"Major Kernel Overhaul
Many users view Windows XP (and Windows 2000, and previous Windows versions) as unsafe. No matter how many patches and updates Microsoft releases, the foundation of the OS itself—the kernel—is designed and built in a way that prevents it from being truly secure. The only solution, it is argued, is to redesign and rebuild the kernel with a focus on security and stability.
Well, that’s exactly what Microsoft is doing with Vista. The whole kernel has been reorganized and rewritten to help prevent software from affecting the system in unsavory ways. In Vista, it should be much more difficult for unauthorized programs (like Viruses and Trojans) to affect the core of the OS and secretly harm your system.
That’s not all, of course. Microsoft has made it their aim to make life easier on developers by improving and simplifying the way software interfaces with the system and the underlying hardware. Naturally, performance has been a major concern, too.
Read the rest here
Sam White (Moderator): Hello everyone. We will be getting started in about 15 minutes. In the meantime, just hang in there.
Sam White (Moderator): I’m going to open up the chat for questions. You can start submitting them now.
Sam White (Moderator): Hello everyone and thanks for coming out to the chat today. We have members of the Windows Sidebar Team to answer your questions. I’m Sam White and I work on the Windows Beta team and I will be the chat moderator today. Don’t forget to hang around until the end. I’ll have a random drawing for some swag. You have to be here to win.
Bruce Williams (Expert): Howdy, I’m a test developer for sidebar. Among other things, I test the sidebar object model that we expose to the gadget’s DHTML script.
Shawn Morrissey (Expert): Hi Everyone. I’m Shawn Morrissey, a program manager on the Sidebar team. I’m responsible for the gadgets that will ship with Vista. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today.
Jeff Tretheway (Expert): Jeff Tretheway. Test Manager for Sidebar.
Brian Teutsch (Expert): Hi, I’m the PM responsible for actually creating gadgets – DHTML usage, our OM, the gadget manifest, and so on.
David Streams (Expert): Welcome. I’m the group program manager for Sidebar and looking forward to hearing your questions and feedback on the product.
Mindy Martin (Expert): Greetings, I’m Mindy Martin. I’m a program manager on the Sidebar team resposnsible for partner relationships.
Read the entire Chat Transcript here
"Microsoft Windows Vista™ is designed to dramatically improve the computing experience of every kind of PC user—from people at home who use their PC for simple web browsing, to business people who must organize and act on large volumes of data, to scientists who routinely perform complex mathematical analysis. To make sure that everyone has an offering tailored to meet their specific needs, Microsoft will deliver five different versions of Windows Vista. Each version is focused on the needs of a specific type of person."
REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 26, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the product lineup of its upcoming Windows Vista™ operating system. Scheduled for release later this year, the Microsoft® Windows Vista product lineup will bring clarity to customers’ digital world by helping them easily accomplish everyday tasks, instantly find what they want, enjoy the latest in entertainment, improve the safety of their personal information, stay connected at home or on the go, and help ensure PCs are up-to-date, more secure and running smoothly.
The Windows Vista product lineup consists of six versions, two for businesses, three for consumers, and one for emerging markets: Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Enterprise, Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Ultimate and Windows Vista Starter. The number of offerings is the same as the number of offerings currently available for Windows® XP. More important, the lineup is designed to deliver clear value to a broad range of customers, each product tailored to meet specific needs of various segments of customers — home PC users, small and medium-sized businesses and the largest enterprises — and is aimed at bringing 64-bit, Media Center and Tablet PC functionality into the mainstream.
“We live in a digital world that is filled with more information, more things to do and more ways to communicate with others than ever,” said Mike Sievert, corporate vice president of Windows Product Management and Marketing at Microsoft. “The PC needs to give people the clarity and confidence to handle this ‘world of more’ so they can focus on what’s most important to them. With our Windows Vista product line, we’ve streamlined and tailored our product lineup to provide what our customers want for today’s computing needs.”
The Editions of Windows Vista are:
1. Starter Edition
2. Home Basic
3. Home Premium
Read more about the Editions of Windows Vista that will be available here
"Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you probably know that the latest version of Windows–called Vista–is due to hit store shelves later this year (in time for the holidays, Microsoft tells us). The successor to Windows XP offers a little something for everyone, from eye-catching graphics and new bundled applications to more-rigorous security. In fact, there is so much in the new operating system that it can be tough to get a handle on it all.
Here’s what to be excited about:
1. Security, security, security: Windows XP Service Pack 2 patched a lot of holes, but Vista takes security to the next level. There are literally too many changes to list here, from the bidirectional software firewall that monitors inbound and outbound traffic to Windows Services Hardening, which prevents obscure background processes from being hijacked and changing your system. There’s also full-disk encryption, which prevents thieves from accessing your data, even if they steal the PC out from under your nose.
Perhaps most crucial (and least sexy) is the long-overdue User Account Protection, which invokes administrator privileges as needed, such as during driver updates or software installations. UAP makes it much more convenient for users to operate Vista with limited rights (meaning the system won’t let them do certain things, like load software, without clearance from an administrator). This in turn limits the ability of malware to hose your system.
2. Internet Explorer 7: IE gets a much-needed, Firefox-inspired makeover, complete with tabbed pages and better privacy management. There’s also the color-coded Address Bar that lets you know if a page is secured by a digital key, or, thanks to new antiphishing features, if it’s a phony Web site just looking to steal information about you.
These features will all be available for Windows XP users who download IE7. But Vista users get an important extra level of protection: IE7 on Vista will run in what Microsoft calls "protected mode"–a limited-rights mode that prevents third-party code from reaching your system. It’s about darn time.
Read the other 8 here