Astala Vista

Everyone has gone leak-happy in the last few days, so I’m here just to clean up some mess. We’ve awed at wallpapers. We’ve heard sounds. We’ve dribbled at packaging. We’ve peeked at new icons. My life is complete, after this rant.

Paul Thurrott
I was both surprised and disappointed when Paul Thurrott leaked the new brand icons last week. Part of the disappointment came from the lack of enthusiasm and back-story behind the icons when they were originally showcased just as a banner-ad on the WinSuperSite. There was no ‘bang’ to the story when infact it was a fairly significant milestone for the user-experience group. There should have been at least a breakdown of the design process and the choices the design team has made for these icons to give a better impression of what they represent.

The other part of the disappointment came from the lack of care when it comes to showcasing something so visually ‘fragile’. I’ve always uploaded graphics and videos at the highest possible quality (at the despair of my host) because I believe when you are showcasing to the world an upcoming product, you should give care to how you are demonstrating it. Not only does it respect the designer’s efforts, but also thousands of people might judge the product on what you show them.

So to put everything I’ve said into context, I’d like to show you this comparison. Note I’m using PNG lossless compression, so I have not manipulated the images in any way.

Paul Thurrott leaked image comparison

It’s an utter disgrace. I won’t publish all the other icons since you can get them from literally everywhere, but I recommend you all to leave your final judgment until you’ve experienced Vista yourself, and not from screenshots.

Outstanding rumors

  • Rumor: There will be a new animated 32-bit bootscreen.
    Fact: It’ll be the same scrolling green bars you’ve seen in RC1/RC2. This is due to technical limitations with many graphics cards. The “/noguiboot” method remains for OEMs and hackers to customize.
  • Rumor: There will be a 5.1 surround Vista startup sound.
    Fact: It’s a nice sound, but its not surround.
  • Rumor: The “Add gadgets” screen will be glass-less.
    Fact: Sadly, still glassy with unreadable text.
  • Rumor: Vista needs more than 10GB of hard disk space.
    Fact: Definitely less than 8GB without debug code.
  • Rumor: Aero Diamond?
    Fact: No.

Anyone want to start leaking Windows Vienna? :)

22 insightful thoughts

  1. Hmm I’m not saying I don’t believe you but that seems very strange.. It doesn’t make sense not to put a bit of branding on startup? Where did you hear this from? Is it possible they might add this to the final build along with the new sounds, icons, wallpapers etc?


  2. Ok i call bullsh*t! Theirs no way in hell they are shipping vista with a progress bar and a copyright message and lacking any windows branding during boot its not microsofts style and doesnt make any sense at all

    What makes your “no its not coming” that makes no sense whatsoever more believable than the many others that have said it is coming?

    Because when it comes down to it what you say makes no sense…a boot screen with no branding is next to impossible to ship with vista considering microsofts history. We’ve had atleast some graphical boot since windows 95 so give me a break

  3. Yeah I find the boot screen issue a bit weird.
    I doubt this is true.

    About the 5.1 sound. I never read anywhere about Ms saying they would use a 5.1 source. I guess the only thing that matters is if they have made it so you can choose a 5.1 WMA files for the sound scheme instead of the wav/mp3 for xp.

    I doubt anyone has seen the very final build of Vista to make a comment on what it has and hasn’t got.

  4. @Chris: Windows branding is on the second screen where theres a glowing orb. On the boot screen, they’d like to keep it minimal. Once you get the RTM, we’ll see who’s right 😉

  5. Wait, are you saying you have an RTM version? and please explain what Aero Diamond is. This is the first time in the 3 years I have been following Longhorn/Vista have I heard of Aero Diamond

  6. There is some logic behind little emphasis on a boot screen, perhaps booting up is really fast in RTM? :p

    Who knows, there must be some justification for their choice, but i do however would of wished they clean up the progress bar a little, even the XPs progress looked a bit better.

  7. Bring back the fully coloured Windows 95 clouds, how I miss thee. Why in 2006 does it seem that MS has gone so backward? This is 11 years after the freakin clouds!!

  8. Much as I read and like Paul’s site, he complains about Microsofts fit and finish compared to Apple (which I agree with), but then doesn’t follow through with his own site. He often has huge file sizes for screenshots, but weirdly look like they’re really badly compressed, as per your example. I think I read on his site that he still uses Windows Paint for screenshots(!).

  9. Paint?! I think Paul needs to go buy a copy of Photoshop…

    The odd thing with Paul is that if you read something on the SuperSite right after he posts it he normally has better quality graphics up but replaces them with the bad ones within a few days, I’ve noticed this on more then a few occasions.

  10. Quote: “Bring back the fully coloured Windows 95 clouds, how I miss thee. Why in 2006 does it seem that MS has gone so backward? This is 11 years after the freakin clouds!! ”

    This is why it’s called Windows VISTA…it’s so ‘clear’ that there should be no clouds =P

  11. I think they don’t want a logo on the first startup screen if it can’t be done properly – i.e. with a large palette. They don’t want it to look like some prehistoric 256-color logo or anything… 😉

    Paul Thurrott’s overcompression is nothing compared to what he claimed with the licensing – see my post (as “r3m0t”) on:

  12. “There will be a new animated 32-bit bootscreen.”

    Seriously who thought that would be a good idea, that would increase bootime – because of all the extra stuff you’d have to load.

    I’m sticking with less is more when it comes to Vistas bootscreen.

    “There will be a 5.1 surround Vista startup sound.”

    Thats a shame, that would’ve been really nice to have! Ah well.

  13. I 1000% sure there is will be new boot screen or “no gui boot” will be enabled by default. Of course, if you have RTM you know it for 100000%, but I dont know if RTM is compiled yet. Things like boot screen can be intergated into final 6000 build.

  14. I have the RTM Business release and there is NO LOGO in the bootup screen. There is only a progress bar and text that says (c) Microsoft Corporation. The funny part is that coming out of hibernate has a fairly spiffy resume screen…

  15. I’d like to confirm that on Windows Vista Home Premium there is no Logo on the BOOT LOADER screen, but there is a nice blue high-quality logo just before the login screen. So the old “Windows is loading” screens have been replaced by a nice little progress bar.

    Simple and effective… My impression of Vista thus far has been good, not brilliant, but good.

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