New Windows Vista Build Hints at Whats to Come

The October Community Technology Preview build of Microsoft's next release of Windows client includes lots of Internet Explorer and networking enhancements. But it also offers glimpses of other features that are coming soon. (Microsoft Watch)

Microsoft has released a new test build of its Windows Vista release that is as interesting for what is included now as for whats coming next.

On Monday, Microsoft made available to its 15,000 to 20,000 technical beta testers the second Community Technology Preview (CTP) release of Vista, Build 5231. Company officials said they expected to expand availability shortly of the CTP to include an additional 625,000 Microsoft Developer Network and TechNet subscribers .

The October CTP update includes, as expected, a number of new Internet Explorer (IE) 7.0 features. It also includes some new networking and diagnostics functionality.

But whats equally interesting in the new CTP are the hints about the features that Microsoft is planning to add to later Vista CTP and beta builds.

As many industry watchers were expecting, Microsoft is planning to build the core of its Windows Antispyware product into Vista. While the anti-spyware code—which Microsoft has been beta testing for the past few months—is not part of the October CTP, the Vista Security Center exposes the fact that Windows Antispyware will be included in Vista, going forward.

Lead Windows product manager Greg Sullivan confirmed that Microsoft is planning to integrate the core Windows Antispyware product into Vista.

"The core Windows Antispyware functionality gets built in," Sullivan said. "For unmanaged environments—home and small business users—we want to provide base-level security services."

Microsoft is still planning to make antispyware and other security add-ons available "out-of-band," Sullivan said, as some kind of add-on products and/or services that will rely on the Windows Antispyware core, he said.

Another new Vista feature that is hinted at in the October CTP build is Windows Media Player 11, the new version of Microsofts audio/video player that the company already bundles as part of Windows.

While the October CTP includes code that is labeled as "Windows Media Player 11," the actual bits are more like "Windows Media Player 10-plus," Sullivan said. The real Media Player 11 code will be added in a future Vista build.

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