Microsoft Windows Vista - A Progressive Wiew

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Retailers are expecting this year's holiday shopping season to be one of the best in recent years for PC sales, but consumers may want to think ahead as Microsoft Corp. (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) prepares to launch a new version of Windows in 2006.

Windows Vista, due out in the second half of next year, is the software giant's biggest upgrade since Windows XP was launched in 2001 and is designed to deliver better graphics, security and search features.

Such features, however, may also require users to consider buying a PC with more advanced, and costlier, hardware.

Microsoft and big personal computer manufacturers say that most PCs sold today will be able to upgrade smoothly to Windows Vista.

At the very least, they recommend that computer buyers purchase a PC with a "modern CPU" -- the central processing unit that crunches the computer's data -- which would translate into a chip that has a speed of at least 1.5 GHz.

Any computer meant to be upgraded to Windows Vista should also have at least 512 megabytes of RAM -- the memory used to run programs which most affects a PC's performance -- and a graphics card with enough dedicated memory to smoothly display complex graphics.

"The key thing to keep in mind is that Windows Vista is going to scale with the hardware," said Michael Burk, a product manager for Windows Vista, "when you buy a little more you're going get a little more."

Dell Inc. (DELL.O: Quote, Profile, Research), the world's biggest PC maker, is recommending two of its models -- a $1,750 desktop PC and a $2,700 laptop -- for Windows Vista on a section of its Web site http://www.dell.com/vista designed for the migration to the new operating system.

"We're starting to hear questions around what Vista is, when that is coming, and 'How do I get ready for Vista?'," said Sam Burd, Dell's director of client product marketing.

Apart from the raw computing requirements, Burd also recommended that users consider upgrading their monitors to larger, higher-resolution models -- a product line Dell is marketing aggressively -- that will also enhance the graphics capabilities available on Windows Vista.

NO REASON TO WAIT?

Despite some of the purchasing guidance provided by Microsoft and its hardware partners, some analysts say that there remains some risk that a segment of users will be disappointed by the upgrade if their current PCs aren't equipped to harness some Windows Vista's features.

"There's the risk of consumer dissatisfaction if the experience that some users get is different from their neighbor's PC," said Joe Wilcox, analyst at Jupiter Research.

Windows Vista will offer a new user interface option called "Aero Glass" that allows users to see faintly through translucent windows to information beneath. That feature is expected to require advance graphics hardware, but it is not a requirement for Windows Vista and can be turned off.

In fact, Windows Vista will be designed to automatically adjust its settings for weaker hardware.

That's why Wilcox recommends that users hold off on buying any laptops meant to be upgraded for Vista, since they often lack the powerful features of a desktop PC and are more expensive.

Although Microsoft hasn't indicated what different editions of Windows Vista will be offered -- Windows XP comes in several editions, including Home, Professional, Media Center and Tablet PC -- the company indicated that it would offer products more in line with users' needs.

"We haven't announced a formal lineup, but I think it's safe to say that customers will have an easier time choosing which version of Windows Vista works for them," said Microsoft's Burk.

Even so, the more difficult question of whether to buy a PC right now or wait until later next year looms large for most users.

Microsoft, however, has an answer to that on their Web page http://www.microsoft.com/technet/windowsvista/evaluate/hardware/ vistarpc.mspx for Windows Vista's hardware requirements: "There's No Reason to Wait."

Source Technews
Posted by Hunt3rke, Friday, November 18, 2005 11:04 AM | 1 comments |

Analysts Urge Caution on Windows Vista

Plan ahead and don't be quick to upgrade large installations, Gartner suggests.

A new research report by Gartner advises customers that they likely won't complete a full migration to Windows Vista until 2008, even though the next version of Microsoft's Windows client OS is scheduled to ship at the end of 2006.

However, Gartner does not advise holding off on Windows Vista upgrades until 2008, as some news outlets have reported, said Michael Silver, research vice president and co-author of the report "Ten Reasons You Should and Shouldn't Care about Microsoft's Windows Vista Client," in an interview Tuesday.

Silver said that if customers wait to adopt Windows Vista until 2008, it will take at least another year before they can fully deploy the operating system throughout their IT environment. Therefore, he said, he does not advise holding off on taking a look at Vista migration until 2008 because it will only delay the completion of the deployment process.

Deployment Takes Planning

It generally takes an organization 12 to 18 months to prepare for a widespread deployment of a new operating system, Silver said.

"If you don't start your testing until 2008, you won't deploy until 2009 or later. If I start testing when Windows Vista ships, I will probably be ready for 2008."

Silver and another Gartner analyst, Neil MacDonald, wrote the research report, which was released last week.

Silver acknowledged that customers running Windows XP have a little more time to upgrade to Vista than those running Windows 2000. Windows XP will continue to be supported by third-party application vendors and Microsoft for some time in the future. However, while companies still running Windows 2000 will have support from Microsoft until 2010, they may not have support for the OS from third-party application vendors that far into the future.

"If you're on Windows XP, you have more runway because you're on an OS that is not only supported by Microsoft but also all the applications vendors," Silver said. With Windows 2000, however, support from other software vendors has already "started to wane," he said.

"Even though Microsoft will give me security fixes until mid 2010, if I have business applications that are more critical, I need to accelerate a move off Windows 2000 at some point," Silver said.

Customer Concerns

Terry Byers, chief technology officer at Teleflora, a Microsoft customer in Los Angeles, said her company, which has about 700 employee desktops, is running on Windows XP Professional Edition and likely will upgrade to Windows Vista after the first cycle of patches to the OS are released.

"We let the product get stable and get some of the patches out of the way and then we do it," she said of her company's typical process for OS upgrades.

Byers added that when Vista comes out, the company likely will first upgrade employees who need to run a series of applications simultaneously on their desktops--such as those in IT or marketing--and then gradually update desktops of the entire company staff.

"It's not unusual for us to run in a mixed mode," she said. "The next time an OS comes out, I'm on it. But it might be three or four months for a lowest-level employee to be on it. We don't have any issues with that at all."

There are several things Microsoft can do to help encourage customers to upgrade to Windows Vista more quickly and efficiently, Gartner's Silver said. The company should not only ensure that two generations of its older products will run on Vista, but also that software vendors will support Vista with both older and current versions of their applications as quickly as possible.

Microsoft also should provide customers with testing tools to ensure that their applications will support Windows Vista, Silver said.
Posted by Hunt3rke, Thursday, November 17, 2005 1:10 AM | 67 comments |

Wait on Vista? That depends….

There is the old rule of thumb that says "never buy a car the first year it is introduced" and similarly, "don't buy an OS until after the first service pack ships," but waiting until 2008 to upgrade to an OS that ships in 2006 is ridiculous. (And the idea of waiting for the first service pack to ship is probably pretty dumb too.) Especially since we are now seeing glimpses of Vista and those glimpses do not indicate any overriding concerns about Vista's stability or performance. (I have not yet had the chance to look at Vista but I hope to soon.)

The idea that there are any IT shops still "downgrading" new hardware to Windows 98 is alarming — to say the least. There may be sound reasons for downgrading to Windows XP. In fact, Windows 98 was the only version of Windows from which I kept repeatedly downgrading. I wanted to like Windows 98, I really did, but Windows 98 (all flavors — 98/98se/Me) was always too unstable — and just too damned slow (compared to Windows 95, compared to Windows NT 4, compared to Windows 2000 — you name it.) The one great strength of Windows 98 that made me try it over and over again was Windows Update. Once Windows 2000 hit the streets — I never looked back.

Any IT shop not running Windows Server 2000 or better in its machine room needs new management. Period. And any shop not running Windows XP on the bulk of its client workstations today is crippling itself. Sure, there are still little pockets of Windows NT Server being run here and there — even in organizations with robust and security-conscious IT departments. The only way to shut these installations down is to implement security policies which cannot be supported under these legacy operating systems. The need for network security should trump all other concerns. In the enterprise, the stakes are simply too high.

There are certainly sound reasons for the enterprise to delay upgrading its OS of choice until the next lifecycle replacement of infrastructure hardware/software — even if this means downgrading newly purchased workstations to maintain a uniform client software "build," but this does not justify permitting two or three OS releases to go by without upgrading. The day it shipped, Windows XP was more stable and performed better than Windows 2000. Today, Windows XP (with SP2) is a dramatically better product than it was when it shipped in 2001. I am quite certain that it will be the same with Vista. Simply put, any IT department which does not upgrade its operating systems as well as its hardware on a three-to-five year lifecycle is stifling the ability of the enterprise to function efficiently. Further, any IT department running Windows 95/98/9se/Me on any workstation connected to its network is placing its enterprise at grave risk.

Reading Colin Barker's article "Gartner: Wait 'til '08 for Vista" brings another thought to mind. In fact, this may be the point of Gartner's comments …

The question of whether or not it is cost-effective to purchase upgrade licenses for Windows Vista needs to be considered. This is a different question than whether or not to continue to downgrade to Windows XP or before. As I said above, there may be sound reasons for downgrading to Windows XP (but probably not to Windows 2000) for some time after Vista ships.

At what point, though, does an IT shop decide to purchase upgrade licenses for a new OS? In an environment where a three-to-five year hardware lifecycle is the rule, and where the cost of the OS is bundled into the cost of the hardware, it is hard to justify spending as much as $100 per workstation (not to mention the man-hours involved) just to upgrade the OS. Even if Vista is a dramatically better product than XP, why buy an OS upgrade (and take the time to rebuild the machine) for a workstation that I am likely to replace next year? For many IT shops, the answer to the question above may be never.

Once Vista actually ships, IT shops should begin to evaluate it — and plan for its ultimate adoption. That adoption will most likely be gradual as servers are retired and replaced with new servers sold with Vista licenses. Adoption on the client side may also be gradual as client workstations are retired or en masse once a critical number of new client workstations have Vista licenses. At that point, taking the opportunity to upgrade from a legacy software "build" to a Vista "build" makes a lot more sense. In either event, the upgrade will not be immediate.

In the end, whether an IT department buys a Windows XP workstation today or a Windows 2003 server, Gartner's advice (if not their rationale) is sound — to wait until 2008, when you upgrade your hardware again, to upgrade to Vista. That is not to say that if you buy a new server a year from now (after Vista ships) that you should not consider using Vista. By all means, unless there is a good reason not to (such as legacy or mission-critical software incompatibility), you should move to Vista — but this need not be en masse and it need not be at added expense. All Gartner may be saying is that there is no compelling reason to spend money that you were not going to spend already making sure that you have Vista in your shop as soon as it ships.

Source ZdNet
Posted by Hunt3rke, Wednesday, November 16, 2005 8:13 AM | 2 comments |

Bridging the Windows Vista Graphics Gap

Graphics performance, which has long been an afterthought for most corporate PCs and many consumers, will move to the forefront with the launch of Windows Vista, Microsoft's next Windows operating system.

Vista, due late next year, will offer four different themes, including the well-publicized three-dimensional Aero Glass with transparent windows.

Starting with a Classic theme, which looks like Windows XP, each will offer successively more advanced features, also call for successively more powerful graphics.

Vista is expected to measure the graphics grunt available in a PC and automatically serve up the proper UI.

But what's still unclear is where many of today's PCs will fall on the Vista interface spectrum and thus how consumers and corporate buyers who wish to gain the most advanced features can get prepared.

Indeed, many of today's PCs' graphics processors, which are built into their chip sets or groups of enabling chips that help shuttle data inside a PC, are inherently unprepared, analysts say.

Designed more with costs in mind than performance, most are not expected to muster enough performance to make the cut for Aero Glass.

That means, short of a graphics upgrade, only a small number of consumer PCs and even fewer business machines purchased in the last year are likely to leap that hurdle.

That means businesses and consumers who are considering PC purchases, now, must plan accordingly if they wish to run Aero Glass.

"If you want the really sexy effects, that's not going to happen with most of the integrated graphics installed base," said Dean McCarron, analyst with Mercury Research Inc.

"If you want everything to work, you're always going to be safer buying toward the higher end."

Microsoft has yet to unveil Vista's official requirements. The company, which has said it would not finalize them until summer, has thus far recommended that customers who wish to upgrade and take full advantage of all Vista UI features purchase a machine with a discrete graphics card that supports its DirectX 9 graphics framework, Windows Display Driver Model, 32 bpp (bits per pixel) color depth, and which contains at least 64MB of graphics RAM.

It has further hinted that Vista technologies, such its Max user interface for Windows XP, should be used on PCs with at least a 2.4GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, and a graphics card capable of handling its Windows Presentation Foundation.

Such a card, the company says in an online FAQ, should be "the fastest PS 2.0 [Pixel Shader 2.0] card with the most memory your bank account can afford," such as ATI Technologies Inc.'s Radeon X800 or Nvidia Corp.'s GeForce FX 6800.

Most discrete graphics cards available now meet those Microsoft requirements.

A Microsoft spokesperson said the hardware guidelines for Windows Vista offered by the software are unchanged.

However, analysts say the cutoff point for running Aero Glass is likely to begin with only today's latest and thus highest performance integrated graphics chip sets, including models such as ATI Technologies Inc.'s Radeon XPress 200, Nvidia Corp.'s nForce4 and Intel Corp.'s Intel 945 Express, which arrived in desktop PCs last May and will ship for notebooks in January.

Not every company will choose to step up its hardware just to gain a flashier user interface.

For that matter, Windows Vista may not be adopted en masse until 2007 or 2008, by which time most integrated graphics processors, which are updated about once per year, should be capable of running Aero Glass.

However, given that many companies are now rolling out new PCs that they are likely to upgrade to Vista, analysts and industry executives say planning ahead is important.

To date, companies such as Intel have said little about which of their integrated graphics products can support all of Vista's different looks.

Intel's 945 chip set will support the three-dimensional aspects of the Aero interface, a source familiar with its hardware confirmed.

The chip set's successor, Broadwater, will also support do the same when it comes out in the middle of 2006, the source added.

An Intel spokesperson said the chip maker has been working closely with Microsoft when it comes to Vista's graphics needs.

However, he declined to elaborate on the way each of Intel's integrated graphics chip sets, which are used widely by PC makers, would support the forthcoming OS.

At the moment, ATI Technologies' Radeon Xpress X200 chip set with integrated graphics is also capable of running Aero Glass, today, a company executive confirmed.

However, he said that customers will have to determine whether or not it does so with acceptable performance.

"There is a big debate about whether you need discrete graphics or whether or not integrated graphics are good enough. If you have discrete graphics, it's going to be more likely that you can run Vista [Aero Glass UI] and run it well," said Ben Bar Haim, vice president of software for ATI.

"If you move into integrated, there are more question marks. I don't think anybody is going to be able to tell you integrated is not able to do it," he said.

But, for example, a "discrete [graphics] card may be able to open 10 [Aero Glass] windows and move them around with no problem," Bar Haim said.

But, "With integrated, you may be able to open four, but see a noticeable performance hit with five. It does come down to personal preference."

ATI, in what it says is an effort to help educate the market, has sponsored a PC graphics white paper written by International Data Corp.

The paper says that the use of high-performance PC graphics will become more widespread over the next three to five years and those companies must plan ahead for Vista.

"I think there is a lot of confusion in the market and we tried to go out and clarify it" with the paper, Bar Haim said.

Basic graphics have been "good enough" for the vast majority of users, he said.

However, Vista's promised increases in productivity and stability cannot be attained with good enough graphics.

"That, to us, is a huge inflection point in the industry," he said.

Analysts say that forward-looking buyers should, at a minimum, ensure the desktops they are evaluating have a free AGP or a PCI-Express slot, which can accommodate an add-in graphics card.

Many consumer and corporate desktops that ship with integrated graphics chip sets offer the extra slot, although some less expensive models do not.

Graphics cards for desktops generally retail for between as little as about $50 to about $500.

When offered as factory upgrades, they generally add somewhere between about $50 and $300 to the purchase price of new machine.

Notebook PCs' graphics are trickier as the vast majority of new machines' graphics are not upgradeable.

Most of the machines use integrated graphics for packaging and battery life considerations and those graphics, as is the case with Intel's mobile 945 Express, are typically six months to a year behind their desktop counterparts.

Models that are more focused on performance and less on cost and battery life sometimes offer discrete graphics.

They are likely to have better graphics performance, making them more likely to be able to run Vista Aero Glass, analysts say.

But ATI is also preparing a compromise position, in which it will offer graphics cards no onboard memory in an effort to cut the price to upgrade a desktop to discrete graphics.

Although price will vary by manufacturer, Bar Heim indicated forthcoming ATI Hyper Memory cards, which will have no onboard memory, could significantly reduce cost of a low-price graphics card upgrade, yet run Vista's Aero Glass more effectively than integrated graphics.

He declined to offer more information about the cards, which will use a PCI-Express connection and PCs' main memory for frame buffer.

Nvidia is already offering similar cards. Using a feature it calls TurboCache, they employs a small amount of onboard memory and take advantage of a PC's main memory for the rest of their allotment.

Hewlett-Packard Co., for one, offers a GeForce 6200SE as a $60 upgrade on some consumer-oriented HP Pavilion desktops sold via its HPShopping site.

"If [prospective buyers] care about graphics performance, a graphics upgrade, even an inexpensive one, is going to make a significant difference," McCarron said.

Inexpensive graphics card upgrades may not sway all corporate buyers, however.

It "will result in some incremental sales [for graphics cards]," McCarron predicted. "But, right now, I'm not expecting wholesale changes in the mix of discrete versus integrated graphics."

Ultimately, buyers need to determine if upgrading to Windows Vista is a priority.

"If the answer is 'yes,' then keep in mind you're going to need some more advanced hardware," he said.

Source eweek.com
Posted by Hunt3rke, 3:51 AM | 0 comments |

Gartner: Ignore Windows Vista until 2008

There is no compelling reason to rush into upgrading to the next version of Windows, says Gartner

Companies shouldn't rush to upgrade to Microsoft Windows Vista, according to analysts at Gartner, who believe most firms could safely hold back until 2008.

The majority of improvements in Vista will be security-related and most of this functionality "is available via third-party products today", Gartner claimed in a research note published on Friday.

While Vista will feature "offer incremental, evolutionary improvements" over its predecessors, XP users should "pursue a strategy of managed diversity" only bringing in Vista on new machines and not until 2008, the analysts recommend.

In its research note, Ten reasons you should and shouldn't care about Microsoft's Windows Vista client, Gartner highlights some of the weaknesses in Microsoft's platform strategy.

Internet Explorer (IE) 7 will have many security improvements "to stem defections from IE to Firefox" and "has been accelerated" to be delivered in early 2006. But the "important ability to restrict some browser activities to a lower privileged process" will not be available because it requires Vista functionality," cautioned Gartner.

The analysts acknowledged that companies who use IE7 and Vista will have fewer points of weakness.

Also on the security issue, the Windows Vista personal firewall is better than the one included in XP Service Pack 2, Gartner acknowledged, and will, crucially, improve security on inbound and outbound traffic — a particular issue with laptops. But, the analysts say, users should already have "a more than capable" firewall on their laptops anyway.




Another Vista feature that Microsoft is emphasising is its search capabilities. "Search is slow in Windows XP and files, email and calendar objects cannot be found with a single search." While Microsoft has tried to remedy this in Vista, "competent third-party desktop tools are already available" from companies like Google, Gartner pointed out.

I don't wait until 2008.

Source Zdnet
Posted by Hunt3rke, Friday, November 11, 2005 8:46 AM | 1 comments |

Windows Vista Beta 2 Delayed???

Windows Vista, scheduled for release late next year, is about to be delayed once again. Sources inside Microsoft are telling Paul Thurrott that Vista Beta 2 will be delayed from December 7 to sometime early next year, possibly as late as February. However, instead of pushing the final release date back further due to time constraints, they plan to eliminate one of the planned release candidates.

Thurrott’s sources also noted that the company is still on track for shipping Vista late 2006 stating, “We are on schedule and committed to shipping on time and ensuring a high-quality product. Microsoft sets internal targets for the development team around milestones, but these are not commitments to specific dates. We do not comment on these internal milestones and we have not announced a specific timeframe for our next major Windows Vista milestone.”

There is no current information whether the delay will affect related products, expected to be released around the same time as Windows Vista Beta 2, Internet Explorer (IE) 7 Beta 2 and Windows Media Player 11 Beta 1, both of which were originally scheduled for a December 7 public release.
Posted by Hunt3rke, 8:33 AM | 0 comments |

Longhorn Transformation Pack 10.5 (Description)

Want to change the looks of your Windows XP and make it look like the upcoming Microsoft Longhorn?

This is another brand new release of the one and only Longhorn Transformation Pack.

This small piece of software will transform your Windows XP (and SP2) or Windows Server 2003 into the best looking Longhorn port that is available right now, without any extra software!

Requirements:
Windows XP (SP1/SP2) or Windows 2003

What's New in This Release:

-Added "Automatic Transformation" and "I don't want to perform system files transforming" transforming mode options (Safemode required)
-Added Norton Antivirus 2005 compatibility support
-Added Uninstallation Mode like Transformation Mode for better way to handle each case
-Added Windows XP Service Pack 2 with Pre-SP3 uxtheme.dll hotfix patching support
-Fixed "Manual Transformation" to run in safe mode only
-Fixed invalid boot screen resources
-Fixed SideBar to have no transparency by default
-Removed obsolete 64-bit patched uxtheme.dll file
-Updated Aero Style 2.0 visual style
|-Fixed incorrent font name
|-Fixed wrong shellstyle folder name for Aero Style (Glass - Thin TaskBar)
|-Updated Aero Style (Glass)
||-5059 elements from WinHEC 2005 as listed below
|||-CaptionButton
|||-StartButton
|||-StartPanel
|||-TaskBarBackground
|||-TaskBarButton
||-Updated FrameMaximized to read CaptionText easier

Download link (http://www.softpedia.com/progDownload/Longhorn-Transformation-Pack-Download-2332.html)
Posted by Hunt3rke, Wednesday, November 09, 2005 8:20 AM | 0 comments |

First family of Windows Vista viruses unleashed

An Austrian hacker earned the dubious distinction of writing what are thought to be the first known viruses for Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Vista operating system. Written in July, the viruses take advantage of a new command shell, code-named Monad, that is included in the Windows Vista beta code.

The viruses were published last month in a virus-writing tutorial written for an underground hacker group calling itself the Ready Ranger Liberation Front, and take advantage of security vulnerabilities in the new command shell. Unlike the traditional Windows graphical user interface, which relies heavily on the mouse for navigation, command shells allow users to use powerful text-based commands, much like Windows’ predecessor, DOS.

The viruses were written by a hacker calling himself “Second Part To Hell,” and published on July 21, just days after Monad was publicly released by Microsoft, according to Mikko Hyppönen, chief research officer with Helsinki’s F-Secure Corp. Second Part To Hell is the pseudonym of an Austrian-based hacker who also goes by the name Mario, Hyppönen said.

Because of its sophistication, the new command shell offers new opportunities for hackers, Second Part To Hell wrote in the tutorial, a copy of which was obtained by the IDG News Service. “Monad will be like Linux’s BASH (Bourne Again Shell) — that means a great number of commands and functions,” he wrote. “We will be able to make as huge and complex scripts as we do in Linux.”

F-Secure has named the virus family Danom (Monad in reverse). After examining the code, Hyppönen said that the Danom family is disruptive, but not capable of causing significant damage to Windows users. “These are proof of concept viruses,” he said, “Where virus writers want to break new ground and write the first viruses for a new platform.”

Most security experts had not expected to see a Windows Vista virus so soon, Hyppönen said. “The only surprise here is that it came so early,” he said. “It’s been eight days since the beta of the operating system was out.” Monad was released several days prior to the Windows Vista beta.

Still, Danom’s release does raise questions about whether or not Microsoft should enable the Monad shell by default in Windows Vista.

Because Monad’s scripting capabilities will only be used by advanced users, Hyppönen believes Microsoft should not offer the software as part of the standard Windows Vista package when it becomes commercially available in the second half of 2006. This would make the software less prevalent, and therefore less attractive to virus writers, he said.

Microsoft “got burned,” by including similar software, called Windows Script Host, by default in its Windows 2000 operating system, he said. “Since it was on the system, all the virus writers were exploiting it,” he said.

Microsoft was unable to comment on this story at press time.

Macworld
Posted by Hunt3rke, 1:43 AM | 1 comments |

Windows Vista Anti Spyware .

Microsoft announced that it plans to bundle its Windows Anti-Spyware tool with Windows Vista, the company's Windows operating system.



Anti-Spyware will be included in the upcoming "Windows Vista", the new version of Microsoft Windows. Microsoft also renamed their antispyware title to "Windows Defender".

Windows Defender will be a substitute for anti-virus and spyware removal tool. However, the tool does not offer real time virus protection as other companies such as Norton or McAfee offer.

Microsoft hopes to ship anti-spyware and anti-virus, as "Windows Defender", using the Microsoft Update utility. The updater to Windows Defender will be available in January 06. The tool is best described as a malicious software removal tool, which is designed to help people clean up infections from some of the most pervasive bots, viruses, worms and rootkits.

The company is beta-testing its Windows OneCare product, which it will
eventually market as a service that provides a new firewall along with antivirus and anti-spyware services. No word yet on how it will be marketed or how much people would be asked to pay for updates.

While security is one of many areas of focus for Windows Vista, some users doubt that they will ever pay Microsoft to ship daily antivirus and antispyware updates using the Microsoft Windows Updater. Most people seem comfortable with 3rd party applications such as Norton or McAfee, but there are millions of people for whom that will.

Windows Defender will be part of Windows Vista, Microsoft's latest operating system scheduled for release next year. It will also be available to users of Windows XP, Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003.

Users will be able to disable it and use spyware software from a different vendor if they choose. Windows Security Center, which alerts users if they aren't running an antispyware program, will recognize third-party antispyware software.

Source GameSHOUT.com
Posted by Hunt3rke, Tuesday, November 08, 2005 11:20 PM | 0 comments |

Windows Vista Will Be a Success


It seems that Microsoft might have borrowed some sort of a marketing strategy from the gaming industry, where successive delays of a title make it even more appealing to gamers.

Windows Vista seems to fit that profile; any information announced by Microsoft, any beta or technology with the label: “Warning! It will be available in Windows Vista” is carefully analyzed, everybody hoping to figure out what are Microsoft’s plans for Windows Vista... By implementing this strategy, which seems to have intensified over the last period, Microsoft succeeds in keeping the users alert with a product nobody should care about until next year.

In a way, the history is repeating itself: practically, none of the past Windows releases lacked numerous controversies and gloomy predictions regarding Microsoft’s future. It’s true that this time there are more, smarter and more determined
competitors, but let’s face it, Microsoft has been around long enough to know how things work...

The recent reorganizing announced by Microsoft, Google’s fierce competition, the loss of the digital music battle with Apple, Windows Vista’s repeated release delays and other “details” make many wonder what does the future hold for the software giant. Or, to be more exact, what else does the future hold...

And if you want to find out why Windows Vista will be a success, despite any competition, think about the announcement made by Bill Gates, in which he revealed the strategy to be used by Microsoft for Windows Vista: a promoting budget of $100 million!

I must admit that I don’t know that much about advertising as to be able to tell if we are talking about a medium or a small budget; but, frankly, I can't recall a last time when a hardware or software company invested such an amount of money in the promotion of a single product...

What I do know is that a smart advertising agency (and you can say many things about McCann-Erickson, but determination and imagination is something they don’t lack), with $100 million on their hands, will be able to convince even the most fanatic Windows Vista opponent to at least try it, even if they have to pay him to do that!

In conclusion, the discussion whether Windows Vista is good or bad, whether it has all the features a user needs or whether the translucent interfaces are useful, will remain a discussion topic on the forums, once the amazing marketing beast controlled by Microsoft will be set in motion!

Is there any direct or indirect competitor to Microsoft able to match this marketing budget for their own product or for an alternative to Windows Vista? I sincerely doubt it!

Moreover, let’s not forget about the support Microsoft will get from PC producers, who are frightened that they might go bankrupt due to the avalanche of cell phones and other mobile devices...

Important hardware producers, like Lenovo for instance, which have started to promote Windows Vista ready notebooks, have already joined Microsoft in their 18 month struggle. It’s more than likely that in the period to come you will witness even more such marketing strategies.

Can you remember the last time you have bought a product just because you thought it was good, without viewing an ad, banner or any other form of advertising? If you don’t, then you’ll understand why thousands of users would migrate towards Windows Vista, regardless of its quality.

Microsoft wants to and should succeed; you will see in the months to come what is the true meaning of an IT giant's saying: "We'll do everything in our power and even more to ensure our products’ success!"


Source Softpedia
Posted by Hunt3rke, Monday, November 07, 2005 2:54 AM | 5 comments |

MSDN subscribers now have access to Microsoft Windows "Longhorn" Vista

MSDN subscribers now have access to Microsoft Windows "Longhorn" Vista Beta 1. All you need is a MSDN subscription (http://msdn.microsoft.com/subscriptions/) and you can get a working copy of MS Windows Vista Beta 1 to download and a working product key/serial too, but remember Microsoft is distributing this Vista Beta for testing purpose ONLY, you don't get rights to distribute/re-distribute the MS Windows Vista.
Posted by Hunt3rke, Sunday, November 06, 2005 7:10 AM | 0 comments |

Windows Vista to support Symbolic Links

Symbolic Links

In Vista/Longhorn server, the file system (NTFS) will start supporting a new filesystem object (examples of existing filesystem objects are files, folders etc.). This new object is a symbolic link. Think of a symbolic link as a pointer to another file system object (it can be a file, folder, shortcut or another symbolic link). So then you ask how is that different from a short-cut (the .lnk file)? Well, a shortcut will only work when used from within the Windows shell, it is a construct of the shell, and other apps don’t understand short-cuts. To other apps, short-cuts look just like a file. With symbolic links, this concept is taken and is implemented within the file system. Apps when they open a symbolic link will now open the target by default (i.e. what the link points to), unless they explicitly ask for the symbolic link itself to be opened. Note symbolic links are an NTFS feature.

Now why is this relevant to the SMB2 protocol? This is because, for symbolic links to behave correctly, they should be interpreted on the client side of a file sharing protocol (otherwise this can lead to security holes). SMB2 understands the concept of symbolic links and evaluates the links on the client. This is the support that is added in SMB2.0

Source Blog.technet.org
Posted by Hunt3rke, Friday, November 04, 2005 7:06 AM | 0 comments |