Vista Beta 2 - First Impressions

May 25, 2006
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After fighting everyone else to download the Beta 2, I got Vista Beta 2 installed on my tablet pc last night.  My impressions so far:

  • Installation was as easy as XP, and possibly faster.
  • Most of my devices were detected and drivers installed by default (unlike the MSNBC writer’sbad experience with this).  Of note, my audio driver, tablet screen (e.g. Pen) and modem drivers didn’t install.  But the audio and modem drivers installed soon after the system contacted Windows Update.  Gateway doesn’t yet have a certified digitizer driver so its not Vista fault in my opinion.
  • It seems at least as fast as XP, though I have it on an underpowered video card, so I don’t have aero glass working.

On the whole I am very happy with the experience so far (and will probaby make it my main OS in the coming weeks).  In addition I have some cheers and jeers so far:


  • The sidebar is definitely faster than in previous versions.  I turned it off, but I like it nonetheless.
  • The lack of flyout menus on the start-bar is great.  I love the new menu.


  • Changing the size/location of desktop icons isn’t working like i’d like it to.
  • The new IE7 Save dialog is confusing on how to make some folder the default.

I will give a more in-depth review after I have used it for a week or so (I have a WinFX article coming up so I’ll have to use it as my main machine for a few days).