Today I switched to Vista (and how you can get a Windows Live Messenger Beta invite)

(Update: All my Beta invites are spoken for. If I get more, we’ll have another runoff. Thanks!)

I’m a huge believer in “dogfooding” our own products. After my friend Harry (who runs the Windows Vista demo lab) moved his own home PC to the December CTP (Customer Technology Preview), I decided to take this integrated build thing for a spin.

You see, for “the field” at Microsoft (that’s what we call the subsidiary offices), they also need to be able to show Vista to customers. Of course, they have all sorts of different hardware, so creating a master demo image can be a pain. With Vista, the drivers are “abstracted” from the core OS – the result is that you can build a single image and deploy it on multiple PCs of different types and in most cases, no additional drivers are required.

In my case, I run an Intel D865PERL mobo and P4HT processor w/ a mix of SATA and IDE drives and the like. Vista recognized everything, including the ATI Theater 550 and Hauppauge TV tuner boards. It set up no sweat, off of the demo disc Harry gave me. Sure, there is the occasional bug and performance optimizations haven’t started yet, but it’s looking pretty good.

I have a raft of feedback for my team on areas we can provide fit and finish. Overall though, I’m finding it really hard to go back to Windows XP and WMP10 on my freshly installed dual-boot system. WMP11 is sooo much better. Sidebar is really coming along as well (I know I’m teasing- good things come to those who wait!)

Want to do a little dogfooding yourself? I have 9 invites to Windows Live Messenger (formerly MSN Messenger) top 9 answers for why you’d make a good beta tester (pictures may be submitted via email) will get the invites.

Oh and in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve switched my photoblog to Flickr – I’m sean_alexander there. Gosh I love that service, more on that another time. Now we need a totally tricked out Flickr screensaver (I was unimpressed by Slickr, sorry). We also need a general tag/cropping mechanism for display on 16:9/16:10 displays (most widescreen PC monitors are 16:10 <g>).

17 responses to “Today I switched to Vista (and how you can get a Windows Live Messenger Beta invite)”

  1. I would make a good dogfooding tester because I’m the first one to make a comment. But in all seriousness, I would like to take it for a spin. I hope that it will soon integrate with XBox 360 Live. And of course maybe some sort of integration with my Windows Media Center box.

    Small rant: Will Windows Live Messenger finally eliminate the two apps for one job situation (MSN Messenger + Windows Messenger)? Or will we now have "Windows Live Messenger" and "Windows Messenger" (just one word distinguishes the two)?

  2. I would make a good beta tester because: I am on my Windows Communicator & Messenger almost all the time when my notebook is on. I know it’s lame, but hey, if no one ask for it, I want one too…

  3. I would make a good beta tester cause I know how to screw up a system pretty good. I am a clutz and always have to reinstall my system atleast once a month cause I tinkered with it way too much. The good thing is that I know how to make sure it does run perfect but where is the fun in that? I also have experience with beta testing before.

  4. I believe I would make a good tester, since I don’t like MSN Messenger at all! I would *like* to like it, but the GUI is just too bloated. Because of this, I’m currently using Miranda, but I still miss some of the features in Messenger.
    Thus, by testing Live Messenger I would be experiencing it as a pretty new user, and view it with fresh eyes.

  5. "…In my case, I run an Intel D865PERL mobo "
    I have the exact same mobo and vista couldn’t recognize the onboard audio….

    How did you get past this? I am curious because I really want

  6. I would make a good beta tester because I think outside of the box and My biggest weakness is I am too hard on myself. I’ll take cheesey interview answers for $1000 Alex 🙂

  7. I have several reasons why I think I would be great for the beta test.

    1. I run on many different platforms including OS X (Powerbook), OS X (Dual G5), Several Windows XP SP2 machines, Windows XP Media Center 2005 SP2, Windows 2003 Small Business Server (not sure I need to continue) but overall I am a great users of computers with a wide range of hardware that I work on.

    2. I am a former PM in the Digital Media Group at Microsoft and have some great experience running dogfood (and would love to run Vista dogfood as well).

    3. My wife works at Microsoft as an Financial Analysis in the Xbox group (Cost of Goods Sold for Xbox 360).

    4. I used to be "ONLY" Windows guy and recently have moved to using a Mac. I may be getting a new MacBook Pro in Feburary.

    5. Tired of the Messenger for OS X (as I am not sure but I would home that the new messenger would run in Firefox or Safari).

    Not sure if I need to go on as I could be here all day.

    Thanks Sean and keep up the good work!


  8. I would be a good beta tester as I’m always online.

    I’m working as a programmer and I always like to test out new stuffs.

    Good work here.

    Thank you.

  9. Hi

    I would be an excellent dogfooder for the following reasons:
    1.- it would look cool with my vista toshiba m4 and office 12!!
    2.- I have been doogfooding office, vista, windows 5 (aka magneto) vsto 2005 and yes vs 2005, win 2003, halo 2, you name it!!
    3.- it’s always a nice thing to show the customers, the whole new package
    4.- I’m a big supporter & fan of (currently dogfooding!)
    5.- it’s tempting to upgrade from ctp 5270 to 5286 and see what happens!!
    6.- getting my hands on dogfooding off12 b2 in just a few more weeks!!

    any more reasons?

  10. Good Evening =)

    I would be a good beta tester because…

    1) Offically on the beta for vista and a few other goodies due out in the near future;

    2) Been living for about 2 weeks now on 4 boxes across three browsers;

    3) Worked professionally in a QA role in the past;

    4) Essentially still do (Security consultant);

    5) I’m always keen to do scenario testing;



  11. I also wrote a Flickr Screensaver.

    I’ll be honest, I don’t think its that much different from Slickr, and its certainly no ‘vista killa app’.


  12. OK, finally got round to trying Slickr. I think my screensaver is sufficiently different to be worth a try, so please feel free to give it a try.

  13. Andre- try Windows Update and see if you get an updated driver. Otherwise, try the existing driver from Intel’s site. The audio chipset is an Analog Devices integrated sound card.

  14. Hi,
    I’m Saira….I am using Windows Live Messenger Beta which is amazing….I did not got Windows Live Mail Invitation….so plz Invite me for Windows Live Mail Beta.
    I’ll be very thankful to you.
    Ok bye
    Take Care

  15. * Found recall-class bugs in the (intended) final builds of Windows XP SP1 and Office XP (which both had to be fixed).
    * 7 or so Microsoft ship-its as a PM
    * Probably found more bugs in WMP library than anyone else
    * Run with non-US English settings which always seems to turn up major bugs (crashes, timezone/daylight issues, formatting problems, keyboard incompatibility)

  16. Hi, im stephen from dublin and i’d make a great beta tester coz im desperate and wud do absolutley anything to get it!!! Please answer back via e-mail asap coz i need help!!!

  17. hi,
    i dont have the invitation for windows live messenger.if some one have the invitation plz send me at my email email address is