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New security updates for Vista along with new Vista Ultimate Extras
Microsoft delivers Texas Hold'em Poker among other things for Vista Ultimate users

For those of you who have plunked down the extra cash for the version of Windows Vista that is at the top of the totem pole, there are a couple of new Vista Ultimate Extras available for download right now. Last night, right before the official launch of Vista, Microsoft pushed out Windows Texas Hold'em Poker and BitLocker and EFS Enhancements.

According to Paul Thurrott, Windows Texas Hold'em Poker requires a minimum Windows Experience Index of 1.0 to run and 2.0 to operate at optimum levels. Given that mostly enthusiasts will be gunning for Windows Vista Ultimate, this shouldn't be a problem at all.

The "Bitlocker and EFS Enhancements" are listed as follows:

  • Windows BitLocker Drive Preparation Tool - configures your hard drive so that you can use the BitLocker Drive Encryption feature of Windows Vista.
  • Secure Online Key Backup - stores a backup copy of your BitLocker recovery password and Encrypting File System (EFS) recovery certificates in your digital locker, a secure Microsoft website.

Windows DreamScene (aka Motion Desktop), a Vista Ultimate Extra that allows you to use motion video as your desktop, is still AWOL. Microsoft wowed the audience at CES 2007 with a demonstration of DreamScene during the Bill Gates keynote, but it’s like a feature that will tire very quickly with users.

To get these latest updates, simply navigate to the Control Panel and go to Windows Updates. You'll also find a number of security updates waiting for you as well from the main Windows Update page.

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By thebrown13 on 1/30/07, Rating: 0
RE: Dreamscene
By Brandon Hill on 1/30/2007 3:48:52 PM , Rating: 2
At the CES keynote, there was video footage taken with a camcorder shown running on a Vista desktop. If I remember correctly, it was a video of two kids playing in a sandbox.

RE: Dreamscene
By Aikouka on 1/30/2007 3:56:28 PM , Rating: 2
For me, it's not really new as my ATi TV Wonder card has been able to do this for as long as I've had it (i.e. place the video on the desktop when minimize). Although, I think it could be nifty to have animated wallpapers instead of just seeing that picture.

RE: Dreamscene
By thebrown13 on 1/30/2007 7:17:46 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah I specifically remember having TV background capability on old ATI TV cards.

RE: Dreamscene
By lotharamious on 1/30/2007 3:56:29 PM , Rating: 4
From what I've seen, it's just dumb videos. I downloaded the leaked beta, and it's kind of a CPU hog. How sweet would it be to have the GPU do the rendering of some cool 3d stuff? At least that wouldn't take too much CPU power, and then the GPU really would be put to better use I think.
Because it's about freaking time for 3d moving backgrounds.

I totally agree man.

RE: Dreamscene
By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 1/30/2007 4:27:18 PM , Rating: 2
Just set your screensaver to kick in at 1 minute. There are already plenty of 3d screensavers out there.
What good is an animated desktop if it is partially coverd by an application window?

RE: Dreamscene
By AndreasM on 1/30/2007 4:45:51 PM , Rating: 2
But then you can't use the computer at the same time. A 3d background would give the desktop a feeling of depth, and even if it is obscured most of the time, it would still be nice to look at something else than a static image.

PS: Screensavers are a waste of power, turn off your monitor instead.

RE: Dreamscene
By FightingChance on 1/30/2007 4:45:44 PM , Rating: 3
Many GPU's are now more complex than CPU's, and having them loaded will increase heat, noise and power consumption. I'm willing to concede those things when playing games, but I would not want that when using the PC for more general operations.

Flash as a moving/interactive background could be interesting, especially on multi-core systems.

RE: Dreamscene
By novacthall on 1/30/2007 5:00:28 PM , Rating: 3
I'd like to see something along the lines of what we've come to expect with video game console UIs, personally. Something subtle and non-distracting, like the colorful undulations on the 360 interface or the weaving strands of light on the PSP/PS3 XMB interface would be attractively dynamic. Of course, more complex backgrounds would require more horsepower and more work to put together, but I could see a market for that sort of thing.

Maybe Microsoft could figure out a way to open up the desktop configuration environment for user modification? Then I'd expect really great things to happen. The creative power of the community is never to be underestimated.

RE: Dreamscene
By Ard on 1/30/2007 5:14:44 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed wholeheartedly. I've always found the PS3/PSP background to be incredibly calming and nice to look at. Something like that for a Windows desktop would be perfect.

RE: Dreamscene
By DCstewieG on 1/30/2007 5:27:41 PM , Rating: 2
There's an app for OS X called Backlight that lets you use a screensaver for your desktop. I set it up for my girlfriend using the "Abstract" screen saver and it does exactly that. It's pretty cool but totally useless :)

RE: Dreamscene
By RjBass on 1/30/2007 6:24:03 PM , Rating: 3
Thats great and all, but according to the description its only for Mac OS.

RE: Dreamscene
By thebrown13 on 1/30/2007 7:19:26 PM , Rating: 1
Agree. Since they incorporated the video card into the default UI, we should start seeing some programs that do it crop up. Then we just need it in the default UI as an option, like screen savers.

RE: Dreamscene
By regnez on 1/30/2007 4:33:33 PM , Rating: 3
Responsive backgrounds, too. Like that background in XP with the trees on the sides, and the leaves on the ground.

They should have that background in Vista, except you should be able to move your mouse fast and slow across the "ground" (in the background), and the leaves ruffle accordingly.

That would be incredible. Maybe even a better waste of time than Solitaire.

RE: Dreamscene
By AkaiRo on 1/30/2007 9:48:34 PM , Rating: 2
Imagine it... A Dreamscene background based on an LCARS display that's actually showing changing data, wireframe images in motion, simulated quantum torpedo launches, etc.

In the immortal words of Kelly Bundy, "The mind wobbles."

RE: Dreamscene
By otispunkmeyer on 1/31/2007 4:07:18 AM , Rating: 2
no what would be even better is if it is in some way tied to a weather forecast

so if its sunny out, your desktop is nice and bright and the trees are really green and flowers vivid colours.

then if its a horrible, windy, rainy day with thunderstorms your desktop would be the same, dark sky's trees and plants swaying in the wind, leaves flyign everywhere, rain drops on the camera lense effect, lightning

it would be totally OTT, but it wouldnt half be cool

RE: Dreamscene
By CheesePoofs on 1/30/2007 8:29:09 PM , Rating: 2
Um, VLC has had this feature for quite a while. You can make whatever is playing in VLC appear as the desktop (ie, have a movie playing as your desktop). And it works fine in XP.

RE: Dreamscene
By AndreasM on 1/30/2007 8:53:06 PM , Rating: 2
Just a dumb movie background or actually true rendered backgrounds? Because it's about freaking time for 3d moving backgrounds.

RE: Dreamscene
By DeepBlue1975 on 1/31/2007 7:41:35 AM , Rating: 2
I rather think it's time for a REAL 3d GUI, not just some fancy task switcher and funny transparency effects which somewhat make me think of a teenager doing his first steps on visual effects.

Some moving stuff on the background, will be an annoyance for me, unless you can make it be productive in some way (how about a 3d file explorer, behaving like a corridor and letting you "see thru" or "see inside" every continer you have on screen and letting you move "inside" or "outside", instead of a flat tree?)

RE: Dreamscene
By frobizzle on 1/31/2007 6:04:50 PM , Rating: 2
a Vista Ultimate Extra that allows you to use motion video as your desktop

Another Microsoft innovation? Wow! That's so cool. Sounds like the same the thing I have been able to do with WinDVD for the last five years.

By Goty on 1/30/2007 3:33:19 PM , Rating: 2
Bitlocker is drive encryption.

RE: Bitlocker
By NuroMancer on 1/30/2007 3:36:23 PM , Rating: 2
The details of what the Enhancements are, are yet to come out. Not what bitlocker is, DT knows that...

RE: Bitlocker
By jak3676 on 1/30/2007 4:00:14 PM , Rating: 2
I have to say I was just about to post the same thing. The way I read the article it seemed that DT didn't know that Bitlocker was encryption.

RE: Bitlocker
By Goty on 1/30/2007 6:31:40 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, well that makes much more sense. "Enhancements to" means something entirely different than "Enhancements" alone.

BitLocker and EFS Enhancements
By Digobick on 1/30/2007 3:48:54 PM , Rating: 2
Here's what the BitLocker Enhancements are:

* Windows® BitLocker™ Drive Preparation Tool - configures your hard drive so that you can use the BitLocker Drive Encryption feature of Windows Vista.

* Secure Online Key Backup - stores a backup copy of your BitLocker recovery password and Encrypting File System (EFS) recovery certificates in your digital locker, a secure Microsoft website.

By Brandon Hill on 1/30/2007 3:51:19 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks, the article has been updated to reflect these additions.

RE: BitLocker and EFS Enhancements
By Araemo on 1/30/2007 4:47:24 PM , Rating: 2
Because backing up the keys on a centrally managed server is a very good way for the CIA/NSA/FBI/etc to get ahold of them with the correct warrants. ;)

(Then again, not giving the passcodes/keys if you have them is contempt of court, if they have a warrant/court order for them, and can be considered incriminating enough on its own.)

RE: BitLocker and EFS Enhancements
By glynor on 1/30/2007 5:18:18 PM , Rating: 2
Only if said keys still exist. Otherwise it is difficult to produce them.

Of course, if you're going to destroy them, you'd better do it before they issue an order to produce them (otherwise it'd still be contempt).

By medavid16 on 1/30/2007 7:36:40 PM , Rating: 2
I've used a couple applications that worked well with Windows XP a while back, I can't remember the name of it, I believe it was like DreamScape, and it took very little hit to CPU/GPU. VERY good prog if you're not a gamer. In the end, it does take a couple frames from games, and which is why I stopped using it.

Vista's MotionDesktop is supposed to have little to no impact. The previous betas showed to have slow down, but it was promised to have little to none... and which is probaly why you can't download it because it's not out yet.

RE: =)
By rippleyaliens on 1/30/2007 8:35:13 PM , Rating: 2
Well, the 1 IMMEDIATE thing i love about Vista, (Granted it is a Drive HOG), Is the system restore point. Like a snapshot ability. To me that is most impressive, considering it on the desktop level. So boom, you create a restore point, download your favorite keygen, i mean software tool. run it, copy the key, then roll back.

RE: =)
By Spivonious on 1/31/2007 9:38:15 AM , Rating: 2
System Restore has been around since XP debuted in 2001.

funny ...
By das mod on 1/30/2007 5:20:46 PM , Rating: 2
i just updated my vista and that "Windows DreamScene" extra is nowhere to be found ....

RE: funny ...
By bplewis24 on 1/30/2007 6:01:20 PM , Rating: 2
Do you have Vista Ultimate edition?


RE: funny ...
By TomZ on 1/30/2007 6:20:52 PM , Rating: 1
The article states that DreamScene is AWOL, i.e., absent without official leave, i.e., missing.

I have Vista Ultimate, and no option to download or install DreamScene AFAIK.

you want moving desktop wallpaper?
By Homerboy on 1/30/2007 5:36:34 PM , Rating: 2

Has been around for 4+ years
Welcome to the interwebs

By RjBass on 1/30/2007 6:42:43 PM , Rating: 2
Dremples is pretty cool, but it doesn't work with a dual display.

Wow! Texas Hold'em
By fic2 on 1/30/2007 4:52:00 PM , Rating: 2
Certainly worth shelling out a few hundred $$ for. Much better than getting on one of the many free websites and playing with people throughout the world.

By azzazzin on 1/31/2007 8:40:05 AM , Rating: 2
'Dreamscene' my sainted foot... not only isn't the idea original (yeah what else is new) even the name is a blatant ripp off ! Check out the original concept at which unlike the MS rehash also has some spectacular 3d rendered desktops ...'

Requires a 1.0?
By Anonymous Freak on 2/1/2007 7:43:51 PM , Rating: 2
Windows Texas Hold'em Poker requires a minimum Windows Experience Index of 1.0 to run and 2.0 to operate at optimum levels. Given that mostly enthusiasts will be gunning for Windows Vista Ultimate, this shouldn't be a problem at all.

Since no subsystem can score BELOW 1.0, it isn't even relevant to consider that it MIGHT be a problem. (I have a video card that doesn't have x64 drivers yet, so it shows up as 'Generic VGA', yet it still scores 1.0 for both video scores.)

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
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