New versions of Windows are few and far between, but the Redmond machine is now preparing for Windows Vista which is billed as its most significant desktop release in a decade.
The IT industry has not seen this much hype over an operating system since the launch of Microsoft's last much delayed and much modified enterprise client OS, Windows 2000, on the cusp of the last millennium.
Windows 2000 was long previously known as NT5 and, like its predecessor, Vista was long known by another code name, in this case Longhorn. The newly released beta version indicates that Microsoft's biggest objectives with the upgrade are to improve security, deployment, manageability and performance.
The beta ships with Internet Explorer 7, which includes features to guard against spoofing and phishing attacks. Other security features include Windows Service Hardening, which monitors for abnormal activity in the file system and registry, full-volume disk encryption and support for Trusted Platform Module security chips. The firewall in Windows Vista has also been upgraded to filter outgoing as well as incoming traffic.
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