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Saturday January 7, 2006 3:31 pm

Live From CES: Hands On With Vista—Windows and Gaming, System Performance

Posted by Chris Cardinal Categories: CES, CES 2006, Software

Windows Vista Alt Tab

Another interesting aspect of the forthcoming Windows Vista is how closely integrated it will be with your gaming experience. Games are now installed and tracked as their own element, complete with metadata that allows them to be sorted and managed better. By going to the Games menu in Windows, you’ll be able to quickly jump to the manufacturer’s support page, see installation details and quickly launch into your games. It’s not terribly exciting or even all that different, but it allows Windows to maintain a firm grip on parental controls with games, restricting play to games installed and approved through the system. This sort of tight integration with the OS makes me wonder if its extensibility might allow for more severe DRM and copy-protection schemes. Microsoft says they have legacy metadata for more than 2,000 games, and most developers will be including the small amount of metadata that will let them take advantage of the system. (And for those of you wondering, the picture is a shot of the advanced, DirectX 9-based application switching animations in Vista. We’ll likely have more on the graphical improvements in a later post.)

Check after the jump for a quick look at Microsoft’s new method to measure system performance, and some of the enhancements we found in the System Properties console.

Another interesting element is Microsoft’s hope for a transition towards a single numerical representation of system performance. Instead of a game requiring a 2.4 GHz AMD chip with 2 GB of DDR2, you’ll just require a “6” rated machine. Windows will examine your hardware configuration and give you a rating. If you choose, you’ll be able to see which games will work best on your configuration as well. Even better, the more advanced system properties console looks to be something that very intelligently looks for what problems might be slowing down your system’s performance.

We saw a few examples like “Certain programs that run at startup may be causing your performance to suffer. Click here to see what you can do about it.” It shows that Vista will hopefully be lookng at ways to proactively improve performance and remove the bottlenecks that begin to plague a system a few months into an install.

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