But a bug interrupted his encomium, or songs of praise.
Mike went through the improved search function - including how the search is now part of the task bar and is contextual and will search the entire network. In what has become a Microsoft tradition, the demo did not go off without a hitch. A search for "desktop" and "wallpaper" returned no results under the control panel. Whoops.
He indicated that digital imaging, digital audio, and mobility all have moved from the fringe to the forefront, and the operating system has to adopt to these new realities. Another key focus of a new operating system is security and safety. And so he indicated Vista can be summed up in four concepts - easier, safer, better connected, and more entertaining.
The floating Windows 3D interface "task bar" looks good, and finally it seems that Microsoft is doing a better job of copying the Apple OS. The operating system was running about 10 different window panes.
One interesting feature that it is incorporating is that digital images are stored as a "digital negative". If, for example, you make an edit of a photo and save over the original, you can still access the image by "retrieving" the original which the OS keeps in some dark hidey hole.
Gaming in Vista has a dedicated "gaming area" where all games are stored in a specific area of the OS. A video of Crysis was shown, showing off the DX 10 capabilities. The video was pre-rendered, but it was quite astounding.
Another feature of Vista is the new "parental controls". The OS allows you to configure web access, time limits for web access, restrict access to games entirely, or allow specific games based on their ESRB game rating. You can also selectively allow games like Grand Theft Auto if you feel your kid is old enough to handle beating up hookers and killing cops.
Internet Explorer 7 now defaults to "shrink to fit" if you are printing a page, and (insert random Vista Bug again!) cordons off the browser to reduce the likelihood of malware or spyware from being installed on the system. Windows Defender is now built into the operating system and will attempt to stop even the most ignorant user from screwing up the system.
Windows Media 11 introduces "Urge" - pronounced urj - an online subscription service that allows you to scream audio to your system but also integrates a powerful search component that will also bring up a band's homepage, any available media, and suggest similar music to your selection. Vista automatically detects any media "extenders" like Xbox 360 and allows you to quickly configure the devices and the OS for quick and easy streaming.
Vista now natively supports HDTV without the requirement for an intermediate cable box, and will allow you to record content as allowed by the content provider.
Justin Hutchinson, Group Product Manager, Windows Client, showed off some new products and talked about how almost 100 per cent of the computers on store shelves today are "Vista Capable". Another class of PC is called "Windows Vista Premium Ready", which has a higher specification. Included in the products was a Toshiba laptop with an HD-DVD drive, and an Acer Ferrari laptop with a wireless VOIP handset included. [I can't wait. Ed.] µ
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