Since efficient and interoperable tools and Microsoft do not go together very well in one sentence, I hadn't paid much attentention to Microsoft Vista and Office 2007. Yes, I knew they were delayed, but that is hardly news from Redmond. In Barron's this week, I read an article about the financial impact of both products on Microsoft, as well as a summary of the new features. Let's run down the new features of Microsoft Vista 2007: (ha!)
- Security: Windows moves from 'the user is the administrator' to 'you need a password to be administrator'. This is touted as an example of Microsoft being serious about security. Unix - 1969. More modern and more secure operating systems have already moved away from the all-none user security status. For example, Solaris 10 introduced two years ago Process Rights Management (aka Privileges), a feature it imported from Trusted Solaris, a military grade version of the operating system. There is no 'god' in the system. And users and programs need the correct privilege to execute an operation.
- Vista embeds search. MacOS X Spotlight 2005. Google Desktop Search.
- Vista introduces a sidebar with widgets. MacOS X Dashboard 2005. Konfabulator, now part of Yahoo Widgets.
- Microsoft Vista introduces parental controls, a feature AOL and MacOS X provide for several years.
- Microsoft media will be able to handle high-definition video. Apple Quicktime 7 2005.
- Internet explorer introduces tabbed browsing. No kidding.
- Outlook will include an RSS reader. Thunderbird, MacOS X Safari 2005.
"But what have we had in terms of innovation over the last few years? Frankly, as an industry, not all that much."Wow, I rest my case.