Goodbye Longhorn, hello new Vista

Microsoft has decided on the official name for its next long-awaited operating system (OS). The firm has dumped the software’s previous ‘Longhorn’ codename and opted instead for Windows Vista.

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By  Matthew Wade Published  July 24, 2005

Microsoft has decided on the official name for its next long-awaited operating system (OS). The firm has dumped the software’s previous ‘Longhorn’ codename and opted instead for Windows Vista. A video of the platform’s name launch which was added to Microsoft’s website this week (see www.microsoft.com/windowsvista), shows the Vista brand name alongside the slogan ‘Clear, Confident, Connected; Bringing clarity to your world’. The full OS is due for full release towards the end of next year, roughly half a decade after the launch of Microsoft’s last full consumer OS, Windows XP. However, a trial version of the new platform – likely to be named ‘Vista Beta 1’ – will be launched next week on August 3. A further improved and updated version - Beta 2 – should then be launched in the first half of next year. Microsoft previously promised that Vista – which will only run on high-specification PCs - will take a “completely new approach” to computing, with security an integral part of the operating system. This, claims Microsoft, will make malicious software “a thing of the past”. The OS will contain improved search features, offer full integration with a wide range of computing devices - from media centres to wireless music players, and will support RSS 2.0 (Really Simple Syndication). RSS is a type of XML format via which news-related web sites, weblogs and other online publishers can syndicate their content as an RSS feed to any internet users running an aggregator program. RSS feeds and aggregators are currently used, for instance, by eagre podcast downloaders desperate not to miss out on the latest versions of their favourite MP3 radio shows. Windows Vista should also support Ipv6 will be backward-compatible with Windows XP and Server 2003. However, not all the features Microsoft first promised will make it into the first full version of Windows Vista. The firm has taken out a number of features it had promised would be included in order to try and hit the platform’s 2006 release deadline. These missing components, which include Microsoft’s much trumpeted new ‘WinFS’ storage subsystem, will likely be released in the future in the form of service packs. Speaking earlier this year, Jim Allchin, group vice president of the Platforms Group at Microsoft, explained: “We’ve had to make some trade-offs to deliver the features corporate customers, consumers and OEMs are asking for in a reasonable time-frame. Our long-term vision for the Windows platform remains the same.” Microsoft's flagship Windows software currently runs on about 90% of personal computers worldwide.

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