Windows Vista, two week after the launch

Windows Vista has been on the market for roughly two week now.
Here’s a roundup of some of the major developments (and other interesting items) since the launch of Microsoft’s $6 billion investment on Jan. 30:

Family pack glitch: Some early users of the Windows Vista family discount pack encountered a problem with the product keys. Microsoft said it was resolving the problem as of late last week. The discount allows Windows Vista Ultimate buyers to upgrade up to two more PCs to Vista Home Premium for $50 each.

Watching the stores: Joe Wilcox, from Microsoft Watch, spent some time observing people browsing in a CompUSA store and found some interesting buying patterns: “During the 60 minutes in the store, not a single person purchased a Windows Vista PC. However, I did see two people carrying out Windows XP computers — both notebooks. I assumed buyers didn’t know better … or bought for another reason, such as low price.”

Voice recognition vulnerability: Less than a week after its launch and there are already several reports on security vulnerabilities. Reports revealed the possibility of using Windows Vista’s speech recognition capabilities to gain remote access over a computer. See coverage by Brian Krebs and the BBC. This post on the Microsoft Security Response Center Blog acknowledged the situation but concluded that there was “little if any need to worry about the effects of this issue on your new Windows Vista installation.”

iTunes on Vista: The official word from Apple: “iTunes 7.0.2 may work with Windows Vista on many typical PCs. Apple recommends, however, that customers wait to upgrade Windows until after the next release of iTunes which will be available in the next few weeks. This document will be updated as more information becomes available.”

NVidia and Vista: NVidia failed the Vista test and is scrambling to improve the low performance of its graphic-card drivers on it.
NVidia has acknowledged that its Vista drivers haven’t performed as well as they should, and said in an e-mail on Wednesday that driver development for Vista is “the highest priority in our company.”

Vista on a Mac: On the Cult of Mac blog, Leander Kahney shared his experience running Windows Vista on a Mac Pro, and in the process, he offered some especially favorable comments on Vista: “The OS is dark and handsome. It’s really quite exciting. Like the Zune’s interface, it’s artfully done. The beautifully-rendered shadow effects and transparency give Vista a greater ‘depth’ than OS X, which looks a little flat and well… old fashioned in comparison. I know this is because Vista’s new and novel, but it makes OS X look dated.”

Apple and Vista: Apple released a new ad in its Get a Mac series laughing at Vista’s UAC.

NASA and Vista: Computer security specialists at NASA have warned their employees of a loophole in the encryption feature BitLocker, only present in Enterprise and Ultimate editions of Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system. According to a document posted on NASA’s Web site, BitLocker’s encryption can be bypassed if a user leaves their computers in “sleep” mode.

Extended Trial Period: Turns out a simple command line entry will extend a trial version of Vista for an additional 30 days, and you can do it three times, for a total of 120 free days of Vista. Sounds like another security issue to me. Thinking about it, I tend to wipe my hard drive every now and then when I feel there’s too much crap on my machine. If I keep on doing it 3 times a year I can get Vista for free :-)

Jim Allchin: Windows chief Jim Allchin retired from Microsoft the day after Windows Vista was released, as expected, ending a 16-year career and a major chapter in computing history. He wrote a humorous blog post explaining what his new schedule will be like post-Microsoft.

Bill Gates on the Daily Show: Bill Gates presented Vista on Comedy Centeral’s Daily Show and walked out on the host when the interview ended.

Some of the links were taken from Todd Bishop’s roundup.

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