February 22, 2006 10:47 AM PST

Microsoft opens window for new Vista test

Microsoft said on Wednesday it is releasing an updated test version of Windows Vista, the forthcoming update to Microsoft's flagship operating system.

The latest Community Technology Preview (CTP) version is aimed at businesses, Microsoft said. The company is trying to rebut the notion that Vista is primarily a consumer release, a perception that was fueled by Bill Gates' Vista demonstration at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

"Windows Vista is as much, if not more, a business release," said Brad Goldberg, general manager of Windows Client product management, in a conference call with journalists.

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Video: New Vista features on CTP
CNET Senior Editor Robert Vamosi shows off new features.

Goldberg said Vista will bring fewer reboots and easier manageability, which should help businesses reduce the cost of handling their stable of PCs.

Microsoft stuck to its existing timetable for Vista, promising a consumer-oriented test version will come out next quarter and a final release will arrive in the second half of the year.

"The exact date will be determined by quality," Goldberg said.

Microsoft released its last CTP version in December, following previous CTP releases in September and October. Microsoft had planned monthly CTP versions but scrapped that plan in November.

Windows chief Jim Allchin said last month that Microsoft would be releasing two more major CTP versions, but there would not be just one "beta 2" release, as has been the case with past Windows releases. Microsoft declined to discuss which different editions of Vista that Microsoft will make available. The company had briefly posted to its Web site information that suggested six distinct versions of Vista, with two of those also coming in "N" versions with the media player removed as required by the European Union.

"I know there has been a lot of speculation," a Microsoft representative said at the start of the conference call. "We will be making some information available very very soon."

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9 comments

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The Microsoft Virus Edition will not come with
protection. You must buy OneCare to get protection. This is because Microsoft only has one care: extracting as much money as it can. Product quality and customer concern be damned.

They'll bundle everything esle under the sun into the operating system, but not virus protection.
Posted by ordaj (338 comments )
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Where are the evil people when you need them?
Apparently no one is seeding this puppy yet. It's only a matter of time. Mwah hah hah.
Posted by mortis9 (370 comments )
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Microsoft Virus Edition heh...I guess you never heard of MSE.
Posted by BBAHunter (1 comment )
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