Vienna So we are just weeks away from the Windows Vista consumer launch but the excitement doesn’t seem to be nearly what I would expect it to be. Why? Having used Vista for several months I find a lot of great things that make using Windows a more smooth operation. It is quite disappointing that I can’t get the Aero Glass on my laptop (with an integrated Intel 915 graphics card) because without it I can’t use things like Flip-3D or see thumbnail images when hovering over Taskbar items.

In fact using Vista RC2 on my laptop has been quite troublesome and slow lately. I install and uninstall applications all of the time and I know that isn’t good for keeping a PC clean, but the performance hit on Vista has been much more drastic than it ever was on XP. At this rate I would be reformatting my computer every month compared to every 3 to 4 months that I reformat an XP machine. This is probably a story for another day though…I’ll get back on topic now.

Windows Fiji is the codename for what will become an update or service pack to Windows Vista and is slated for a release in 2008. This release should have features that didn’t make it in time for the Windows Vista launch which should mean that it will be free (*crosses fingers*). Here are the rumored features for this release according to Wikipedia:

  • The user interface will be updated with things that were originally promised for Vista, along with a more powerful sidebar, which will be more than just a dock for widgets
  • .Net Framework will be updated to 3.5 or 4
  • WinFS will be applied over NTFS to give us Virtual Folders
  • All bundled application will be updated to newer versions
  • Tighter integration with Windows Live. Probably through ‘Codename Nemo’, a media center application that’s integrated with Messenger, Spaces, and probably lots of other Windows Live Services
  • We might see Monaco, a music authoring tool, similar to Apple’s Garageband
  • Default playback of HD-DVD, Vista currently identifies these disks but cannot play them without an external decoder
  • A more advanced speech recognition software
  • The system will be made more secure
  • New themes, icons, wallpapers, games, and minor tweaks to almost everything

Those features sound nice but the only one of interest to me is WinFS (Windows Future Storage). That is the new file system that is supposed to allow better searching and break away from the barriers that folders create by organizing data in relationships:

  • Integrated storage – One example scenario is the Integrated Storage Conception that helps to reuse data. This feature will be of great use for businesses, by allowing it to automatically aggregate data from different departments.
  • Full text search – A second possible scenario is a full-text search that works with items fields – the rich filters feature. By making use of the fact that any application’s data files can be used by any other application, searches can be made to encompass the contents of the file as well, rather than just its attributes.
  • Advanced search and data aggregation – WinFS provides an opportunity to create rich and custom made search queries, such as to find â€