I loaded Windows Vista Release Candidate 1 last night on my personal PC. This was done as an upgrade install from Windows Vista Pre-RC1 (build 5536).
Some quick observations:
- Vista Disk Cleanup is a lot more comprehensive than prior versions of the feature. It lets you get at much more, including error dumps, cleaning the hibernation file, and other obscure deposits of wasted space. Vista let me reclaim over six gigabytes with this feature. Very, very cool.
- I still have some sluggishness on my machine using the DWM. It still likes to spike the CPU when I move windows around, and I wonder if this is a consequence of the nVidia graphics drivers. I’ve used both the Microsoft bundled WDDM driver as well as nVidia’s RC1 beta driver, with no luck in rectifying this. DWM on my work machine barely touches the processor when I move windows and stuff around the desktop — the behavior I was told to expect from DWM — and it has an ATI card. It can’t be my GeForce 6600…right?!?
- I must say that I’m moving around much more comfortably in Release Candidate 1 than I am in prior builds. Performance is even improved in RC1 over Pre-RC1, and these have been in upgrades. I’m certain that a clean install, which I plan on doing prior to switching to Vista, will perform even better than what I’m getting now.
- Vista’s upgrade utility doesn’t do a good job of saving settings at all. I had to reconfigure Media Center again (at least it’s displaying my TV audio and video without serious glitching), my taskbar preferences, pinned icons, and Start menu options. At least my wallpaper stayed intact.
- So far, my favorite Aero Glass theme is “Frost.” It’s not too transparent and the white frosted glass windows are what I associate with Vista. I still wish the white glassy taskbar from the 4000-series builds would come back, though. ;)
- Titlebar fonts still look like crap, and dropshadows no longer appear under the text on toolbars in Explorer windows. It still seems really messed up, and needs fixing.
All in all, I will conclude with a majority of the blogosphere and say this build would be better dubbed as Beta 3 versus Release Candidate 1. For all the leaps and bounds the Vista team have made over the last several months, the OS still contains way too many small annoyances to be considered release quality, and I fully expect a second and quite probably even a third release candidate to be issued before RTM. (Let’s hope CPP members get all those, too. :)) With that in mind I am not ready to warn people away from Vista before it gets its first service pack, but if RC1 was to be considered very close to the release, then that’s the recommendation I would make as there are still too many lingering issues.