Here's some shots from PDC of Vista that I took...
Vista looks good but they still haven't gotten rid of the ugly icons in some places. PLEASE change the icons throughout the system.
An alternative way of doing Alt-Tab. It looks good but I didn't find it that practical. The primary Alt-Tab method is fancier than the Windows XP alt-tab but noticeably slower. I like slick but I don't want it to noticeably slow me down and I do a lot with Alt-Tab.
The sidebar and task preview (something we are working on for WindowFX too). The sidebar now is merely a container for gadgets which is absolutely sweet in theory. I like the concept a lot. However, right now, the gadgets are apparently implemented in DHTML. I relaly don't see that as a practical thing. I'd like to see them switch to have gadgets be Avalon based with the noborders switch on. I think gadgets would be a great way for Microsoft to get people to start using XAML. Note: This is not necessarily what the Sidebar is going to look like in the final version. This was a beta version that was shown at PDC.
Gadgets can be pealed off and live on the desktop as well.
New file save dialog. I like the design but if you look closely, Windows classic can still peer through so there's still some fit and finish to be done there.
And for fun, here's a screenshot of my Windows XP desktop running Object Desktop with the WindowBlinds 5 beta (public beta in a week or two):
WindowBlinds 5 on XP can do semi-transparent borders and Start bars and runs fast on fairly low end hardware. On Windows Vista, WindowBlinds 5 will make use of the new Windows Vista compositer to allow for much more advanced skinning than we've seen previously. Much of the next-gen skinning will be back ported to Windows XP (though users with install the Avalon libraries on XP will likely benefit).
Overall, Vista's a really good experience. But I do hope there's an overall fit and finish guy over there so that things like ancient icons and inconsistent fonts get fixed. Some of these icons have managed to survive since Windows NT 3.1 (1994).
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