Five years in development, Vista is supposed to ship to enterprise customers by the end of November, two months ahead of its general release to consumers.
Microsoft declared the Vista code complete this week, releasing it to manufacturing along with Office 2007.
"Its certainly the most secure operating system theyve released to date," said Erik Schmidt, a technical manager at the University of Florida, which has been evaluating Vista on more than 50 personal computers as one of the formal beta testers in Microsofts Technology Adoption Program.
That perspective was echoed by another TAP participant, Keith Dickey, a project manager in Fulton County, Ga.
Dickey said that a new feature within Vista called user account control—which administrators can turn on to prevent the installation of unauthorized applications—will allow the county to cut back on the 24,000 hours it spends each year cleaning up infected machines.
That will translate into about $750,000 that the countys chief information officer, Robert Taylor, can devote to something else.