New Features

By John G. Spooner  |  Posted 2006-05-23 Print this article Print

ReadyDrive, another new feature, can take advantage of hybrid hard drives—drives that use flash memory to augment their data storage capabilities—in order to boost performance and battery life in notebooks by spinning down the hard drive and caching data in the flash memory. MeetingSpace, a collaboration tool built into Windows Vista, will allow two or more notebook users to share data by connecting via their machines onboard wireless networking capabilities to share files or simultaneously view presentations.
Vista will also include an updated version of Internet Explorer, dubbed IE 7, which adds QuickTabs, which delivers snapshots of a persons favorite home pages.
The companys Vista Longhorn server, meanwhile, is being designed with virtualization in mind, the Microsoft executives said. Jeff Woolsey, lead program manager windows division, demonstrated for the first time publicly, Microsofts Windows Sever Virtualization, aka the Windows hypervisor, during a demonstration inside Gates keynote. Woolsey demonstrated Windows Server Virtualization-created virtual machines based on its Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition, Windows Server 2003 64-bit Edition, RedHat Enterprise Linux and Longhorn server all running on the same machine. Click here to read more about IE 7. Windows Sever Virtualization will also include features such as Virtualized I/O, which makes it possible to add network adapters or resources such as system memory to virtual machines on the fly. "We did this so we can demonstrate how easy it is to hot add a network adapter to a virtual machine," Woolsey said. "No other hardwire virtualization technology provides this hardware functionality for Windows, and this is only the tip of the iceberg." Working with Longhorn server, each virtual machine can be allocated up to 32GB of memory and eight processors. Windows Server Virtualization will come out in beta this year and be released to manufacturing about 100 days after Windows Server Longhorn, Gates said, meaning the virtualization product will also debut in 2007. Completing the trifecta, Microsoft has been working on the Office System 2007, otherwise known as Office 12. "Office is quite important in how its using [Vistas enhanced] graphics capabilities," Gates said. The suite includes a new toolbar or Ribbon User Interface, as Microsoft executives call it, designed to make it easier to add things like subheadings or footnotes to documents. The suite also includes the capability to more easily search out and, if necessary, add data from other documents stored locally or on a server to a document like a PowerPoint presentation. Next Page: Standards.

John G. Spooner John G. Spooner, a senior writer for eWeek, chronicles the PC industry, in addition to covering semiconductors and, on occasion, automotive technology. Prior to joining eWeek in 2005, Mr. Spooner spent more than four years as a staff writer for CNET, where he covered computer hardware. He has also worked as a staff writer for ZDNET News.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel