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7/7/2006
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Microsoft Adds Privacy Folder To Windows

Microsoft Private Folder 1.0, an add-on to Windows XP for storing private documents and files, has some enterprise administrators squawking.

Microsoft has released an add-on to Windows XP that creates a password-protected "My Private Folder" for storing private documents and files. Some enterprise administrators immediately objected.

Microsoft Private Folder 1.0, which can be downloaded from the Redmond, Wash. developer's Web site -- users must prove that their copy of Windows is legitimate by running the controversial Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) tool -- places the new folder on the desktop.

"It's a useful tool for you to protect your private data when your friends, colleagues, kids or other people share your PC or account," Microsoft said on the page dedicated to the new tool.

Commentators to the MSBlog site, however, quickly blasted the add-on.

"Have they even thought about the impact this could have on enterprises?" wrote someone identified as Stuart Graham on Thursday. "I'm already trying to frantically find information on this product so that a) I can block to all our desktops and b) figure out how we then support it when users inevitably lose files.

"I can see the benefit in this product for home users but it's a bit of a sloppy release by Microsoft (no documentation from what I can see and no enterprise management facilities)," Graham continued.

Private Folder 1.0 runs on Windows XP SP2.

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