Whatever you do, don't read this Vista guide

Whatever you do, don't read this Vista guide

Summary: Microsoft has just posted a comprehensive product guide to Windows Vista. It's packed with interesting information, including a feature matrix that explains what's in each Windows Vista version. Here's why you shouldn't read it.

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TOPICS: Windows
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Microsoft’s Fred Pullen has posted a downloadable version of the Windows Vista Product Guide Preview. Here’s his pitch:

The Windows Vista Product Guide provides a comprehensive overview of the innovative features and functions that make Microsoft® Windows Vista™ the next-generation Windows client operating system and successor to Windows XP. This guide also provides information the benefits Windows Vista offers diverse users as well as information about the different editions (SKUs) available. It’s about 300 pages, and contains a lot of really great information about Windows Vista. Definitely a must-read!

I’ve downloaded and scanned the document, and it appears to have some good stuff in it, including a matrix that explains which features are in each Windows Vista version.

But I don’t recommend that you try to get this document. Here’s why.

This document is available only in Microsoft’s XPS format. After a fairly hefty download (43MB+), you also have to download and install the WinFX Runtime Components before you can view the document’s contents. Do you really want to install a piece of operating system code that that contains this warning in bold type?

This is a pre-beta release. Therefore, do not install these builds on machines you depend on.”

The file is viewable only in a browser, and on my system at least I couldn’t get it to work with Firefox. So, anyone who wants to read this information needs to be running Windows XP or Windows Vista and using Internet Explorer, and they also have to install a potentially destabilizing operating system component.

Also, I see no way to print this document, although its contents can be selected, copied, and pasted into other formats.

Would it kill you, Microsoft, to make this document available in a plain old PDF format?

Update 13-Apr-2006: The document has been pulled from Pullen's website with the comment: "[I]t isn’t quite ready for public consumption so I was asked to remove the link."

Topic: Windows

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9 comments
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  • Oh, the irony!

    It's like being locked inside a room where the only way out is a door that's locked from the outside! This must be Micro$haft's "lock in" policy.

    [i]The file is viewable only in a browser, and on my system at least I couldn?t get it to work with Firefox. So, anyone who wants to read this information needs to be running Windows XP or Windows Vista and using Internet Explorer, and they also have to install a potentially destabilizing operating system component.
    ...
    Would it kill you, Microsoft, to make this document available in a plain old PDF format?[/i]
    They could do that, but they don't want to look like they're caving in to the competition. ;)
    Mr. Roboto
  • PDF virus?

    Does Microsoft have an institutional "virus" that prevents them from using PDF, the closest thing to a universal format? To paraphrase Bugs Bunny, "What maroons!"
    XMissileGuy
    • File formats

      Microsoft's business plan has always been to control data formats. In software, if you control the data formats, you control the market.
      baggins_z
  • Windows XP Viewer Available

    There is an XPS viewer that runs on XP without the WinFX bits: http://blogs.msdn.com/xps/archive/2006/04/05/569428.aspx But point taken, of course. A document that can't be read unless you already have your Vista!
    orcmid
  • What is the microsoft.com address for this file?

    There isn't one? Could it be because the document hasn't been officially released? Do you have any reason to believe that the document won't be available in more formats when it is actually released?

    [i]Thanks to Arvind Mishra, the Microsoft TS2 team has been given permission to distribute an early copy of the Windows Vista Product Guide![/i]

    http://www.vista-ultimate.net/microsoft-posts-windows-vista-product-guide/
    NonZealot
    • Yes

      [i]"Do you have any reason to believe that the document won't be available in more formats when it is actually released?"[/i]

      Yes, I don't believe we'll see it in PDF or anything else non-Microsoft. Something about years of this behavior from them gives me this wild hunch.. ;-)
      Spicoli's Avenger
  • It's a lovely read....

    From the Vista Guide-

    "The main goal of the Windows Vista lineup is to more closely align the product offerings with customer demand, rather than forcing customers to make tradeoffs between functionality and form factors."

    Aren't they doing just the opposite by limiting what you get by how much you pay?

    "Now, for each major customer segment?consumer, small business, and medium and large business?there is at least one entry-level edition and a premium edition."

    Sweet! at least 6 versions,

    Now does that count server versions? Probably not.

    How much does full-blown-ultimate-uber Windows cost, anyways?
    Kid Icarus-21097050858087920245213802267493
  • Windows Vista Product Guide Preview [b]Was[/b] Available!

    It is no longer avaliable. According to the site:

    "So, where?s the guide? Although we had permission from one of its sponsors to post the Windows Vista Product Guide to the TS2 Community Site, it isn?t quite ready for public consumption so I was asked to remove the link. If you were lucky enough to download the ?sneak peek? preview, enjoy! We?ll provide access to the guide after it becomes publicly available."

    Yeah right.
    timelessone
  • RE: Whatever you do, don't read this Vista guide

    I just hope XPS doesn't take off, because I already hate the hassle of countless PDFs... Alright, so publishers cry out for DRM -- but if it's not actually paid content anyway, what's the point of limiting your readership and forcing them to obtain yet another bloated reader? When I'm on the Web I want to stay inside my browser's rendering engine! For the vast majority of documents these days it seems that a bit of CSS and [X]HTML is fairly constant across platforms, if the markup is standards compliant. Of course there are always quirks, but even IE can be accommodated for most of the time. Especially with a simple text based document!
    trojjer