For this build I broke with tradition and performed an in place upgrade rather than a clean install. As 5472 should not be too different from 5456 then I thought it would be safe to do so.
During the initial stages the compatibility check found that the installed driver for the onboard Intel 2100B wireless was incompatible so recommended visiting Windows Update after
the install was complete to get an updated driver. A minor inconvenience at most and only because I had to move from one side of the room to the other to connect the Tablet to the
network via a cable.
The upgrade kicked off and then bedtime arrived so I left it to it's own devices. The first thing I immediately noticed was something I bugged about ages ago in the heady days of Beta 1: the on-screen keyboard on the login/welcome screen has finally been resized. The individual keys have been enlarged so that it's not such a fiddly process to log on using the stylus - thanks for listening Microsoft!
Another thing to greet me this morning was a message advising that the database format in Windows Mail has been updated and is no longer compatible with the old version. It advises that any old items are placed in to a folder called "Recovered Folders" (shades of Outlook Express there). You could not continue past this until clicking OK on the warning dialog. They've made sure you see it!
After logging in I immediately went to Windows Update to reinstall the drivers for the Intel Wireless adapter but received an "Update failed" message because other updates were already being installed. It appears that as long as you are connected to the web Windows Defender will dutifully nip off and get the latest definitions without you having to ask. After this the wireless drivers installed without a hitch.
One casualty of the upgrade was Network Associates VirusScan Enterprise. Whilst apparently still present there is no functionality and will need a reinstall. It's a shame that this wasn't flagged by the compatibility check if there is some kind of issue.
Build 5472 DOES include the new, blue Vista Basic theme which is certainly a lot more pleasant to look at than the "slate grey" from previous builds.
My initial fears, however, were indeed confirmed. It just looks "odd" with the taskbar and start menu in the Vista black but the rest of the Windows in the new pastel blue. Particularly annoying is Windows Media Player: this just look so wrong with a blue frame!
Office 2007 fits in when using its own blue theme.
Also on the visuals front, it's nice to see that the Aero mouse pointer scheme is on by default. This was present in 5456 but you had to select it. What's so great about mouse pointers? Not much, but it creates a sense of consistency throughout the OS. The "working" pointer matches the "busy" icon on tabs in IE. This busy motif has also now been included on
the Welcome screen when logging in. It all helps to create a nice feel to Vista.
We are also seeing some additional new icons in various places which all improve the fit and finish.
As previously reported, the Network Center received an overhaul in build 5456 but there were still a few issues. The most noticeable improvement in build 5472 is that the Network Map functionality now works properly and correctly recognises the various components of your network such as switches - pretty cool!
You also now get to chose the icon with which to represent each network connection when you first connect.
In build 5456 the Windows Search engine did not appear to index OneNote files correctly but this now seems to have been resolved in the new build which is great news. Now there really is no reason for me to go back to XP on the Tablet. It's also reassuring that Windows Journal is as smooth and responsive as ever.
We were promised good things with regards to performance in this build and, while it will never be jet propelled on my Tablet (a measly 1GHz processor), I must admit that build 5472 seems to be really smooth and responsive. I agree with SideBar Geek
that the Photo Gallery does seem a little bit sluggish but once it is up and running the image previews pop up with absolutely no delay.