Internet Explorer 7 in Windows Vista Beta 1 also includes features to help protect against malicious Web sites and malware, along with support for tabbed browsing; a toolbar search box that includes AOL search, Ask Jeeves, Google, MSN Search and Yahoo Search; as well as shrink-to-fit printing of Web pages to automatically resize the page to print properly. On the deployment front, Microsoft has worked to make Windows Vista faster and easier to deploy. The Windows Imaging (WIM) format provides a single file that contains one or more complete Windows Vista installation images, he said. The Windows Pre-installation Environment enables administrators to configure Windows offline as well as diagnose and troubleshoot hardware problems before launching the setup process, while the Application Compatibility Toolkit helps administrators quickly identify, analyze and resolve any issues with non-standard applications being migrated to Windows Vista, Sullivan said.Click here to read why Jim Allchin, the group vice president of Microsofts Platforms group, thinks Longhorn is a "big deal." Asked if Microsoft is still prepared to drop more features if necessary to make the shipping deadline, Sullivan skirted the issue by saying that the Windows Vista team is primarily driven by making sure the quality of code is as good as it can possibly be. "When we first outlined our timeframe and expected vision for Longhorn at the Professional Developer Conference in Los Angeles in 2003, it was very ambitious and, yes, we did pull some features like WinFS [Windows File System], which will be delivered later. We talked about platform APIs then. It was a pure developer message," he said. "At the PDC this September we will talk about the platform and the developer capabilities that are still in the product," Sullivan said. "In Beta 1 the testers will see a ton of other work that doesnt fit into a neat package around that. There is a host of fundamental technologies in the product, and we are determined to get these things, like security and deployability and patch management, right." However, Sullivan cautioned that while those fundamental aspects that Microsoft is striving for are well-addressed in this first beta, "they are far from done" and Beta 2 will also bring significant improvements on the user side. "Windows Vista Beta 1 includes an early look at the new user interface design and introduces a new organization concept called a Virtual Folder, which is a saved search that is automatically and instantly run when a user opens the folder," he said. Also included is a new visual identity, translucent glass with more animation, that is visually intuitive, helping users focus on the task at hand, whether reading a document, viewing a Web page or editing a photo. Sullivan also stressed the amount of research and customer feedback that has already gone into Longhorn. "We have done so much listening and understanding of all customer segments, what it means to each of them and what their pain points are," he said. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.