Monday, December 17, 2007

Microsoft Download Center Beta

While trying to download .NET 3.5 Power Toys, I suddenly had a very obtrusive pop up window thrown at my face, saying that I had been "randomly chosen" to experience the Beta version of Microsoft Download Center. I accepted the offer immediately and was soon taken to a page that checked whether my browser would support all the features of this preview. I keep my browser updated, and had the Silverlight plugin installed so I passed the tests easily. Below is the screen-shot of this test page ...

MS 02

The ball in the mid-right part of the page is a visual treat, rendered with silverlight. You got to see to believe the capabilities of Silverlight, but my CPU usage shoots up to around 30% for this alone.

Upon hitting the continue button, I was taken to the actual Beta page, which looked great but took a lot of time to load. Around a minute only to load the page. I am sure this would not be there in the final version. Here is the screen-shot of the beta page ...

Microsoft Download Center

The top banner displaying IE 7, is actually a slide show with 3 different pictures. I am sure, there are some other improvements too, but visually it is a treat to watch. Of course there are a few glitches, but I guess they would be taken care of in the release version.

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