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February 17, 2006

Windows Vista news roundup

Posted by David Hunter at 4:43 PM ET.

Vista backdoor or not?

Earlier in the week, the BBC had a story that the British government had requested a backdoor in Windows Vista’s BitLocker drive encryption because it was too strong. John Lettice at The Register isn’t too impressed – Panic spreads over Windows Vista ‘back door’ that never was:

Who’d be a Microsoft? There you are, strolling along minding your own business and the next thing you know you’re in a top level conspiracy with the UK security forces to put a back door into Windows Vista. Or so, anyway, the web bush telegraph would have us believe. But disorientating as we find it to be leaping to Microsoft’s defence twice in one day, we at The Register feel compelled to point out that the story is somewhat exaggerated, going on entirely untrue.

Vista still plenty secure

Regardless of any backdoor stories, Bill Gates delivered a keynote at the RSA conference and touted the new security features in Vista including the ubiquitous InfoCards, which he also announced will be supported in Internet Explorer 7. The term “virtual wallet” was even bandied about. In an interesting development, InfoCards got backing from Verisign:

Microsoft has found an unlikely backer for its ambitious InfoCard online ID management system.

At the RSA Conference here, Verisign dispelled the notion of a rivalry with Microsoft over identity management and announced that its new VIP (Verisign Identity Protection) network—which is backed by Yahoo and eBay—will work seamlessly with InfoCard in Windows Vista and Internet Explorer 7.

Oh ye of little faith!

There seems to be a bit of buzz about Microsoft actually being on time with the February CTP of Vista:

Microsoft still is expected to deliver the next Windows Vista milestone, the February Community Technology Preview release, next week — most likely on Feb. 21, according to testers briefed last month by Microsoft.

While beta testers contacted this week said they had received no updated information as to when to expect the so-called February Community Technology Preview, most said they were still expecting it to arrive on February 21, as Microsoft privately told testers a month ago.

And in a related vein, it looks like that, as anticipated, Vista will actually ship in time for the holidays.

A surprise in the holiday stocking?

Last but not least, don’t plan on upgrading your current PC to Vista and being able to watch any high definition content. Ken Caesar Fisher has the details at Ars Technica, but I rather like Thomas Hawk’s explanation, “Hollywood Hates You.”

Filed under Beta and CTP, Bill Gates, CardSpace, Coopetition, Executives, General Business, Governmental Relations, IE7, Internet Explorer, OS - Client, Technologies, Verisign, Windows Vista, Yahoo, eBay

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