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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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The problem with Windows security
By Targon on 6/26/2006 8:46:45 AM , Rating: 2
The real problem with security in MS Windows has been that too many features are turned on by default with NO chance to let the user choose what features they want or don't want. Have an advanced setup/configuration option if you want to avoid confusing the normal end-users.

All services should start as manual, not automatic. When an application gets installed, let it take a moment to start up needed services(with an option to do it at start-up). This would also reduce the footprint of the OS for gamers and others so that only NECESSARY services needed for what is currently(or frequently) running get loaded into memory.

When I play games, I go through and turn off a LOT of services on my machine that I'm not even sure are necessary for what I do. EVERY service should be manual and be turned on as needed. If that were the case, many security problems wouldn't be there since the code the security holes are in would never be enabled in the first place.

We need a MINIMAL MS Windows where we can choose which features we want, and at the same time leave all the bloat turned off until it's needed, but setting all services to manual from automatic would probably break a lot of things that I use because they assume that some services are running all the time, even when not being used.





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