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New build brings enhancements to UAP and WinFS gets the boot

In its continuing efforts to improve its next generation operating system, Microsoft has released another interim build of Windows Vista to testers. Build 5456 is a rather large jump from Windows Vista Beta 2 (Build 5384.4) and offers a number of improvements which are sure to be welcomed by users. NeoSmart Blog reports:

Some of the new features include a revamped Aero/DWM subsystem, and a completely overhauled and significantly less obtrusive UAP for all those that couldn’t stand the previous one. From what we have been told by Microsoft, the Time Zone bug that plagued all most all previous builds of Windows Vista has been fixed and works great now, and quite a few fixes in the Regional Settings and IME are now implemented. And for the first time since Windows 3.0 Microsoft has finally announced that new mouse cursors will be made available for Windows - something they promised to do in XP with “Watercolors” but failed to deliver for internal reasons!

Of all of the improvements made to this build, the less intrusive User Access Protection (UAP) has to be on the biggest pluses. Vista's UAP scheme has been catching a lot of flak and Microsoft has seen it fit to gradually make the system less and less obnoxious.

Vista beta testers can download the new build immediately from the Windows Connect website. The rest of you folks will just have to wait until Microsoft releases another public build.

In other Vista news comes word that Microsoft has decided to drop its plans to offer Windows Future Storage (WinFS) as a future update to the operating system -- WinFS Beta 2 has been also cancelled. WinFS was the name for the new file system that was supposed to debut with the shipping version of Windows Vista. Over the course of Vista's long gestation period, WinFS was dropped from the feature count then later brought back to life when it was announced that the file system would be available at a later date as a system upgrade for Vista.

WinFS, which is based on Microsoft SQL Server technology, was supposed to do away with traditional file/folder hierarchy. From Betanews:

For example, no longer would documents need to be stored in My Documents or images in My Pictures; instead, Windows would simply display the files associated with a particular request on demand. In addition, WinFS could store structured data such as contacts, calendars and more.

As for the future of WinFS and other Windows technologies, lead programmer Quentin Clark goes on to air out his thoughts on his blog:

Of course, there are other aspects of the WinFS vision that we are continuing to incubate – areas not quite as mature as the work we are now targeting for Katmai and ADO.NET.   Since WinFS is no longer being delivered as a standalone software component, people will wonder what that means with respect to the Windows platform.  Just as Vista pushed forward on many aspects of the search and organize themes of the Longhorn WinFS effort, Windows will continue to adopt work as it's ready.  We will continue working the innovations, and as things mature they will find their way into the right product experiences – Windows and otherwise.  Having so much ready for SQL Server and ADO.NET is a big impact on the platform, and more will come.

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Let Apple release it...
By INeedCache on 6/26/2006 1:26:32 AM , Rating: 2
They should release an OS for the PC. It won't go anywhere, but let them release it just to prove it. One thing we would likely see at that point, is just how unsecure their OS would be in the face of more hackers attacking it. Lots of people bitch about MS security. I'd like to see any of you do any better with so many hackers after your software. Some of you crow about how secure OSX and Linux are. I say I doubt it, it's just that they aren't significant enough to warrant a barrage like Windows gets. I think MS does a pretty good job. MS naysayers don't have to use Windows, and they should find another hobby as their whining act has grown tiresome.

RE: Let Apple release it...
By Hare on 6/26/2006 3:05:06 AM , Rating: 2
Puhleeze. There are maybe billions of system critical unix, linux and BSD systems all around the net and you can be damn sure they are more secure than windows simply because you can't mess those systems up as easily as you can mess up windows. Windows is secure if you know what you are doing. Millions of zombie windows-computers however are a good indication that windows is not safe enough.

Yeah I know. I have a Pc too and I have never had any spyware or viruses, but that's a moot point. I don't represent the majority of PC users.

RE: Let Apple release it...
By stmok on 6/26/06, Rating: 0
RE: Let Apple release it...
By Zstream on 6/26/2006 8:26:09 AM , Rating: 3
Yes the person does have a point, Microsoft products are used in abundance and always will be. The reason why Asus and Linksys use Linux is the main reason "FREE" not security. The same goes for the Navy, they can add security or other fix's without waiting for Microsoft to implement the patch. If you believe that Linux is more secure then you are just as ignorant as the Microsoft fanboi's.

RE: Let Apple release it...
By SilthDraeth on 6/26/2006 8:32:56 AM , Rating: 4
stmok "Another moron who puts his clueless 2 cents into it. *sigh*

(1) Hackers are people who break things to learn about them. They report security issues companies and open-source projects who are responsible for those products. They set up Honeypots/nets to study attacks and compromises. These are the good guys.

Crackers are the ones who break and compromise things for ego and profit. These are the bad guys.

Its sad to see that you can't tell the difference. Just goes to show, you don't have a clue."

Basically you described a white hat hacker, as well as a black hat hacker.

Cracking is synonymous with hacking. One term or the other does not necessitate, or imply any sort of moral standard.

On the other hand, claiming that you are a "white hat", or "black hat" hacker would imply that you view yourself as having moral stand on hacking/cracking. White hats generaly hack for companies etc, for finding and securing software. Black hats are not inherently evil either, they may perform the exact same roles as a white hat, but they do it for personal reasons, instead of a corporation, or they may be trying to compromise another system for whatever reason.

As for the rest of your statment, please ensure that you know the difference between fact, and opinion, espescially when ranting, and raving about someone elses opinion.

As for me, I use Windows, because, I like to buy my software, and put the CD in, and click install and it works. If it doesn't work then the software company will not recieve very many sales, and their product will fail.

I haven't tried OSX, but I have used linux, and yes I could manage to get my video card drivers working...albeit without 3D support. I could install a few different programs using tarballs, but even then it wasn't a sure fire thing. Of course linux is open source, and you have dozens of different distro's, while essentially the same, they all have different a different GUI, and often need different tarballs, because the installation procedures differ between one linux distro and another.

With Windows I can be lazy, and still be secure. And in my opinion it is superior to linux, not because its closed source, but because the programs that run on windows are required to work relatively well, or the forces of capitalism will drive consumers to purchase another product that does work.

RE: Let Apple release it...
By masher2 on 6/26/2006 9:30:19 AM , Rating: 1
> "Black hats are not inherently evil either,"

So stealing and vandalism isn't inherently evil? Those are the motivating factors in 999 out of a thousand cracking attempts.

RE: Let Apple release it...
By SilthDraeth on 6/26/2006 11:08:08 PM , Rating: 2
"So stealing and vandalism isn't inherently evil? Those are the motivating factors in 999 out of a thousand cracking attempts. "

Notice, I said "or they may be trying to compromise another system for whatever reason."

I am pretty sure that would qualify my statement as being more accurate, than saying all black hats are bad, all white hats are good.

All inclusive, in relation to human nature, and motivations behind actions, almost always turn out to be false.

Noted that you did say 999/1000, which having no way to actually prove your statement, and avoiding using an all inclusive, all you did was agree with my by trying to disagree.

Thank you for the support.

RE: Let Apple release it...
By INeedCache on 6/26/2006 9:30:28 AM , Rating: 3
Moron, huh. Just another one of those clueless name-callers. I don't know enough about you to call you a moron, but you are smug, pompous, hypocritical, and childish. Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition, defines hacker as "a person who illegally gains access to and sometimes tampers with information in a computer system." So go play semantics somewhere else. I have used OSX and Linux before, and still presently use Linux. How uninformed you are, not to mention presumptuous. How many security updates to Firefox since its popularity increased? Lame and cliched better describes you. As for ranting and raving with my uninformed opinions, isn't that what you just did? Hypocritical comes to mind. You want to come off as so intelligent, yet you start off by calling me a moron. I believe childish about gets that one. Why would you suppose anyone would have any respect for your uninformed opinions? Why don't you actually think about what your writing before sending it off. For every entity using Linux, I can find at least 50 using Windows-based servers. You can, too, just check the web. But I guess they are just morons, too. Get a hobby.

RE: Let Apple release it...
By TomZ on 6/26/2006 12:57:48 PM , Rating: 3
There is a small, but vocal group that likes "all things non-Microsoft." While I can accept the views of that group, I do not agree with it.

People make a false argument that Microsoft broke the law and forced us to all buy Windows. That is pure bullshit. We all choose to buy Windows (unless it was purchased for you by your employer, in such case, your employer make the decision). The reason Windows has 95% of desktop market share is that people like it and choose to run it. Why is that? Because the majority of devices and apps run on Windows.

Finally, the argument that Linux and OSX is more secure is stupid and moot. The point is not whether Linux and OSX are more secure (although I believe they are not). The point is that the vast majority of users do not just want "any" more secure OS - they want a more secure Windows. Do you understand that?

So do your viral marketing thing and keep telling us how great Linux and OSX are, but it will continue to fall on deaf ears for those of us who well-informed users that are satisfied with Windows.

RE: Let Apple release it...
By GreenEnvt on 6/26/2006 10:17:49 AM , Rating: 2
To a point I agree.
OSX is a more secure OS then WinXP, but it's not as rock solid as people would have you believe, nor is linux.

If you were writing a virus either just for fame or for profit (stealing bank info, etc), would you be trying to write it for the OS 90% of the planet uses, or 10%?

Thats a no brainer. Part of the reason Windows has so many more virus', exploits, and malware in general is because there are so many more people using it. This not only makes it a more tempting target for those writing the exploits, but it also ensures more people know how to write the exploits in the first place.

RE: Let Apple release it...
By Hare on 6/26/2006 1:51:47 PM , Rating: 2
But as a consumer looking at the situation today. What Os gives you the most care-free/easy run...

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
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