Transitioning from Offline to
Online"> Vista also brings changes when a user transitions from offline to online. Now, offline documents will be synchronized in the background and be less visible to the user, he said, while IT will be better able to customize the number of folders that can be set to be redirected.For the IT professional, Vista brings significant changes in terms of image management, and moves to a single image across language and form factor and allows greater control with regard to custom group policies, such as the level at which USB Flash drives can be blocked. Vista also brings a new diagnostics platform that gives better warnings and clear directions to users when things are not working the way they are expected to. "If you are in Internet Explorer and you get a message that you cannot connect to a Web page, you can pull down a menu and diagnose your network connections and see what the issue is. If your hard disk is about to fail, you will get a message warning you of this and telling you what the steps are you need to take," Goldberg said. Asked about customer concerns about the cost, complexity, management and implementation challenges that came with the release of not just a new operating system, but also of Office 2007 as and Exchange 2007 around the same time, Goldberg acknowledged that some customers are concerned and still trying to determine what their migration path should be. Click here to read more about how Vista RC1 tests showed that the migration path might be rocky. However, most customers like the idea of
Vista and Office 2007 being available at the same time, because that means they would only have to test the desktop once and would result in their adopting them faster.
"There are also a lot of scenarios that overlap naturally between the two products," he said.
With regard to the question of how Vista and Office 2007 will work with previous versions, say Windows XP with Office 2007, Goldberg said that Office XP would be compatible with and run on Windows Vista.
"We have tried to design the products so that those customers who want to keep one product current and move to the new version of another will definitely see a set of benefits in each case," he said.
The application compatibility toolkit had also, for the first time ever, been developed in parallel with Vista and would be released alongside it.
With Windows XP, for example, it was released with the second service pack some nine months later.
What is the real compatibility picture for Windows Vista? Click here to read more.
Microsoft is also approaching the certification of applications differently with Vista: There is the "works with" designation that indicates the application will work with and run on Vista.
Internally, Microsoft has done internal testing on some 1,900 external applications since the release of the first Vista beta.
The "certified for Windows Vista" designation, which has a higher bar, is for those applications that exploit and take advantage of Vista in a unique way, Goldberg said.
Asked whether Microsoft is pushing ahead with Vista outreach in Europe, even though it has said the product could be delayed there unless the European Commission gives it more guidance on whether Vista complies with European competition law, Goldberg would only say that the company is fully committed to providing a version of Vista that is fully compliant with European law.
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Security had also been one of the top design points from the start, not just in terms of reducing vulnerability to attack, but creating multiple layers of security and including anti-phishing protection as well as the work around BitLocker drive encryption.