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Windows Vista


It's almost time for CNet to create a new top-level forum category: ''Windows Vista.'' Before we know it, Vista will be at our proverbial door step. Even casual PC hobbyists, as I am, are beginning to have questions.

Although I've heard just a few things about Vista thus far, one concern is paramount in my mind: Will Vista include an option to display the ''classic'' look and feel like XP has?

I, for one, am getting on with my years. Translation: I do not adapt to change as well as I could when I was younger. Furthermore, change for the sake of change has always been very annoying to me. It's like coming home to find that your spouse thought it would be fun to move all the furniture around while you were at work. Why? Just for the fun of it. Or like preparing for your morning drive to work and the first thing you learn is that local officials have decided it would be nice if we all drove on the LEFT side of the street for a change. Why? For the fun of it.

I pray Bill Gates doesn't think THIS way, but I have my fears. That dang-fangled menu option to show recently used commands first is ... Well, I don't know the right word, but I surely didn't like it. That was the FIRST change I made, among many.

Anyway, I'm a little anxious to see how things turn out. Good luck, all.


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Test drive an Apple.

In reply to: Windows Vista

It's quite different and people seem to adapt fairly quickly. As to Vista's interface I can assure that items have moved around so you may want to skip this one.


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In reply to: Windows Vista

I've got good and bad news for you. The good news is that Windows Vista will/does have a 'classic' option in which you can revert back to the Windows 95/98/ME feel. There is also a reduced-graphics option, which will/does make Vista look very much like Windows XP.

The bad news: the 'classic' mode of Vista is not the same thing as 'classic' in Windows XP. For instance:

* ''My'' will still not be present, meaning ''My Documents'' becomes ''Documents,'' ''My Music'' becomes ''Music,'' etc.

* The layout of the start menu will be the same as Windows XP, but will use the 'dullness' of Windows 9x/ME.

* The user picture that's used in Windows XP will still be displayed in 'classic' mode of Vista, whereas it's not in XP's 'classic' mode.

* The file and detail options are still going to have the Vista feel.

Basically, there'll be a 'classic' mode to make it feel more like the older versions, but it's still going to be Windows Vista and you'll be forced to make adjustments if you upgrade.

Personally, I really like Vista (there's a copy installed at the office), but acknowledge with Microsoft's promise of continued support for XP, and the fact that a lot of the functionality that hasn't been stripped from Vista will be ported to Windows XP, there isn't much to convince the average user to upgrade. Thus, I'd say if you're happy with Windows XP, stick with's not going to be made obsolete anytime soon.

Hope this helps,

P.S. If you stopped reading somewhere in the above descriptions, I'd like to affirm that a picture is worth a thousand words. Enjoy 'Vista Classic!' Happy

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Thank You, Bob, and John (Mouse)

In reply to: Answer...

Thanks for your replies, gents. Thus far, it's not looking TOO bad. I'm just hoping that the ''on/off switch'' won't be too hard to find for Vista?s new ''features'' (read ''unwanted, gimmick-like changes that serve to annoy more than help?).

While we're talking about Vista, can I pose another question, please? A friend who's following the development of Vista very closely has reported some interesting issues regarding anti-piracy components of Vista that I haven't heard about elsewhere.

I'm told that Microsoft is consorting with hardware designers/manufacturers to include anti-piracy features in Vista that would be virtually hack-proof. This would be accomplished through components being tightly integrated with the hardware to prevent illegal reproduction, transmission, and viewing/listening of pirated copyrighted material. For example, if you load a pirated movie into the DVD drive, you simply would not be able to view it, supposedly.

If Microsoft DOES actually succeed in creating these hack-proof anti-piracy features, I think it could only help to encourage the release of artistic content that previously was being withheld because distribution costs were prohibitive and/or because they feared losing considerable revenue due to piracy. If piracy gets more difficult, as I'm hoping, I pray it will encourage the release of material that otherwise might have remained locked-away.

Has anyone heard about these anti-piracy components of Vista?


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Confusing statement.

In reply to: Thank You, Bob, and John (Mouse)

Since content on DVD, CD-Audio is playable on Vista, what content that is "locked away" are you writing about?

If the content is not marketable on media that people use on home equipment such as DVD/CD players, then this is much like the biblical story of talents.


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Good Question, Bob

In reply to: Confusing statement.


You ask a good question, Bob, and I thank you for challenging my comment/question politely. I feel dumb for referring to these little-known copy protection measures by only saying that I had heard about this from a friend.

But I found a couple of links that address this issue much better than I ever could:


Both of these links discuss this issue; the Wikipedia link covers this in more detail, though, and with many linked references.

As I said in my message in which I posed the question, I didn't have any details and merely wondered whether other folks may have heard about this. Whether these copy-protection strategies are viable, I don't know. Cryptology is way over my head; I have a hard-enough time just remembering my CNet password.

I guess we'll just have to wait for further details to emerge ... if any are forthcoming, that is.


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Hidef is available now on XP.

In reply to: Good Question, Bob

And will be on Vista.

"Whether these copy-protection strategies are viable, I don't know. Cryptology is way over my head; I have a hard-enough time just remembering my CNet password."

A classic saying comes to mind.

"Any code written by man can be ..."


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More For John

In reply to: Answer...

Yes, thanks again, John, and I appreciate the screen capture. I DID read your entire message and your details were very helpful, of course.

I'm not worried about "My Documents," "My Music," etc. Although my wife uses those directories, I've always placed my data in directories of my own choosing. I do this partially because of the "legacy" techniques I retained from back in my DOS days. The other reason is because when I first looked at those directories and noticed that some of them are mapped to another location on the disk, I just didn't see the purpose and decided to never use them.

Can you tell how thick my skull is? Everyone else is calling these "folders," but I'm still calling them "directories."

Oh, and I shouldn't fail to mention the new Windows file system. In a large Wikipedia article on Vista, they refer to the new file system as "WinFS," but they also mention that the initial release of Vista may not include WinFS; it might be released in 2007.

I'm immensely intrigued by what I've read about WinFS. I may have led you to think that I don't like change; it's change for the sake of change, that I don't like. Although WinFS will clearly be an entirely different approach, as I read about it, I actually have an open mind and I'm looking forward to learning more.

Thanks again, John ... Have a good one.


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Ah, yes...

In reply to: More For John

I was never too fond of DOS and readily adopt new technology, but still find myself clinging to small particles of the past as well. 'Directories' is still the term I use to refer to a specific location on the hard drive, using the term 'folder' in a more general sense. ('Right-click the folder' seems more natural than 'right-click the directory.') Of course WinFS will change all that again, but hey, we've got time to adjust or flee to a deserted island. Happy

Specifically, WinFS is scheduled (the last I heard) to be released during the third quarter of 2007. It is currently in Beta and will not ship in the first release of Vista. (They cut it from the initial release so they did not have to push back the release of Vista, yet again.) The good news is that it's being back-ported to Windows XP and will be released for both OSes simultaneously. (I see that as great for the end user, but a bad business decision for Microsoft, giving users one less reason to spend hundreds of dollars on an upgrade.)
As to your other question, I too have heard about new anti-piracy features, but never looked into it because it's not a feature I find all that interesting. What I have heard, though, is that those using Vista will be forced to become upstanding users. For instance, Vista will be prejudiced against software designed to circumvent copy protection. If such software is found it will prevent the media from being accessed, and may even prevent some such software from being installed in the first place. Another is that static through the sound card, unnoticable when played through the speakers, can make direct copies pretty much worthless.

Unfortunately I have a pessimistic view when it comes to the outcome. First, every time Microsoft has implemented new anti-piracy measures they've been cracked within a few days...see DRM, WGA, etc. Even if it does work wonders and no one discovers the flaws, those using older operating systems would still have free wheel, so I don't really see any positive results coming from it for several years to come. I hope I'm wrong, though.

Just a few more tidbits.

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