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3/20/2007
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Microsoft Document: Future Windows To Be More Secure, Searchable, Mobile

Though the plans are low on details, they give a sense of where future versions of the Windows operating system and new Windows features may be headed.

Microsoft is looking to make the future Windows universe better at search, more secure, more mobile, and cheaper in big deployments, according to a document found on Microsoft's Web site. Though the plans are low on details and subject to change, they give a sense of where future versions of the Windows operating system and new Windows features may be headed for consumers and businesses alike.

The document, a Powerpoint Presentation shown in January by Microsoft Denmark employee Michael Hansen, is marked "Microsoft Confidential " NDA Only." Its existence was first reported on Vista developer community Web site AeroXperience.

The presentation says one goal of future Windows will be to "enable flexible computing infrastructures including rich, thin, and network-centric models." That could signal a continuing investment in Windows Embedded and terminal services.

Other potential efforts to extend the reach of Windows include extending wireless connectivity and optimizing performance of Windows on mobile devices. The primary goal there appears to be delivering "anywhere, anytime, any device access to data and applications." However, notably absent from the document is any mention of Microsoft's "software plus services" vision of powering applications with a blend of client, server, and cloud-based computing resources.

In terms of search, according to the document, Microsoft hopes to bring local, network, and Internet search together. The company also intends to make enterprise management functionality like backup, permissions, and schemas more searchable and easier to organize.

Security enhancements are another future investment. There are plans to extend data protection and management to peripheral devices and expand it for mobile devices, create secure role-based computing through better user-account management, develop better security for collaborative apps, institute enterprise-wide data protection and permission schemes, and make application compliance and usage monitoring more ubiquitous.

For IT pros, Microsoft says it aims to achieve "non-disruptive" updating and patching, which would be a big feat for a company continuously sending updates that IT professionals often wait to deploy. Future versions of Windows may also include more or better virtualization scenarios, better diagnostics, and easier deployment.

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