Windows Vista

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Windows Vista
Version of Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows Vista wordmark.svg
OS familyWindows NT
Preliminary name
Architecturex86, x64
Latest build
Release date2007-01-30
Support end2017-04-11
Windows XP
Replaced by
Windows 7

Windows Vista is an operating system by Microsoft. It was released worldwide on January 30, 2007. It replaces Windows XP and was replaced by Windows 7. It reached RTM on 8 November 2006.

Development[edit | edit source]

The "Longhorn" project started in the earnest of May 2001, it was originally intended as a bridging release between Whistler and the later version of Windows codenamed Blackcomb. Over time, many features slated for Blackcomb became part of Longhorn, and employees jumped ship from other parts of the company. As its development progressed before the reset, Longhorn became a heavily bloated and unstable piece of vaporware. The first build to leak publicly was build 3683, which contained a new theme and also the foundations for Windows Future Storage (aka WinFS) and Avalon (which eventually transformed into the Windows Presentation Framework). Longhorn was intended to be an interim release but picked up many features slated for its successor.

Stability increasingly became an issue as development progressed, and very few builds were publicly released as a result (including the lack of Home Edition builds). Only two builds were distributed at conferences and to developers: build 4051 and build 4074. The last known confirmed build from before the development reset is build 4093. At 16:29, on the same day as the compilation of 4093, Microsoft reset the development of Windows Longhorn and started fresh using Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 as a codebase, starting the Omega-13 period. Immediate post-reset builds have been primarily focused on reintegrating features from the pre-reset builds while maintaining stability. Most of these builds are similar to Windows XP in the overall look and feel. Few builds from this stage of development have been released, officially or otherwise. Development of Longhorn continued, albeit many features originally slated for inclusion were delayed or dropped to provide a more realistic operating system. Examples of this include WinFS, and what would become Windows PowerShell.

In April 2005, a pre-beta build was released to testers (build 5048). This build showed the progress made since the reset and also proved much more stable than previous builds. Build 5112 (Beta 1) was released to the public soon afterward in July and showcased an early version of the Aero interface, as well as many stability improvements over XP. Later that year and the next year, many builds were released to testers in a public beta program. The final build that was pushed out to public preview testers was Release Candidate 2 (build 5744). The RTM build was build 6000.16386.

Editions[edit | edit source]

Windows Vista came in many editions. Unlike Windows XP, there was no special edition for Media Center and 64-bit capability, since these features were included in at least one of the consumer editions. Windows Vista also did not have an embedded version, perhaps due to the considerable grunt required to run optimally.

  • Starter: This edition is intended for emerging markets and low-cost PCs. As in XP, the three-program limit was there, and only 1GB RAM was accepted. Other software restrictions applied as well. This version is hence not available in 64-bit.
  • Home Basic: Found in low cost to mid-end, this version of Windows Vista does not fully have Aero (though it has DWM) and hence does not have effects like transparency and 3D Flip. Windows Media Center is also not present in this edition. Parental Controls are included, however. Unlike the Starter edition, it does not have the hardware and 3-program limit.
  • Home Premium: The consumer version of Windows Vista, this version includes full Aero functionality and Windows Media Center. It also includes Premium Games (eg - InkBall).
  • Business: The business-oriented version of Windows Vista, it contains several features like full RDP (client/host) capability, Group Policy, and domain joinability. However, Windows Media Center and Parental Controls are not included, and Premium Games are disabled by default.
  • Ultimate: The top consumer variant of Windows Vista, it is a merger of the features included Windows Vista Home Premium and Business. BitLocker is included in this version.
  • Enterprise: The business variant of Windows Vista. It is similar to Ultimate, but without Windows Media Center and includes enterprise-specific tools.

Sound scheme[edit | edit source]

  • No build of Windows Vista (including pre-reset) used or even included the widespread sound scheme that appears in several fanmade Longhorn/Vista themes, which was actually a sound scheme titled "Deep Fantasy" from NEO Sounds, a stock sound/music website. The Windows XP sounds remain in all pre-reset builds, with a few being swapped with Vista sounds between builds builds 5469 and 5840.16384.
  • The alleged Windows Vista "Beta 2" startup is taken from the Speech Recognition tutorial in build 5308.6 onwards (WELCOMESEQUENCE.WAV).

Builds[edit | edit source]

Milestone 3[edit | edit source]

Milestone 4[edit | edit source]

Milestone 5[edit | edit source]

Milestone 6[edit | edit source]

Milestone 7[edit | edit source]

Development reset[edit | edit source]

These builds are also referred to as Omega-13 builds.

Beta 1[edit | edit source]

Beta 2[edit | edit source]

Release Candidate 1[edit | edit source]

Release Candidate 2[edit | edit source]

Pre-RTM[edit | edit source]

RTM[edit | edit source]

Service Pack 1[edit | edit source]

Service Pack 2[edit | edit source]

Service Pack 2 Update[edit | edit source]