If you've been using the Windows Vista beta builds, especially on a dual-boot system, you've probably had to deal with bcdedit.exe, the replacement for the simple boot.ini file that exists in XP. According to Microsoft's FAQ on the subject, the following is the reason for the change:

BCD was created to provide an improved mechanism for describing boot configuration data. With the development of new firmware models (for example, the Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI)), an extensible and interoperable interface was required to abstract the underlying firmware. This new design provides the foundation for a variety of new features in Windows Vista (for example, the Startup Repair tool and Multi-User Install shortcuts).

That's all well and good, but it doesn't explain why it's such a dog to use. If you skim through the FAQ page, you'll see what I mean. It's a mess.

Well, some folks over at PROnetworks have created VistaBootPRO, a nice graphical frontend for bcdedit that's much more user-friendly and easy to use. A great tool to add to your Vista beta-testing arsenal. :)