Microsoft Vista

Between now and the end of the first quarter, we’ll see releases of Microsoft Vista and Office 2007. A lot of words have been spilt in the press over the hardware requirements for Vista. Most of these words have been about Aero Glass, the new 3-d interface that makes overlapping windows on the screen partially transparent, as well as other things.
To see a bit of what Vista will do, visit the Microsoft Vista site. Click on the User Experience link at the top to see print screens of the new interface. In a recent presentation, the presenter referred to these features as “eye candy.” Other than the thumbnail images of pages that come up when you press Alt+Tab in the new version, he came up with very little productivity enhancement from the new interface.
Other features in Vista deserve a bit more consideration. The main features I think businesses will be interested in as of now are:

  • Bitlocker. In XP, it was possible to encrypt folders. Unfortunately, this was fairly easy to override. In Vista, bitlocker will encrypt the entire hard drive. Without a password, the drive appears empty to any operating system. I suppose it’s just a matter of time before this encryption is broken–just like any encryption–but by that time we’ll have bitlocker version 2.0.
  • Search. It’s possible to search for files on your local computer, including email, etc. with the enhanced search. It will be much faster than using the current Windows search. If you’ve loaded LookOut for Outlook 2003 (and if you haven’t, you should go to the Microsoft site, search for it, and load it), you can imagine what this is like.
  • Security. Most analysts are saying that security is better.

I’m loading Vista RC 1 on a new machine this weekend. I’ll let you know how it turns out.