Again, a new build.

Windows Vista build 5472 is the second interim build released since Beta 2 (see my review) and like its predecessor, build 5456 (see my overview and screenshot gallery), it doesn't really offer much in the way of new features. Indeed, build 5472 is even more lacking in "newness" than is build 5456: Most of what we see here involves improvements to the overall fit and finish of the product.

I won't be issuing a full review of this build, since it's basically Beta 2 with some small improvements. In several hours of testing, I haven't seen anything dramatic: Some new icons (especially in Setup), a new desktop wallpaper, and so forth.

What this build does include is the new Windows Vista Basic user interface, which dispenses with the ugliness of this UI in previous builds and provides something that is very much like Windows Aero, albeit without any of the translucencies and other goodness. It also has slightly updated User Account Control (UAC) behavior: When a UAP alert occurs, the notification window minimizes to the taskbar and doesn't lock up the screen until you deal with it. This makes UAP harder to "find" because the effect is more subtle, but the overall impact is far less jarring and annoying. Also, the new Aero mouse cursor is enabled by default.

I can't tell yet whether this build is more refined or any faster than build 5456. Some things, certainly, are better: In build 5456, Explorer windows were often stuck in a reverse alphabetical order that couldn't be fixed. Now, they work right again, as you'd expect. Performance feels on par with build 5456, though installation was quite a bit slower.

Overall, build 5472 looks solid. As with build 5456, I'll be using this as my sole OS going forward, and it's interesting how much more possible it is to do this than was the case with Beta 2, which performed horribly on my desktop and notebook systems. Things have definitely taken a turn for the better. If I find out anything else interesting about this build, I'll update this page. For now, however, I intend to just use the thing and see how it performs. So far, so good.