GCN Insider | Vista Beta 2: Getting there

Last month Microsoft group product manager Greg Sullivan brought by a freshly burned disk of Windows Vista Beta 2, which he characterized as 'a major improvement to the February Vista [Community Technology Preview].' (Previous CTPs, including Build 5270, were sometimes labeled 'Beta 2' but were not, in fact, Beta 2, as some have claimed'very confusing.)

The GCN Labs have been putting Beta 2 through its paces, but according to Sullivan, there's still work to do before Microsoft issues a release candidate this summer. The enterprise version of Vista is on schedule to hit the streets this November.

For one thing, Sullivan told GCN, 'There's performance work left to do''although as we sat there playing with it, the OS responded spryly. But we certainly trust Sullivan when he says Microsoft still has to work on compatibility. That's always the case with a new Windows. Microsoft's Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.0 should help, though. The software inventories applications in an enterprise and can suggest mitigation procedures.

While not directly referring to a recent Yankee Group report that characterized Vista's new User Account Control as 'too chatty and annoying,' Sullivan acknowledged that Microsoft was working to limit the annoyance factor. The UAC warns users of the potential consequences of their computing actions, such as visiting certain sites or deleting files. Sullivan said the company needs to figure out how much intrusion is too much, but for now, he admits, 'UAC needs to be more streamlined.'

For more IT trends and analysis, visit the GCN.com Tech Blog at www.gcn.com/blogs/tech.

About the Authors

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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