Wednesday, June 14, 2006

What is new in Microsoft Longhorn? – Part 2 of 2

Continued from ‘What is new in Microsoft Longhorn? – Part 1 of 2'

New features in Microsoft Longhorn (Continued) are:

11) Microsoft will introduce ‘Network Access Protection’ or NAP in Longhorn. The idea behind NAP is to identify and isolate virus-infected or ‘unhealthy computers’ from the network. NAP works in conjunction with DHCP and VPN. One of the common nuisance which will be avoided from NAP is from a visitors laptop connecting to the corporate network. If the visitors laptop is infected or unhealthy, it will automatically be detected and removed from the network. This provides the facility for the visitor to use the corporate network and the IT Administrator the facility to allow the visitor access to the corporate network without worrying about the viruses coming in from his machine.

12) In Windows 2003, there was an option to disable the USB. However, this option was not intelligent enough to differentiate between a USB storage device from a USB mouse. Most administrators wanted USB to be disabled so that users cannot copy data and take it out with them. However, with the existing technology, if the administrators took a hard call and did disable USB, they were left with no other option but to go in for other non-USB devices like a PS2 mouse. In Longhorn, the Group Policy will provide options to disable different device types connecting to USB, thereby providing the administrators to manage security as well as provide non-risky USB privileges to the users. Also XML files are set to replace the ADM for managing the templates used by Group Policy.

13) Microsoft will introduce a successor to Remote Installation Services (RIS) in Longhorn called as Windows Deployment Services (WDS). The data available till this writing mentions that WDS will support the Windows Imaging Format (WIM).

14) Microsoft will introduce ClickOnce in Longhorn. This will allow for applications and programs to be installed on the computers by providing a single. This will make life simpler for the end user and in combination with software distribution mechanisms like SMS, will also help facilitate licensing compliance.

15) Error messages will be replaced by Task Dialogs in Longhorn. Task Dialogs will contain troubleshooting information and links in addition to the error message, thereby empowering non-technical users, to perform some basic level of troubleshooting before approaching for help.

16) Peer Name Resolution Protocol (PNRP) is like a poor man's DNS in that it allows hosts to discover one another. This will be especially useful for a small company not intending to use DNS but still would prefer some amount of name resolution. PNRP uses the Winsock 2 Namespace Provider API. Apparently PNPR only works on IPv6. Could be used for applications to find and connect with each other.

17) Microsoft had improved the event logging in Windows 2003, by providing more details for the problem and in some cases also providing the resolution steps. According to Microsoft, this improvement is still better in Longhorn.

18) Using any current imaging technology, if an existing machine needs to be re-installed by using OS imaging, it is well understood that the data will have to be backed up and restored. This means, the time taken to backup and restore the data adds up to the lost productivity time of the user. Using the XImage feature in Longhorn, Windows Vista images can be deployed on machines without losing files.


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