Windows Vista Beta 1 Ships

Microsoft has gone ahead with the first large scale test release of its Windows Vista operating system. The release, restricted to a small number of industry professionals will be the first milestone for the much delayed OS which officially received its name only last week.

This version of Vista, formerly known as Longhorn, is also referred to as Beta 1 and was delivered to about 10,000 professionals who, over the next few months, will try to spot weaknesses in the OS and will offer MS their feedback.

Beta 1 is not fully featured and instead focuses on some key points which Microsoft wants to stress test, including security, networking and practical aspects. The new OS will take a page out of Apple's MAC OS X book by restricting users to the bare necessities in order to carry out their work. The test version of Vista shipped with the much awaited Intenet Explorer 7, expected to be Microsoft's reply to the latest FireFox craze. Windows Vista is expected to replace Windows XP in late 2006. A full list of features of Beta 1 is available below:

Windows Vista beta 1 focuses on greatly improving the Windows' fundamentals - security, deployment, manageability and performance - so developers, IT professionals and end users can have more confidence in their PCs. Enhancements have been made in the following areas:

• Security. Windows Vista will deliver many new or improved security features that provide a usable, consistent and manageable experience in corporate, mobile and roaming environments, as well as in the home. Some examples of new security features in Windows Vista beta 1 include these:

• User Account Protection features enable administrators to deploy PCs set up to give end users only the privileges they need to perform their tasks. This bridges the gap between user and administrative privileges by running applications with limited permissions.

• Windows Service Hardening monitors critical Windows services for abnormal activity in the file system, registry and network that could be used to allow malware to persist on a machine or propagate to other machines.

• Anti-malware features detect and remove worms, viruses and other types of malicious software from the computer during an upgrade.

• Advanced data protection technologies reduce the risk that data on laptops or on other computers will be viewed by unauthorized users, even if the computer is lost or stolen. Windows Vista supports full-volume encryption to help prevent disk access to files by other operating systems. It also stores encryption keys in a Trusted Platform Model (TPM) v1.2 chip. The entire system partition is encrypted in both the hibernation file and the user data.

• Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 in Windows Vista Beta 1 includes many features to help protect against malicious Web sites and malware. To help protect against phishing and spoofing attacks, Internet Explorer also does the following:

• Highlights the address bar when users visit a secure sockets layer-protected site and lets users easily check the validity of a site's security certificate

• Allows users to clear all cached data with a single click

• Network Access Protection. Viruses and worms can attack a protected internal network through mobile computers that do not have the latest updates, security configuration settings or virus signatures downloaded. Mobile users may connect to unprotected networks at hotels, airports or coffee shops, where their computers can become infected by malware or a virus. Windows Vista has Network Access Protection to help prevent security-compromised computers from connecting to a user's internal network until security criteria are met.

• Firewall. Windows Vista provides outgoing as well as incoming filtering, which can be centrally managed via Group Policy. This lets administrators control which applications are allowed to communicate or are blocked from communicating on the network. Controlling network access is one of the most important ways to mitigate security risks.

• Deployment. Windows Vista will help make desktop deployment dramatically faster and easier. Deployment features included in Windows Vista Beta 1 include the following:

• The Windows Imaging (WIM) format provides a single file that contains one or more complete Windows Vista installation images. To conserve space, Windows Vista compresses the file and stores only a single copy of files that more than one image share. As a result, Windows Vista images help eliminate redundancy, decrease file size, and reduce installation or migration time. Image-based setup also is less error-prone than a scripted installation process.

• Windows Pre-installation Environment (PE) enables administrators to configure Windows offline as well as diagnose and troubleshoot hardware problems before launching the setup process.

• The Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) helps administrators quickly identify, analyze and resolve any issues with non-standard applications being migrated to Windows Vista.

• Manageability. Windows Vista will help reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) of PCs through simplified management, increased automation of tasks and improved diagnostics. Improvements in Windows Vista beta 1 include these:

• Better diagnostics implementation, including auto-diagnosis and auto-correction of common error conditions, fixes for known crashes and "hangs," and new technology to minimize reboots when installing software, are included.

• An improved Task Scheduler schedules tasks to launch when a specific event occurs, such as when disk space becomes insufficient.

• Web Services for Management (WS-Management) makes it easier to run scripts remotely and to perform other management tasks. Communication can be both encrypted and authenticated, helping limit security risks.

• Microsoft Management Console 3.0 (MMC 3.0) provides a common framework for management tools, making them easier to find and use. MMC 3.0 supports richer, more functional graphical user interfaces for management and allows administrators to run multiple tasks in parallel, keeping administrative tools responsive even after launching a complex or slow management task.

• Performance. Windows Vista will help improve PC performance in key areas, including starting up, waking up and responding to user actions. Performance features included in Windows Vista beta 1 include the following:

• Quick startup. Login scripts and startup applications and services process in the background while users perform their desired tasks.

• Sleep state. The new Sleep state in Windows Vista combines the speed of Standby mode with data protection features and low-power consumption of Hibernate. The Sleep state also allows users to change or remove a battery with little risk to open applications and data, since memory is safely written to the hard disk. Startup from the Sleep state requires just seconds, meaning fewer shutdowns and restarts are necessary, which helps improve power management.

• Superior memory management and improved input/output (I/O) management makes Windows Vista more responsive than previous versions of Windows, especially in the most noticeable tasks, such as opening the Start menu or right-clicking a file in Windows Explorer to display a shortcut menu.

Clear and Connected

Many of the innovative end-user features and user-interface (UI) changes for Windows Vista will not be included until the release of Windows Vista beta 2. However, Windows Vista beta 1 does include an early look at the new UI design, and showcases some of the features that will give users clear ways to organize and use their information and seamlessly connect to people and devices, including these:

• Searching and finding information.Windows Vista will introduce a new organization concept called a Virtual Folder, which is a saved search that is automatically and instantly run when a user opens the folder. In addition, every new Explorer in the operating system, including Internet Explorer, includes a new Quick Search box that enables customers to quickly search through large amounts of content being viewed or to initiate wider content searches across the PC.

• Glass and new Window animation. The Windows Vista desktop experience will deliver a new visual identity - translucent glass with more animation. Because it is visually intuitive, the glass helps users focus on the task at hand, whether reading a document, viewing a Web page or editing a photo.

• Redesigned Start menu with application search. The Windows Vista redesigned Start menu will make it faster and easier for users to find specific applications and to browse through all programs.

• Sync Manager. Windows Vista will unify the synchronization with the Sync Manager, a new interface that enables users to initiate a manual sync, stop an in-progress sync, see the status of current sync activities and receive notifications to resolve conflicts across all devices and data sources with the click of a single button.

• Networked projection for mobile PCs. Windows Vista will make it easier for users to connect a mobile PC to a projector over a network to display a presentation, or to share a presentation with nearby PCs. The networked projection feature allows a Windows Vista-based computer to detect nearby PCs or projectors and establish a connection through a network, regardless of whether the network is wired or wireless, ad hoc or part of a corporate infrastructure.

Internet Explorer 7 for Windows Vista Beta 1

In addition to the security features mentioned above, Internet Explorer 7 in Windows Vista beta 1 includes new capabilities that make everyday tasks easier, including support for tabbed browsing, a toolbar search box that includes AOL search, Ask Jeeves, Google, MSN® Search and Yahoo! Search, as well as shrink-to-fit printing of Web pages to automatically resize the page to print properly. Also, with new integrated support for emerging technologies such as Web feeds (RSS), users of Internet Explorer 7 in Windows Vista will get personalized news, sports, shopping information and blogs delivered directly to their PCs. Internet Explorer 7 in Windows Vista beta 2 will continue to build on the security enhancements with support for anti-phishing, which will help warn and protect users against fraudulent Web sites and personal data theft in the browser. It will also add a Protected Mode to give Internet Explorer sufficient rights to browse the Web, but not enough rights to modify user settings or data. Many of these new browser features will also be available to users of Windows XP through Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP Service Pack 2. Internet Explorer 7 beta 1 for Windows XP is now available to IT administrators, developers and enthusiasts for testing and evaluation through the Technical Beta Program and MSDN.

Windows Server, Code-Named "Longhorn"

The first beta of Windows Server™, code-named "Longhorn," also is now available to a limited number of participants in the Technical Beta Program, including hardware manufacturers, original equipment manufacturers, independent hardware vendors, system builders, independent software vendors and developers. The next version of Windows Server, code-named "Longhorn" is designed to provide a secure and reliable server platform, helping customers reduce IT complexity, increase end-user productivity and deliver rich new applications. The new server operating system is slated for final release in 2007.

"Avalon" and "Indigo"

Windows Vista beta 1 also includes the first beta of Windows Presentation Foundation (formerly known by the code name "Avalon") and Windows Communication Foundation (formerly known by the code name "Indigo"), which are part of the WinFX™ programming model. WinFX extends the Microsoft .NET Framework with classes for building new user interface experiences and advanced Web services. Together, they enable developers to build connected systems that take advantage of the processing power of the smart client, incorporate cutting-edge media and graphics, and communicate with other applications with improved security and reliability.

System Requirements

Minimum system requirements will not be known until summer 2006 at the earliest. However, these guidelines provide useful estimates:

• 512 megabytes (MB) or more of RAM

• A dedicated graphics card with DirectX 9.0 support

• A modern, Intel Pentium- or AMD Athlon-based PC.

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Comments

Windows Vista Beta 1 Ships

"Virus attack Vista...HAHAHA. This tells you Microsoft is full of sh*t & lie about their future free virus OS."if u read the rest of the article, they tell u its not a vulnerability, that it is a scripting virus, and that both macOSx and linux both have these same scripting features, and are not considered vulnerabilities, so learn something b4 u post

Windows Vista Beta 1 Ships

lmfao "oh so far it looks like XP"Shut the f**k up, its a screenshot d**ks. And for all you guys who are like "oh im downloading the beta" wow congrats. Itll be out of date in a day, why? because its a beta.Ofcourse its going to be s**t if your downloading BETA 1. What are you expecting? If you want a brand new windows, with all brand new stuff give it time.

Windows Vista Beta 1 Ships

TRhis beta is worthless people. I have moded my xp with third party programs and i have to say my xp blows this out of the water. Personally it looks just like xp, even the longhorn hacks look better than this. Please microsft either learn to copy mac os10.3 better or just quit the windows business.

Windows Vista Beta 1 Ships

"Microsoft stop charging your OS so much and make your OS open source."i dont see why they dont, they have enough money to run the world for a couple hundred years, and making it open source wont mae them suffer. at least, bill gates himself will nvr have to wrry abour unning out of money.

Windows Vista Beta 1 Ships

lol windows open source.... That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard and the anonymous guy here isnt the first to mention it, MS did. Quite a few years back there was a promise to release windows 98 SE source. Well it hasnt been released cause...spyware on the source? I dunno really but thats quite likely.They would also lose a LOT of money by releasing newer windows' source codes.

Windows Vista Beta 1 Ships

To all the lamers who dont know jack ass about vista . This one's for you... If you have read anything about MS vista you would have read that it supports full 64-bit architecture ... that would meen in my terms . my pc is going to F**K off when i install it . Just because all you lames running 32-bit or even 16-bit who uses their daddys pc to play soitair and minesweeper and post SH@T all day because they dont know any better . plz go and buy yourself a swing and play outside because a pc was built for inteligent ppl like us and not for small little boys who still nee to learn how to walk propperly

Windows Vista Beta 1 Ships

u have to find other screenies, and no it looks nothing like xp with a theme patch and transparencies. The entire explorer has changed, enhanced securities and other great things are included too. These are pathetic screenshots

Windows Vista Beta 1 Ships

Can't wait for this to come outhopefully they made so much improvementsafter all i think MS learnt much from XP and its previous problems.but this i think this is the winner right here, its been so long since they made a concept of this and next year it is time.

Windows Vista Beta 1 Ships

Jesus christ... f**king Micro$haft are really taking over now, you virtually *have* to get this if you want to use the majority of software products (incl. games), but they charge so much you end up paying with your f**king college fund... OH LOOK AT THE NEW SHINY DESIGN!!! MUST PAY GATES SO HE CAN BUY MORE PORNO AND FAKE p***s ENLARGEMENT PILLS!!!

Windows Vista Beta 1 Ships

this is bolox, windows my ass. This new one will be just XP with a few extras, so what id theyve changed explorer and made tweaks. It aint gonn abe worth the price. PLUS these bastard graphis cards are gettin ou dated each week!! It bulls**t, I got a 6600GT and it works fine now, but in a few months time il have to upgrade coz some lazt ass half hearted programmers will make games that need so much power coz they can be assed doing efficient coding!!Windows is overhyped twat, glad mine was free. Sadly Windows is our only option for us gamers

Windows Vista Beta 1 Ships

Omg the article is huge and sounds like a freakin tv commercial, microsoft must've paid megagames to write this one.Security improvements: Restrict users as much as possible.Network improvements: Include hundreds of spyware so we know if someone plans to overthrow mighty MS in any way(by downloading software, watching videos, listening to music, accessing websites that dont have .msn on the url, ordering food online, getting porn pics, managing blogs, or doing anything else thats not microsoft certified).

Windows Vista Beta 1 Ships

Do you guys think they will use the new "Genuine Advantage" of forced validation to receive product updates like they are NOW doing on XP? I bet they will.If they do, let's all go check out the new google OS together, whaddya say? A mass exodus to a different OS would definately wake em up.//Turn OFF microsoft automatic updates, or they will cram an unremovable "Genuine Advantage" update down your PC in 3,2,1....

Windows Vista Beta 1 Ships

Silly me, I forgot to mention....*To disable "Genuine Advantage" (For now. til next update??)*1)Open Internet Explorer.2)Click "Tools"3)Click "Manage Addons"4) Select (highlight) "Genuine Advantage"5)Switch bubble from "Enable" to "Disable".6) Click Ok.Thank you, drive thru. On Anon.

Windows Vista Beta 1 Ships

u guys are all so retarded. U make fun of it, yet u know absolutely NOTHING about it. Just so u guys know, to start with, vista is built of windows 2003 not XP. It is featuring many new security updates which will fix many bugs and have a higher security comparable with linux and mac, many new gui updates, new features, and other things. I personally have a copy of build 4074, and it was great. MUCH better than XP atm, except it still had some bugs in it. So u guys need to keep ur moyhs shut until u say something useful

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