I should add, if you're unable to answer those questions, here's another way of putting it:
What should we go try to test / break / abuse in Vista beta 2? I've got a machine all ready to find bugs. What *should* we be able to try at this point, and what would your team like to know from Windows-based digital musicians?
Steve, it's really exciting to me that you and the team at Microsoft are so committed to making Windows work better for those of us making music. (I don't like to say "pro audio", necessarily, because the weekend musician also wants reliable, plug-and-play,
low-latency audio performance.)
I'm still unclear on many things, however.
1. Will we be able to use WDM drivers on Vista and give up ASIO, or will we still need ASIO drivers for music work?
2. Will that require new drivers? What happens to our existing drivers?
3. Will Vista finally offer inter-application audio and/or MIDI without third-party software?
4. Will app levels and/or profiles (or whatever they're called) impact audio apps, so we could, say, easily mute other parts of the OS and running apps to avoid beeps sounding over our mix?
5. Will plug-and-play finally work right for MIDI and audio devices, or will we still experience the bugs we have in XP, where XP "forgets" USB MIDI keyboards and audio interfaces, runs into an arbitrary limit on the number of available devices in the Registry
because of legacy support, etc.? (I'm not saying that very well, but I think you know what I'm talking about.)
To be honest, the last point for me has been the deal-killing annoyance of XP. Once you install ASIO drivers, at least, XP does work for music production, but having to constantly reinstall drivers every time I plug in a USB MIDI keyboard gets pretty frustrating.