Feeds

Whistler public beta slips again – but say hello to Build 2281

The good, the bad and the UAE

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Build number 2276 of Whistler - the next consumer Windows - leaked into the usual nefarious channels on Monday. But sources close to Microsoft have been filling us in on the 2281 build, which has only just been issued to Redmond's extra special birthday friends. With Paul Thurrotts'WinInfo site reporting that the public beta has again being delayed - missing the revised October 25 target - we felt it worthwhile to fill you in on what it looks like.

And testers report back a mixed bag. The good news is that the Windows 2000's team long term goal to reduce boot times is paying dividends. Not only is boot time down to a spry 10 seconds or less, but appears to work more dependably than Windows Me's fast boot, which takes exception to a lot of hardware, old and new.

Like Monday's 2276 build, it's mostly bug-fixes. But the builds now use the new Start menu - a ballooning panel which kludges together Microsoft's abandoned task-centres idea with the traditional hierarchical Start menu. Testers aren't impressed: "It's slow, and it's a waste of space," reports one. However a new feature of the elephantine menu is that it finally incorporates a list of the most recently used applications... just like MacOS er,"Recent Applications".

And the bad news? The most critical, say testers, is that driver support leaves the system unreliable and lacking functionality. On vanilla equipment, and with the "Visual Styles" skinning turned off, Whistler is at least as fast as Windows 2000 Professional.

It doesn't appear to be the hardware hog some had feared (but give them time - ed.).

But the scarcity of compatible driver support means video editing and other functions WinME take for granted are still some way off, and Whistler is prone to driver-related crashes. There doesn't appear to have been any attempt to optimise Visual Styles just yet, and to a man, users left the disabled to minimise the performance hit.

Overall, the reported release-to-manufacturing date of 18 April looks optimistic. "I can't see how they can make that date," said one Whistler user. Getting the volume consumer base - with its cranky equipment - comfortable with Whistler could take longer than Microsoft has budgeted for. ®

Related stories

MS 'componentized' OS to be follow-up to Win2k Whistler?
Beta 1 not out yet, but MS sets April date for Whistler gold code
MS recruits testers for first Whistler beta
How to survive Whistler

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
Sin COS to tan Windows? Chinese operating system to debut in autumn – report
Development alliance working on desktop, mobe software
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?