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I installed Windows Vista build 5536 on Friday and I have been blown away. I know everyone's experience, like mileage, varies. However - having installed all the previous builds this is the first one that has me thinking they may make their projected ship date. Here is a report after kicking the tires for four days:

  1. The speed is very nice. I have not yet had an instance of Vista just "taking a break" and spinning its wheels for a couple of minutes. Everything I have thrown at it has executed crisply and quickly. Note: I am only running basic "Information Worker" apps: Office 2007, LiveWriter, RSS Bandit. OneNote 2007, Visio 2007 and FireFox.
  2. My memory usage is greatly improved. In previous builds I was consuming anywhere between 700-800mb on boot with no apps loaded. Now I am consuming 849mb out of 1gb with all of the above apps running and Vista is not slowing, pausing or acting like a dog. My hardware is a Dell Latitude D620 1.85 Ghz Core Duo with integrated Intel 945GM Express Chipset. My Windows Experience rating is a 2.2 (everything is a 4.1 or higher with the exception of graphics and gaming graphics which are a 2.1 and 2.2).
  3. Aero Glass now works. I read this was available in beta 2, but I couldn't get it to work. Upon first boot with this version, within about 60 seconds, Windows Update had trotted out and grabbed the latest WDDM driver for me. I re-ran my Windows Experience benchmark and then enabled Aero. Viola! It is amazing. I truly think you need to run in Aero to "get" how good Vista is. Should you upgrade your hardware and OS to get a cool new ALT+TAB way of switching apps? No. But everything together in a nice fluid package greatly enhances the overall experience.
  4. More application compatibility. The list of apps that I use every day that do not work with Vista is down to two: McAfee AV and Nortel's Contivity VPN client. I am told the VPN client now works with the latest Contivity build, we just have to get it configured with our hardware token information. We'll see! The latest version of McAfee (8.5i) which is supposedly compatible gives me the BSOD each time it goes to start up the realtime monitoring. If I disable this service, of course, all is well. Of course, all is unprotected too!
  5. The visual fit and finish is near perfect. There are few to no "legacy" visual effects anymore. I have been looking around here and there and so far it all looks great. More widescreen wallpapers please!

I cant wait to see what continued improvements RC1 brings - rumored to be available shortly after Labor Day. Hopefully the Office team can get it together and get their Beta 2 technical refresh released by then and we can work the latest releases from Vista and Office.

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Posted on Monday, August 28, 2006 8:23 AM Vista | Back to top

Comments on this post: Running Windows Vista Build 5536

# re: Running Windows Vista Build 5536
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What is the latest Contivity build that works with Windows Vista?
I have the 6.102 and didn't working.
Left by Carlos on Sep 04, 2006 9:09 AM

# re: Running Windows Vista Build 5536
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the tham by my, no client of Contivity working... always error...
Left by sharke on Sep 22, 2006 9:06 PM

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