As lame as this may sound, we knew about it first. To days ago to be exact.. But our host had given us the boot, and we couldn’t tell you that we would be getting a midnight build come Friday…. But that is OK, because NeoSmart Technologies has more than a mere build number and date. We have what’s coming in this build, what’s new, what’s fixed, what’s removed, and what’s buggy.
Not everything below will be in 5342, but most will. Items marked with a "*" will in all likelihood be released later on down the line.
NeoSmart Technologies also brings you an exclusive with some of the more annoying bugs that have been fixed in this build, as well as some bugs that have made a comeback.. It will be updated as new info comes in up until the release of 5342
We had a sneaky suspicion all along that Build 5308 (aka the half-done-code-complete-feb-ctp) was not code complete, and a couple of features missing. However, MS said it was code complete, so like everyone else, we figured what wasn’t there would never be there.. But, good news, with the delay till 2007 come some new features and utilities to enjoy!
- The real Aero Glass. Till now what we have seen is Aero Express and Aero Express w/ Transparency. But That’s not Aero, not at all. Expect to see fully scalable vector based transparencies that take advantage of pixel shading…. and actually show us what DX10 can do!*
- Aero Express will have a new transparent PNG layer instead of that nasty grey… which means that all you VMware and VPC users can experience what we’ve had all along.. and its no longer uglier than XP’s Luna.*
- Home Basic users will not have advantage of the sleek transparent 32-bit PNGs, instead they get the opaque "glass" that was Aero Express till now…
- The "Vista Flare" effect. At the moment not many details are available, but we suspect it is a form of Aurora in the preview bar.. more on that below.
- A real Gadgets gallery.
- Support for Pocket PC 2000, 2002, and 2003 synchronization.
- A complete firewall shell that will replace any need for third party applications.. A good thing too seeing as Symantec razed Sygate to the ground, and the Sygate 5.6 doesn’t run on Vista..
- Some real tight wallpapers
- More cool 3d (DX10?) screensavers.*
- Some XP screensavers running on Vista.
- Movable toolbars in IE7.
- Green shaded address bar in IE when visiting SSL secured sites.
There are thousands of bugs that have been fixed, but here are those that matter most:
- All desktop icons will be there. This includes the previously MIA Network and Documents folders.
- The infamous "taskbar hover" glitch wherein a tooltip hides behind the taskbar at times, and in 5308, always.
- Icons. Enough said, it includes SVGs, malformed (maldrawn??) and incorrect icons.
- Outlook Express (aka Windows Mail) synchronization with NNTP servers: faster and more reliable.
- Networking (especially in workgroups) has been debugged, works faster and more reliably, and is sees/is seen by XP and 2k perfectly..
- Timezones.. All the various issues should be now fixed.
- Aurora should be less processor intensive and a bit brighter.
- Switching/setting keyboard layouts. So far it has been vastly improved in 5308, this build should see some of the finer bugs/kinks worked out.
- Taskbar auto-hide.
- Taskbar does not reappear.
- Networking center, its icons, links, settings, and more.
- Explorer.exe memory drain….
Nothing is perfect in life: there are a couple of bugs that have unfortunately returned, mostly in IE7
- IE7 auto-complete glitches where auto-complete "forgets" entries.
- IE7 encoding auto-selector may be once more broken.
- IE7 memory usage may be on the higher end once more…
and that’s 5342 in brief…. Remember, it has not been released yet, this info is what we have permission to post, not necessarily all we have been informed of, and definitely not guaranteed to be true. All information on this page was legally obtained, Microsoft Corporation ears no responsibility for the contents of this page, nor does NeoSmart Technologies guarantee its accuracy. As soon as 5342 is publicly available we will dissect it and let you have the dirty details. Till then, pass this link on!