Windows:Vista

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Microsoft Windows Vista
Codename(s) Longhorn
Kernel version NT 6.0
CPU Architecture x86, x64
Latest build 6.0.6002.18005.090410-1830
Release date 30 January 2007
Licence Microsoft EULA
Support 11 April 2017
Other versions
Previous:
Windows XP / Longhorn
Next:
Windows 7

Windows Vista is an operating system developed by Microsoft, released worldwide on January 30, 2007. Prior to its official announcement on July 22, 2005, it was known by its codename, Windows "Longhorn".

Development of the operating system spanned approximately five years, starting in early 2001. Over the course of this time period, the product was first codenamed Whistler+ (with some sources stating Idaho as a possible codename), and then Longhorn in May 2001. The first builds of the operating system known to use the Longhorn codename were compiled in May, 2002.

Initially envisioned as a minor upgrade to Windows XP, Microsoft later characterized "Longhorn" as a complete overhaul of the Windows operating system. One of the largest changes slated for "Longhorn" was pervasive use of managed code.

While in its earlier stages of development, "Longhorn" suffered from many problems relating to reliability and stability. This was due not only to the premature technology on which the operating system was based, but also because of the way new features were introduced and implemented. For this reason, the development of the operating system was "reset", with a preliminary build, 3790.1232.winmain.040819-1629 being compiled on August 19, 2004. Although this build is not known to contain any code from "Longhorn", it did include the "Longhorn" End User License Agreement (EULA), a testament to the build's authenticity.

Contrary to popular belief, only very early "Longhorn" builds were directly derived from Windows XP; later builds were based on Windows Server 2003 Release Candidate code. Builds compiled after the development reset are based on Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1.

During Beta 1 development, Microsoft named the operating system Windows Vista. The new name was chosen to improve the product's image and reputation, and to reflect the new capabilities of the operating system.

A total of two Service Packs were released for the Windows Vista operating system. Service Pack 1 was made available to MSDN subscribers on Febuary 15, 2008, and was released to the Microsoft Download Center and Windows Update on March 18, 2008. Service Pack 2 was released to manufacturing on April 28, 2009, and released to the Microsoft Download Center and Windows Update on May 26, 2009. In addition, Microsoft released the Platform Update for Windows Vista on October 27, 2009, which was comprised of major new Windows 7 components and updated runtime libraries. The Platform Update requires Service Pack 2 prior to installation.

Editions

Windows Vista came in many editions. Unlike Windows:XP, there was no special edition for Media Center and 64-bit capability. Windows Vista also did not have an embedded version.

  • Starter This edition is intended for emerging markets and low-cost PC's. As in XP, the 3-program limit was there, and only 1GB RAM was accepted. Other software restrictions applied as well. This version is hence not available in 64-bit.
  • Home Basic Found in low cost to mid-end, this version of Windows Vista does not fully have Aero (though it has DWM), and hence does not have effects like transparency and 3D Flip. Windows Media Center is not included as well. Parental Controls is included however. However, it does not have the hardware and 3-program limit as Starter.
  • Home Premium The mid end of Windows Vista, this version includes full Aero and Windows Media Center. It also includes Premium Games(eg - Inkball).
  • Business The business oriented version of Windows Vista, it contains several features like full RDP(client/host) capability, Group Policy and domain join ability. However, Windows Media Center is not included, Parental Controls is not included, and Premium Games are disabled by default.
  • Ultimate The top consumer variant of Windows Vista, it is a merge of the features containing on Windows Vista Home Premium and Business. Bitlocker is included in this version.
  • Enterprise The top business variant of Windows Vista. It is like Ultimate, but without Windows Media Center and includes enterprise-specific tools.

Note that certain features(like Aero or TV support) may require premium/different/upgraded hardware and so may not be available on all PCs.

New features

Windows Vista was a revolutionary upgrade from Windows XP.

  1. Windows Aero introduced, setting the framework for the UI that would be carried into future Windows versions including Windows 7 and later. Consequently, DWM was also introduced. New Aero features like Flip 3D were also introduced.
  2. The Start Menu was given a facelift, also adding new features in the process like integration of Windows Search.
  3. DirectX 10 was introduced.
  4. User Account Control was introduced, increasing security significantly while also proving to be more convenient to standard users.
  5. Windows Media Center was improved, and is now available in more editions instead of being confined to a single version in Windows XP.
  6. Internet Explorer 7 was also introduced, introducing features like 256 bit encryption, tabbed mode and protected mode.
  7. Windows Update was integrated into the control panel, eliminating the need to use Internet Explorer because of its prior reliance on an ActiveX control to use all the features of Windows Update in previous versions.
  8. Control Panel was improved.
  9. Windows Experience Index was introduced, providing a benchmark for system performance.
  10. Gadgets were also introduced, along with an API for third party development and Windows Sidebar to house the gadgets.
  11. Hybrid sleep was introduced mainly for desktops, providing the best of both worlds of sleep and hibernation.
  12. The installation routine was redesigned, leading to better speeds, and features like rollback were also properly implemented.
  13. New games were introduced, like InkBall, Purble Place and Chess. Existing games were also improved.
  14. Windows Ultimate Extras were introduced for Ultimate users, enabling these users to enjoy additional games, features and services.
  15. Parental Controls were introduced.
  16. Windows Taskbar was improved, now showing a live thumbnail preview on hover of any program on the taskbar with the help of Aero.
  17. Windows Explorer was greatly improved, now properly showing file transfer progress, along with a redesign of the UI.
  18. Windows Defender was integrated into the Windows Vista OS, providing protection against spyware.
  19. Windows Media Player 10 was introduced, introducing a significant upgrade over Windows Media Player 9.
  20. The Login screen was improved significantly.
  21. Windows Anytime Upgrade was introduced, providing an easy way for users to upgrade between Windows versions.

Features removed/degraded

  1. The Introduction of Aero meant that Luna, which was the default theme of Windows XP, was removed.
  2. DirectX 9 performance was degraded compared to Windows XP.
  3. The system requirements were significantly raised to 800MHz(Windows XP around 300 MHz) processor with 512 MB(64 MB) RAM and 16 GB(2 GB) of HDD. This could well be the biggest reason for the failure of Windows Vista.
  4. Pinball was removed.
  5. Windows Vista can now be installed only on a NTFS hard drive, dropping support for FAT and FAT32.

Changes

Build 3790.1232

  1. The first build after development reset, almost fully looks like Windows XP SP2.

Build 5048

  1. A new bootscreen, wallpaper and Aero theme
  2. Some changes in Explorer

Build 5112(Beta 1)

  1. New Setup UI
  2. Major changes in Aero theme
  3. Major changes in Control Panel
  4. Some improvements in Explorer
  5. Internet Explorer 7 Beta was introduced
  6. Windows Backup Beta and Program Compatibility Wizard are introduced
  7. User Account Control was introduced
  8. Luna theme is now fully removed

Build 5219

  1. Major changes to Games
  2. Some new applications in the Control Panel
  3. Minor UI changes to the Help and Support
  4. Windows Calendar, Windows Photo Library, Sticky Notes and Windows Journal were introduced

Build 5231

  1. Some changes to the Setup
  2. New System Properties introduced
  3. New network apps in Control Panel
  4. Minor changes in other apps

Build 5259

  1. New Setup UI, including the OOBE
  2. Start menu layout is fully changed
  3. Introduced People Near Me, Performance Center, Personalization, Speech Recognition, Windows AntiSpyware and Memory Diagnostics Tool
  4. Windows Media Player is updated to version 11
  5. Library in Explorer
  6. Outlook Express is now Windows Mail
  7. Some changes in Windows Calendar

Build 5270

  1. New logon screen
  2. Aero theme is updated
  3. App icons are updated
  4. Windows Collaboration introduced
  5. Antispyware is now Windows Defender
  6. Windows Media Player and Media Center were updated

Build 5308

  1. New Setup UI and bootscreen
  2. Welcome Center at the startup
  3. Some visual changes in Control Panel, Internet Explorer, Windows Calender and Windows Media Center
  4. Introduced Backup and Restore, Color Management, Default Programs, Disk Defragmenter and Sidebar Properties in Control Panel

Build 5342

  1. Minor visual changes
  2. New items on Sidebar

Build 5365

  1. Sidebar is enabled by default
  2. Some changes in Setup and OOBE
  3. Device Manager introduced
  4. Major updates to Explorer and Sidebar

Build 5381

  1. Some changes to Setup, Windows Media Player and Windows Mail

Build 5384

Official Beta 2.

Build 5456

  1. Some changes in the UI

Build 5472

  1. New logon screen and OOBE

Build 5536

  1. Minor changes in Windows Mail. Starting this build there's no major visual changes and only bug fixes.

Builds

  • No information available
  • Existance doubtful
  • Information or pictures available
  • Leaked or released

Omega-13

Beta 1

Pre-Beta 2 (Beta 2 Fork)

Community Tech Preview 2 (Beta 2 Fork)

Beta 2 (Beta 2 Fork)

Beta 2

NOTE: Some of the earliest builds listed may not actually be Beta 2 builds (although still obviously within the Beta 2 fork), so their exact status is still to confirm.

Beta 2

Pre-Release Candidate 1

Release Candidate 1

Pre-Release Candidate 2

Release Candidate 2

Pre-RTM

RTM

Post-RTM

Service Pack 1

Service Pack 1 GDR

  • Windows Vista Build 6.0.6001.18004.vistasp1_gdr_vm_rc.080314-1400
  • Windows Vista Build 6.0.6001.18009.vistasp1_gdr_vm_rc1.080425-1630
  • Windows Vista Build 6.0.6001.18010.vistasp1_gdr_vm_rc1.080511-1505
  • Windows Vista Build 6.0.6001.18016.vistasp1_gdr_vm_rtm.080611-0040
  • Windows Vista Build 6.0.6001.18145.vistasp1_gdr.080917-1612
  • Windows Vista Build 6.0.6001.22328.vistasp1_ldr.081211-1619

Service Pack 2

  • Windows Vista Build 6.0.6002.16489.lh_sp2beta.080924-1740
  • Windows Vista Build 6.0.6002.16497.lh_sp2beta.081017-1605
  • Windows Vista Build 6.0.6002.16659.lh_sp2rc.090114-1728
  • Windows Vista Build 6.0.6002.16670.lh_sp2rc.090130-1715
  • Windows Vista Build 6.0.6002.17043.longhorn.090312-1835
  • Windows Vista Build 6.0.6002.17506.lh_sp2rtm.090313-1730
  • Windows Vista Build 6.0.6002.18003.lh_sp2rtm.090403-1730
  • Windows Vista Build 6.0.6002.18005.090410-1830 Service Pack 2 RTM

See Also

External links