Vista's UAC a Winner in Win7?
Microsoft has been quiet, and loud, and then quiet again about Windows 7.
It doesn't want to set unrealistic expectations (when would it ever do that?), and it doesn't want you to think it is just around the corner so you'll skip over Vista (why would you ever do that?).
On the other hand, it wants to prime the pump and make sure you know Microsoft is still the leader and the innovator when it comes to desktop operating systems.
Much of that balancing act takes place on the Engineering Windows 7 blog, a place where Microsoft philosophizes about features and occasionally gives actual product direction. It is actually a pretty useful site.
Microsoft recently used the blog to promise to improve one thing users love and hate about Vista: User Account Control, or UAC (an acronym that truly says nothing about what the feature actually does). Without a lot of details, Microsoft is promising to reduce the number of prompts asking you if is it okay to install this or run that.
If UAC (did I mention that this is an acronym that truly says nothing about what the feature actually does?) ends up less intrusive and still stops malware, I'm all for it.
Microsoft Ignites Silverlight 2
On the developer side, Microsoft, in my humble opinion, continues to listen to customers, respond to market forces and innovate. Silverlight, its lightweight but feature-rich Web development platform, is a clear case in point. I have simply never heard anyone, even open source or Google zealots, bad mouth Silverlight.
Only a year-and-a-half old, Silverlight is now on its second release. This new rev actually doesn't seem to boast a lot of new features, but Microsoft does promise better interaction with the open source Eclipse.
Among the new items are more controls, better skinning, content protection and more support of Web-centric networking protocols.
Citrix Pushes for Total VM Interoperability
Smart vendors believe in interoperability, and perhaps that is why Citrix code-named its virtual machine interoperability tool "Kensho," a Zen word for enlightenment.
By using Kensho, still in beta (a Greek word that means second in a series), IT can create virtual machines that work under an array of hypervisors, VMware, Xen, Hyper-V and so on.
Even cooler: Kensho is open source.
I see the virtualization market as being quite serious about interoperability, and if this all works you can choose your hypervisor based on need, price or circumstance -- and not worry about your app running or not.
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.