field or the scroll bars in windows explorer with the task buttons in the taskbar, the windows orb, the selections in the start menu and many more.

Why are the shadows of drop down menus, tooltips and other stuff not perspectively correct in comparison to the glass window shadows?

Why are there shadows in a completely wrong direction in windows defender and system settings with ultimate extras information in comparison to the glass window shadows?

Why don't I get focus in the address field of IE after pressing ALT+T for opening up a new tab?

Why are there sometimes black or white blocks instead of the content of a window when starting a program or dialog? I thought it gets all rendered through the graphics card and direct x, never saw such artifacts in games!

Why do I need to see window flickering/artifacts when resizing a window (with correctly redraw of the windows contents/controls lagging behind the window size)? this is somewhat outdated, don't we have 2006 and fast computers? why doesn't it just resize it internally, wait for a corrected version and than draw it to the screen or something like that?

The mouse dialog has the same mouse icon as it was used since win 95. Very classic.

What about the syncronisation portion in the control panel? Will it get fancy in the final release or will it just look like as silly as it does now, with now obvious functionality?

Why do the minimize and maximize animations flicker or disappear when you have a window in maximized state and minimize or maximize a normal sized explorer window in front of it?

Will continue this list when i have time to dig deeper into the beta 2 of vista.

Thoughts about 2007 MS Outlook Beta 2

Mai 28, 2006

Yeah, the new Office System looks nice! Its new ribbon interface is much easier to use than the old-school menu based stuff, although we don't get the ribbon in all Office apps. What a pity!

The new version of Outlook is a big jump forward in my eyes. Well, as it's a beta version, it has some behaviors that hopefully won't appear in the final version.

One thing I don't like is the buggy search engine, which, if it is not crashing during a search through all emails, doesn't find anything you want. Did a search for some mails about an offer for printing t-shirts for my classmates and me but it didn't find a single one. I had to find them manually by browsing the whole bunch of e-mails from last month, which was very annoying and unproductive. I hope the final version will feature a fixed version of the windows desktop search engine which finds what you need!

I like the new preview pane for mails, where you can not only watch the text of the mail, but also the attachments without a need to open the file in another program. The preview of the mails itself seems a bit buggy in comparison to outlook 2003 but i think this problems will be adressed and won't appear in the final version.

Did I mention that the new version is slower than the older one? No, well, now you know it! That needs to be fixed!

That's it for the first glance on Outlook, will post more about discrepancies or cool new features that catch my eyes in the future.