Tag Archives: beta

New Google Earth Beta

It’s out, but I’m very sad to report that the new version of Google Earth is still calling on Arial as the default Window UI font (not the internal 3D mapping font, which is fine). Why do developers insist on using this instead of Tahoma (or Segoe UI, in the case of Windows Vista)?! Sorry, Google – if this is your first beta of v4.0, you’re already failing miserably in my book.

I posted more about this in tonight’s report, You Live on Google Earth – including stating that this really is a tremendous app that has amazing potential, but I just refuse to look past something as simple as using Arial as the default font in the non-3D experience. At least Google Talk allows you to change the font throughout the entire app!

I am sick and tired of playing the UI heavy around here. Would someone smack the appropriate person over at Google and tell ’em to get their app act together? It’s great that they’re acquiring great software left-and-right, but it’s not great that they’re not conforming to a single user experience. I’ve given Microsoft hell for this – but they certainly don’t have a monopoly on inconsistent software experiences. I catch hell for stating that Google Earth is still calling on Arial throughout their entire Windows UI (non-nav) – but I’m not going to sit here and say that their software is amazing just because it’s free and it comes from them (Google). It doesn’t look like Google Talk, it doesn’t look like the Google Toolbar, it doesn’t look like Google SketchUp, it doesn’t look like Google Picasa… none of these freakin’ apps look like the other!!! I’d accept that from a startup company, but Google rakes in big bucks and can afford to spend some time on spit and polish. They’re not, and I find that beyond forgivable. I expect better from Google.

Windows Vista BitTorrent Tracker

Okay, we’ve done it: VistaTorrent.com. I’ve set this up with Jake Ludington, so that (a) people can use BitTorrent to download Windows Vista Beta 2, as they’re likely using BitTorrent to do it anyway; (b) people will now have an official MD5 hash to check against any Windows Vista (Beta 2) ISO files they might download elsewhere; (c) we can help Microsoft, based on earlier reports from them and subsequent complaints from users. We’re only doing this to help, knowing that nobody wants to wait 4 weeks for a DVD to arrive when the ISO could be downloaded so much quicker through peer-to-peer networks (with a MANDATORY MD5 CHECKSUM comparison). If you send anybody anywhere, it’s all on VistaTorrent.com. This is not a crack, this is not a hack, this is not software piracy – it’s unofficial mirroring with official validation.

We are fully prepared to kill the seeded torrent upon request, but would appeal to Microsoft’s better senses – if Microsoft isn’t going to do it themselves, isn’t it better that someone trusted is doing it for them?!

Windows Vista: Download vs. DVD

A few minutes ago, in an online group chat, Microsoft Windows Featured Community leaders received the following stream of information regarding the number of sanctioned downloads for Windows Vista Beta 2. This report comes directly from Microsoft’s own Aaron Coldiron:

Yes, you can immediately publish what I’m about to tell you. You are literally the first to hear this – but I probably won’t be able to satisfy all your appetite for questions. 😉 I wanted to update you on downloads for the Windows Vista Beta 2. Demand for Beta 2 has been huge – which we expected. But, we are hitting ceilings on bandwidth. Right now we are serving out product keys 10x faster than we can serve the downloads. Already this is the biggest software download event in history. There’s two points I want to give you:

  1. We are pumping out bits as fast as we can. If we pushed out bits any faster there would be a measurable impact for the Internet. So, we are literally saying that if we increased our bandwidth any further there’s a possibility of taking down the Internet – people might have problems with World Cup viewing, etc. That would [sic] be bad. So, it isn’t that we weren’t anticipating demand – we were and are – it is that we are at the threshold of what the Internet can bear.
  2. We want to encourage people who can wait to order the DVD. The DVD guarantees you RC1 upgrade (as long as you activate). DVDs will take about 1 – 4 weeks to arrive depending where in the world you live. And, I want to emphasize that we aren’t making money on the DVDs. We are just charging for cost of goods and shipping. Along with that – people who have PID keys may have a wait on their hands to get the download. This could be several days to even up to a week or more in some cases. That speaks to why ordering the DVD might be a good option. People who already have PID keys and want to get the DVD just need to go back to the GetReady site and go through the process there. They will get a new PID key.

When I asked why they couldn’t just seed it as a torrent (BitTorrent), Aaron responded:

There are legal and privacy issues which unfortunately make that not an option for Microsoft to officially sponsor a BitTorrent. I really wish we could do it, but we can’t. If someone [seeds or downloads a torrent] we can’t guarantee that they’ve got an unaltered copy, etc.

Even though Microsoft can’t sanction the seeding of a Windows Vista Beta 2 torrent, they’re probably not going to do anything to stop it from happening. I do hope that someone will officially produce an MD5 hash so that users can compare checksums! Aaron continued:

Stats – right now we don’t have any specific stats to share. Let me just say that demand is on the upper ends of our projections. We’ve been pretty clear in all our messaging that this beta will be limited. Limited in the # of people. I can’t give you any direction on this at this time. So, no comment.

The Internet needs to decide: Windows Vista Beta 2 or World Cup? 🙂

65 More Windows Vista Mistakes

I just couldn’t leave well enough alone. Even after my problems with Outlook 2007, and my original feedback on Windows Vista, I went deeper into Windows Vista’s second beta. This time, I didn’t concentrate so much on the font issues (so that I couldn’t be accused of being such a nitpicker). Don’t get me wrong; there are still thousands of UI oversights still sitting within Windows. I intend to prove that beyond a shadow of a doubt. I don’t just want to hear about how some of my problems were addressed – I won’t rest until all of them are. I keep being told that a lot of it will be happening soon, but… I’ll believe it when I see it. This isn’t just about fonts and icons, my friends – it’s about something I intend on using as my primary operating system for the next… seven (?) years.
Continue reading 65 More Windows Vista Mistakes

Microsoft Slows Microsoft Down

Microsoft Slows Microsoft Down.PNG

The screen shot from Windows Vista proves it. Any comment, Brandon? Of course, I’d expect a lot of these kinds of bugs in beta builds – especially when one beta is combined with another beta. The search “engine” is light years better than it was in previous verisons of Windows, or so the Search team tells me. I haven’t yet tried to copy my PST over into Outlook. I’ll be using Vista more and more on the road, as it’s now my laptop OS.

Windows Vista Feedback

I spent a few hours with Windows Vista last night, per Jim Allchin’s request to send him feedback about what I discovered in terms of discrepancies and oversights. I took that task seriously, and stayed up late to compile this far-from-comprehensive list. I sent it to him at 1am, and I hope he doesn’t have a filter that keeps him from seeing it. I realize this list is lengthy, but… these reasons are exactly why I’m afraid Vista won’t be as polished as originally anticipated. I warn you, this list is long – and it’s only going to get longer, the deeper I dive into Vista Beta 2. This list is longer than the interview! If you think this list is long, check out my follow-up list of 65 More Windows Vista Mistakes.
Continue reading Windows Vista Feedback