Windows Vista is just so played these days. With that preliminary biz release under its belt, we're ready for bigger and better things, and luckily a certain "jameskyton" drive-by-blogger has the low-down for us on Vista's successors, Fiji and Vienna. James calls Fiji a sort of "Vista R2," which should include most of those fancy features Microsoft had to cut out of Vista to get it released this century. Highlights include the reappearance of WinFS, which will sit on top of the NTFS file system; a more full-featured sidebar app; tight Windows Live integration, especially when it comes to media; built-in playback of HD DVD; Next-Generation Secure Computing Base; and possibly even a Garage Band clone called Monaco. There will also be the usual interface and other minor enhancements you can expect from such an update, but Fiji has nothing on Vienna, which is purported to feature a complete overhaul of the OS, including a break in compatibility with "all applications," though hopefully Microsoft will have some Apple-esque transition schemes in place before that time comes. The fresh beginning will give Microsoft more OS-building freedom than it has had in a long time, but right now it sounds like they're a bit too excited about this: Vienna will supposedly do away with the Start Menu, toolbars and menus in favor of some sort of pie-menu interface, WinFS-t-the-core and search, potentially leaving long time users stranded with a brand new interface to learn from the ground up. The OS will also feature beefy speech support, along with a sandbox mode for running non-managed code without risking your security. Much of this is hearsay so far, and we're really hoping Microsoft doesn't go off the deep end with Vienna, but we're still curious to see what they have up their sleeves after being cooped up so long ironing out Vista bugs.
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