Vista Secrets: Read 'Em If You Can - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
5/30/2006
06:37 PM
David  DeJean
David DeJean
Commentary
50%
50%

Vista Secrets: Read 'Em If You Can

Microsoft has re-released a 300-page guide to Windows Vista that was posted and then pulled in April. But even though there's now a link to it, Microsoft still seems to be working pretty hard to keep it a secret: it's available in two formats -- a 60-megabyte Word file, and an XPS file. (A what file?)

Microsoft has re-released a 300-page guide to Windows Vista that was posted and then pulled in April. But even though there's now a link to it, Microsoft still seems to be working pretty hard to keep it a secret: it's available in two formats -- a 60-megabyte Word file, and an XPS file. (A what file?)A 60-megabyte Word file download sounds like a pretty successful distribution-prevention strategy all by itself. But it may be a sort of stealth validation test: if your PC is capable of downloading, storing, and displaying a 60-megabyte Word file about Vista, it might be capable of actually running Vista.

The XPS version of the guide is smaller -- a lot smaller -- at 12.2MB. If you're asking yourself, "What's XPS?" you're not alone. The XML Paper Specification (XPS), codenamed "Metro," is Microsoft's PDF-killer. Office 12 applications -- Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, Visio, OneNote, and InfoPath -- will include a "Save As XPS" option. Windows Vista will include an XPS reader, just like you need the Adobe Reader to open PDF files.

You can download the XPS reader the Microsoft Web site. Just don't search for "XPS reader." That's another part of the distribution-prevention strategy. You get zero hits. Instead search for "XPS viewer." Or just go here and download the Microsoft XML Paper Specification Essentials Pack Version 1.0 Beta 1, all 1.4MB of it. You will, of course, need a Windows XP system patched to Service Pack 4 in order to install the reader -- see Paragraph 2 above.

You can get the full 300 pages of the "Windows Vista Product Guide" here.

Of course, after all this, you may not be able to get Beta 2 of Windows Vista. It was released only to IT professionals and developers with MSDN and TechNet subscriptions. A wider distribution of Vista, called Windows Vista Customer Preview Program (CPP), will be opened "in the coming weeks," according to Microsoft. Microsoft says it anticipates as many as 2 million will test drive Vista Beta 2 in the CPP.

That may be 2 million more people than ever see the "Windows Vista Product Guide."

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
Reflections on Tech in 2019
James M. Connolly, Editorial Director, InformationWeek and Network Computing,  12/9/2019
Slideshows
What Digital Transformation Is (And Isn't)
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/4/2019
Commentary
Watch Out for New Barriers to Faster Software Development
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  12/3/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
The Cloud Gets Ready for the 20's
This IT Trend Report explores how cloud computing is being shaped for the next phase in its maturation. It will help enterprise IT decision makers and business leaders understand some of the key trends reflected emerging cloud concepts and technologies, and in enterprise cloud usage patterns. Get it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll