Microsoft Still Working On Vista - InformationWeek

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11/20/2006
12:39 PM
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Microsoft Still Working On Vista

Windows co-president Jim Allchin says Microsoft will keep crafting new device drivers and release them to customers through an automatic update service.

Even though Windows Vista's code has been locked down, work will continue on the new operating until it ships, the Microsoft executive in charge of the product said.

While boasting that the installation DVD of Vista will contain nearly 20,000 device drivers -- nearly twice as many as Windows XP offered when it debuted in 2001 -- Windows co-president Jim Allchin also said that Microsoft's revamped Windows Update and Automatic Updates services will let the company keep crafting new drivers, then release them to customers once they have the OS on a PC.

"We will continue to add more drivers even after the launch," wrote Allchin on the Vista team's blog. Work on third-party application compatibility updates will also continue, said Allchin, as outside developers test their wares against Vista and provide feedback. "As each batch is ready, we will put the new compatibility updates on Windows Update."

Unlike earlier editions of Windows, Vista can be set so that Automatic Updates downloads and installs device drivers without user intervention. If the user chooses the recommended Automatic Updates' setting -- which is tagged as "download and install important and recommended update" -- the system will scan for devices that lack a driver or have only a generic driver installed. In cases where Automatic Updates detects a missing or generic driver, it will download and install the appropriate non-specific driver.

"When you use Windows Vista for the first time, you will notice that the system asks if you want to check for any updates," said Allchin. "I strongly recommend it -- it's a good habit. And don't be surprised when the system downloads some updates -- in fact you should expect it."

Windows Vista was released to manufacturing Nov. 8. Microsoft will launch the new operating system Nov. 30, but won't move it into retail until Jan. 30, 2007.

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