Update August 31 2005 by Ian Matthews of Up & Running Technolgies Inc

Here are the quick facts and screen shots of Windows Vista.


Beta 1 was released in August to MSDN and TECHNET subscribers.

Beta 2 is should be released in January 2006 to anyone is wants it.

Beta 3, RC1, RC2, and Gold should be released in quick succession through spring and summer 2006.

Release to Manufacturing is expected in the Fall of 2006 so it can make the Christmas sales season.


Microsoft states that any AMD or Intel processor being produced today, will do the job.  Other than that you need a modern video card (which supports DirectX 9) and 512MB of RAM.

Click to enlarge

virtual_folders.jpg (76212 bytes)live_icons2.jpg (48641 bytes)live_icons.jpg (64194 bytes)desktop_search.jpg (184668 bytes)
Virtual FoldersLive Icons 1Live Icons 2Desktop Search
MICROSOFT RELEASES VISTA 2006 BETA 1 (FORMERLY "LONGHORN")my_computer.jpg (43713 bytes)documents.jpg (212887 bytes)pictures_video.jpg (100321 bytes)
Parental ControlsMy ComputerAll DocumentsPictures & Video


  1. GUI: New interface called Aero which appears to be me to be little more than a simple new skin.
  2. LIVE ICONS: You will now get a thumbnail view and file details of your documents.
  3. IE7: Internet Explorer 7 introduces new security restrictions, tabbed browsing, inline search, and shrink-to-fit printing.
  4. VIRTUAL FOLDERS: This is simply a saved search that is instantly run when you open the folder.


  1. SAFEDOCS: This lets you perform scheduled incremental backups of your data.
  2. SHADOW COPY: Just like Windows 2003 Server, the new Vista can restore files back to previous versions.
  3. BUILT IN DIAGNOSTIC FOR SELF HEALING: a diagnostic framework that enables intelligent event tracing and data retention, as well as automatic problem detection, diagnosis, and resolution. If self-healing is not possible, Windows Vista guides you through manual resolution.
  4. HARDWARE ENCRYPTION: The entire hard drive can be keyed to a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2 chip. This eliminates the ability of thieves to take a hard drive from stolen machine and read the data off of it by installing it in a different machine.
  5. PARENTAL CONTROLS: Just like it sounds. This version lets an administrator lock individual programs.  See the screen shot above. I am sure your 8 year old will figure out a way around these but it will keep the kids who don’t want to see offensive content safer.
  6. ANTI-MALWARE: Integrated AntiSpyware software will block and clean this modern day epidemic.
  7. VISTA EMAIL: This Outlook Express replacement will have spam detection algorithms to sort the junk mail into a Spam folder.


  1. DEPLOYMENT: Windows Imaging Format (WIM) which stores images (like Ghost and RIS, including the Windows CD image) as files rather than copies of sectors. This results in different images sharing files thereby dramatically reducing image sizes. For example, if file “A.EXE” is in images 1, 2 and 3, it will only be stored once and the other two images will simply point to that file. You can also load these images offline and adjust them! This eliminates the current RIS restrictions like having to apply images to drives that are larger than the one the image was created on.
  2. NETWORK ACCESS PROTECTION: If machines (i.e. laptops) do not meet minimum security standards (i.e. out of date antivirus signature files, missing critical security updates…) then it will not be allowed to connect to you corporate LAN. This feature likely will require the server version of VISTA currently scheduled for 2007 but who knows… MS may release it in Windows 2003 RC2.
  3. CACHED FOLDER REDIRECTION: Like the Exchange / Outlook 2003 arrangement, files that are from redirected sources (i.e. My Documents is often redirected to a server) will be edited using their local cached versions. Only differentials will be pushed to the server, and this re-syncing will occur in the background. This means users can work when servers go down and the performance hit from redirection is all but eliminated.


  1. FASTER START: This is accomplished by running startup scripts and tasks in the background so you can start working right away
  2. METRO DOCUMENTS: This format can be created directly from any application, and is simply a page-by-page view of content as it would have been rendered by a printer. Metro documents retain all of the fidelity of the original source material and all the necessary resources such as fonts and images for rendering. In Windows Vista Beta 1, Metro documents do not require you to have the original authoring application to be viewed, but are instead viewable within the included Metro Viewer. Microsoft is freely licensing Metro, which means that the format can be created and consumed on many different platforms and classes of devices, ensuring that Metro documents will integrate well.
  3. REMOTE ASSISTANCE IMPROVEMENTS: The re-written RA code allows both the remote controller and host to work on the same desktop at the same time (like terminal server), will traverse NAT’s and can even reconnect after a remote boot.
  4. AUXILIARY DISPLAY: On the outside of your laptop, on remote controls, or perhaps on a keyboard will be a small LCD display that lets you access common information stored on your computer, even the machine is turned off. So if your laptop is running low on power but you really need a phone number stored in Outlook, you can get to it using that small, low power, display. Obviously, the OEMs of the world need to redesign their hardware to support this interesting new feature.
  5. As you might expect there are a host of under the cover improvements which developers will salivate over but most users will ignore.  The most notable of which is the idea that desktop apps can be encoded as web apps at the same time.


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