Windows Vista & other betas.

I ordered a Windows Vista beta DVD the other day and it came within a few days. Unfortunately, I haven’t got a combination of enough hard drive space on the machine with a DVD, or a DVD drive on the machine I intended to dedicate to Windows Vista. Since Vista is only available as a DVD, (the download is 4.7 gigabytes in size) this is a problem that I need to solve.

I also tried installing on a Virtual PC machine, but again, the hard drive wasn’t large enough, the installation program was looking for 15 gigs at least, and even with a couple hours of fiddling, I couldn’t free up enough space.

One takeaway from all this is that you can probably forget using almost any current hardware with Windows Vista. You need a machine with 2 gigs of RAM, 30 gigs of hard disk (15 for Vista alone), 128KB of graphics memory (for all the slick graphics stuff), and they suggest a minimum of a 450Mhz processor. (which is going to be really slow.)

There is an extensive discussion and review of Vista at Paul Thurrott’s site. Read all this stuff, and maybe your curiosity will be sated until a new Vista-capable computer comes into your life.

Meanwhile, back in beta land, I’ve been running the Office 2007 beta for some weeks, without out any complaints except for the sluggishness of OutLook 2007. For some odd reason, the Office 2007 beta will install side-by-side by all the existing Office applications with the exception of OutLook. OutLook 2007 will replace OutLook 2003, and in the current incarnation, OutLook 2007 is a slug; it takes, say, 30 seconds or longer to open the first eMail from the inbox.

OutLook 2007 includes a new desktop indexing service which essentially replaces the functionality of X1. Not surprisingly, X1 sent a note today saying that their software client is now going to be “free”, and they are changing their marketing plan, which companies must do when Microsoft destroys their business model. (cf. Onfolio.)

So far, I’m scratching my head to figure out what the big deal with Office 2007 is. I was actually pretty excited because they were going to include the ability to print directly to PDF files. This appears to be on hold, not so much because of Microsoft, but because Adobe wanted Microsoft to charge extra for the functionality. Other improvements of O2007 appear to be related mostly with integration with Microsoft’s Sharepoint services. Ehhhh.
(If you want to create .PDFs, Macromedia’s Flashpaper works fine.)

Finally, I’ve been using the Internet Explorer 7.0 beta for some weeks. The big improvement here is that you can now use tabs when browsing Big whoop.

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