Vista SP1 brings small UI tweaks, including refreshed “NO GUI” boot splash & volume sliders. *faints*

Windows Vista SP1It looks like our favorite camera-shy service pack is being hammered by the screenshot paparazzi as every die-hard enthusiast and his dog now has their paws on the Windows Vista SP1 beta which has been leaked left, right and center. I, for one, is not brave enough to pursue such a risky endeavor, so I’m glad someone else with an eagle-sight is scanning every pixel for user-interface changes as well.

From everything I’ve heard up to this point, there are no planned major user-interface enhancements, fixes or even polishes for Vista in Service Pack 1. And so far, that proves to be correct and my expectations remain very low as they should be. However, some of the more vigilant members at the JCXP community have spotted at least 2 interface tweaks worthy to note for the pixel-loving enthusiasts.

Windows Vista boot screen SP1
The newer Windows Vista alternate boot screen image in SP1. (Inset) Alternate boot image in RTM. Image credit: JCXP.

Most of you should be aware of the “/NOGUI” tweak for Windows Vista which enables the alternate “Aurora” boot-screen splash image. As spotted by “VistaReloaded“, it appears that in SP1, the aurora image has been changed to the same flair used in the “resume from hibernation” splash, with the text “Starting Windows Vista” also removed. This flair is far more consistent with the background image presented during log-in.

Windows Vista Sound Properties SP1
(Left) “Sound Properties” in Vista SP1. (Right) “Sound Properties” in Vista RTM. Image credit: JCXP.

The other change, as spotted by “Andrei999“, is an updated slider control in the “Sound Properties” applet to control volume levels. Compared to the traditional sliders in RTM, in SP1, the sliders are presumed to use the newer sound-sensitive volume controls which provide visual feedback on sound outputs as shown by a green equalizer.

It would be great to see Microsoft clean up some of the minor and obscure graphical annoyances around Windows Vista like the “Previous Versions” icon which they failed to check into the final build, but I know thats as high of a priority as removing the 16-bit icons in the systems folder. If anyone’s still hoping for a full UI sweep, stop dreaming.

36 insightful thoughts

  1. “Why doesn’t Microsoft enable /NOGUI by default?”

    probably because some very old (and odd) video cards may not support showing 24 bit bitmaps with a generic vga driver (which is used before the proper graphic driver is loaded and the logon screen shows up), thus resulting in a BSOD… and nobody wants this to happen

    if Microsoft sold Vista only with new PCs, the alternative boot screen would probably be used by default… but unlike apple, microsoft has to support a huge range of hardware

  2. Sadly (But not suprisingly) the fonts installation diag has not been updated, it’s still in the good ol’ Windows 3.1 style.

    Also, just to point out, we also found one other minor change in the UI. The context menu for the network system tray item has been changed; seen here in SP1: http://www.jcxp.net/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=20114&view=findpost&p=202206 and here in RTM http://www.jcxp.net/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=20114&view=findpost&p=202377

    Thanks again to VistaRealoaded and Meowy for pointing that out.

  3. “Why doesn’t Microsoft enable /NOGUI by default?”

    I remember Microsoft saying that the NOGUI boot has a longer boot time than the plain boot screen and they wanted to make boot up as fast as possible out of the box.

    Another comment I’ve heard from someone as Microsoft in regards to not using a typical boot screen with the Windows logo and a Microsoft logo was that they were trying to push bios creators and other hardware makers from putting their logo on boot ups to create a cleaner looking and faster boot up.

    Just what I’ve heard over time.

  4. Why would anyone want a new font-install dialogue? You’ve been able to drag and drop into the font folder (or ctrl-x ctrl-v for the mouseless among us) to install fonts since Windows 95. What part of using a modern Windows common file open dialogue box as a font install dialogue (which is presumably what people are requesting) would make this process better in any way?

    I imagine it only still exists as a backwards-compatibility kludge because some particularly idiosyncratic font management program works by opening the font window directly and simulating keystrokes or something — you know, the sort of thing Raymon Chen’s so good at describing.

  5. @sp.net: the /NOGUI switch isn’t on by default because it’s a no GUI boot screen, i.e. ABSOLUTELY NO GUI!! e.g. you schedule a CHKDSK for the next boot and that switch is on, you will not see any progress on screen and just that PNG because NOGUI means absolutely no GUI. some people will call you and tell you their system has frozen during startup. :P

    would’ve been nice if they made a special boot screen kinda like XP where you had the gradient at the top and bottom of the screen and still had live text in the middle. i also kinda saw that scenario as a great Safe Mode with Command Prompt replacement.

    dream on, right?

  6. Pingback: Windows Vista SP1
  7. @Long: The hibernation has the NOGUI picture plus “Resuming Windows” text and a nice looking animated progress bar. My guess is this is what MS originally wanted for the boot and making this an option (along with the pretty progress bar). For those who haven’t seen it, try it!

  8. Simon, you may be able to drag and drop fonts into the font folder… but to actually be able to select them for use in a program you must restart your computer… hence, font dialog. And, if you had half a brain… you would realize what the dialog is actually there for when installing fonts.

  9. I heard that the SP1 for Vista got delayed because Google threw tried to sue Microsoft because a security feature for the SP1 was incapatible for the google web site.

  10. >Simon, you may be able to drag and drop fonts into the font folder… but to actually be able to select
    >them for use in a program you must restart your computer… hence, font dialog. And, if you had half a
    >brain… you would realize what the dialog is actually there for when installing fonts.

    I find it amusing that you are so sure of your position that you feel you can accuse all who do not hold it of having “half a brain”, because it’s one that takes only a second or two to disprove. Try it: drag and drop some fonts into the font folder. Go on, try it. I’ll wait.

    Back now? Good. Did Windows install the fonts automatically when you dragged and dropped them into the font folder? Yes, it did, didn’t it. And was the result identical to if you had used the install font dialogue? Yes, it was, wasn’t it. Well, know you know; and in future try to test your hypotheses before flinging insults.

  11. In Vista, you don’t have to even drag and drop the font files. Just Right click the font file and select Install, The job is done.

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