Microsoft has used the latest Community Technology Preview (CTP) test version of its forthcoming Windows Vista to highlight new features for enterprises.
The software giant has mainly focused on the consumer features in Windows Vista, but Brad Goldberg, general manager for Windows client product management, said in a conference call with journalists that Vista also provides new features for enterprise users.
"The perception was created that Windows Vista is a consumer release. While there is a lot of cool stuff for consumers, Windows Vista is as much if not more a business focused release that will provide tremendous value for business customers."
The Vista beta is currently "feature complete" and Microsoft will not add any new functionality. The enterprise-themed CTP is mostly intended to channel feedback. Microsoft intends to release an end user oriented CTP in the second quarter of 2006.
Enterprise users will be primarily attracted to Vista's new security features, Goldberg predicted.
He touted the enhanced security offered by the forthcoming Internet Explorer 7, which will be launched independently of Windows Vista.
As previously announced, the operating system will also make it easier for users to work effectively in standard rather than administrator mode.
About 80 per cent of enterprise users currently run in administrator mode because it allows them to install drivers and change certain settings such as time zones. But spyware and other malware can use these increased privileges to perform malicious tasks.
"We are hoping in Windows Vista to dramatically drive this number down so that most tasks can be completed in standard mode," Goldberg said. "User account control will be one of the most valuable areas for enterprises."
But the feature will pose a challenge to IT administrators looking to upgrade, Goldberg warned, as they will need to test custom applications to ensure that they function properly in standard user mode.
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