Windows Vista

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					Last week I promised that I'd take a look at the new version of Windows that is
currently under development, Windows Vista. Not wanting to disappoint, I will today
be taking a look at the latest preview build (5231) that was released to beta testers a
few days ago. Windows Vista (formally codenamed 'Longhorn') was originally
envisioned as a minor upgrade to Windows XP designed more as a stopgap although
as work progressed on the Operating System it took the shape of an all encompassing
major upgrade. Let us take a look at some of the new features this Operating System
will offer although please do bear in mind that the finished version is over a year
away yet so obviously features are subject to change.

New look - Windows new look and feel is known as "Aero" which on suitably
equipped machines will use the PC's 3D accelerator to create a glass effect that will
make the Windows visual experience deeper and more engaging. A downside to this
effect is that it will require some pretty beefy hardware to create although on less
powerful machines you will be able to go back to the classic Windows look

Security - This is being touted as the big improvement over previous versions of
Windows and Microsoft is confident that they have truly got it right this time around.
Windows XP if you will remember was riddled with massive security vulnerabilities
when it first released and it took the release of two service packs to get it up to
anywhere near a decent standard. Obviously there is plenty happening behind the
scenes to protect you from security vulnerabilities but since the majority won't be
aware of any of this background work we should focus on the things that will make a
difference in the way you use the computer day to day. Notable features include a
firewall that will protect against unauthorised outbound activity in addition to the
current ability to protect against inbound connections, parents will be able to set up
parental controls to restrict what their children access and the OS should be able to
prevent the installation of malicious software by using restricted access user accounts
for day to day activities. The in-built e-mail client will provide anti-spam facilities as
standard and Microsoft is planning to offer an anti-virus and anti-spyware
subscription service although I would have personally liked to have seen this included
as standard in the OS.

Internet Explorer - Windows Vista will include Internet Explorer 7 which is the
replacement for the now four year old Internet Explorer 6. Although IE7 will be
available for Windows XP eventually will be standard in Vista. As Microsoft is facing
heavy competition from third party alternatives such as "Firefox" we should expect
IE7 to be vast improvement although I think it is unlikely that they will think up
anything original but just rip the best bits out of Firefox. For example, IE7 will
support tabbed browsing and a built in RSS reader both of which Firefox has always
included from the start. Security is again paramount in the new version of IE as it will
include a protected mode to prevents Spyware and Malicious software from easily
entering your system as well as a "phishing filter" which will protect you from
fraudulent websites.
To summerise the new version of Windows looks as though it could be a worthy
upgrade to the current Windows XP although we'll have to wait until December 2006
to see everything that Microsoft has up their sleeves. Of course, there's a lot more that
I'd love to tell you about but unfortunately it's difficult to cover an entirely new
release of Windows in a 600 word article. For more information straight from the
horses mouth visit www.microsoft.com/windowsvista

				
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posted:1/26/2011
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