1999 Conference Proceedings

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WINDOWS NT 5: UNDER THE HOOD

Jeff Witt
Program Manager, Microsoft
Contact Information: Microsoft
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA
98052; 425-936-8080; 425-936-7329 FAX

Windows NT® Workstation 5.0 is the latest version of the Microsoft NT desktop operating system. This version of the operating system was designed to provide the easiest Windows for working with the PC, setting up and configuring the system, working offline, and browsing the Web. It builds on NT 4.0 by providing the highest level of security and industrial-strength reliability and better performance. It also delivers the best of Windows 98 to ensure compatibility with applications and devices. Windows NT 5 also contains the accessibility features built-in to Windows 98 and several new accessibility features. This pre-conference session provides a demonstration of the new components of Windows NT 5 and the new accessibility features.

General components of Windows NT 5.0, which will be demonstrated, include the following:

Windows NT Workstation 5.0 is designed to make the familiar Windows interface even easier by removing desktop clutter and simplifying the Start Menu. In addition to removing unnecessary desktop items, it introduces Personalized Menus, a feature that adapts the Start Menu to show the user the applications they typically use first.

More intuitive dialogs for opening and saving files have been included. Windows NT Workstation 5.0 also provides an integrated, easier search mechanism for finding information, more useful and informative help when the user needs it, and more intuitive error messages to direct the user when a problem does occur.

For users working with multiple languages, Windows NT Workstation 5.0 introduces built-in support for viewing and editing over 60 language character sets, all through a single version of the operating system. This also means users can run an application in any language on one version of Windows NT Workstation 5.0.

Windows NT Workstation 5.0 has been designed to be easier to configure and set up via a number of new wizards:

For users who are becoming more mobile via laptop computers, Windows NT Workstation 5.0 is designed to be a mobile platform for the new generation of ACPI-based (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) PCs, as well as for existing laptops. Windows NT Workstation 5.0 includes:

The improved Windows NT File System (NTFS 5.0), allows the user to apply additional security permissions to their hard drive and utilize the Encrypting File System (EFS) to protect sensitive information on laptops, and recover data that may be lost.

Windows NT Workstation 5.0 also includes enhanced support for private communication over public networks using Virtual Private Networking (VPN). VPNs can be created using Point to Point protocols (PPTP, L2TP), or IPSEC, which allows virtually everything above the networking layer to be encrypted. These three technologies create a secure way for users to access corporate networks remotely using a local Internet Service Provider (rather than dialing long distance).

Support for Kerberos authentication--a mature, industry-standard network authentication protocol--makes single sign-on possible in virtually any network environment.

With the latest machine access technology such as Smart Cards, Windows NT Workstation 5.0 provides to security-conscious organizations additional measures for protecting critical information.

Windows NT Workstation 5.0 decreases the amount of planned and unplanned reboots of the system, thereby resulting in more uptime for users. Over 50 scenarios where a reboot was necessary in Windows NT Workstation 4.0 (e.g. adding a protocol, adding a new device, etc.) were identified. With Windows NT Workstation 5.0 the architecture is used to stop and restart services in order to recognize the changes, instead of having to reboot the system. Because of this, the 50 scenarios have been reduced to less than seven.

With Windows NT Workstation 5.0, a new Windows® installer service defines and enforces a standard format for application setup, including installing, repairing, removing, updating, and dependency tracking of all application components. Together, decreasing the amount of reboots, driver signing, and the Windows Installer allow for more reliable, self-healing applications.

Windows NT Workstation 5.0 will provide users with a more responsive computing experience, including:

Faster access to information, enabled by performance gains in Internet Explorer 5.0 and faster searching of the hard drive and the network via content indexing Innovations in Windows operating systems have helped integrate individuals with disabilities into the workplace. For example, the Social Security Administration, winner of a 1998 SAP/Stevie Wonder Vision Award, has more than 300 employees with visual impairments working on computers running Windows NT 4.0 Workstation. Building on features introduced in Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0--and benefiting from feedback on the accessibility features in Windows 98--Windows NT 5.0 was designed to improve existing accessibility features and add new features--including a built-in on-screen keyboard.

The accessibility features available in Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 included:

provides:

While Windows NT 5.0 has become more accessible, software and hardware developers have created more accessibility products for Windows NT. A catalog of products is available from Microsoft at http://www.microsoft.com/enable.

The Microsoft Training Group, provider of accessible documentation and courseware--including numerous titles on NT 4.0 servers and workstations--will offer the same support for Windows NT 5.0. This documentation includes a comprehensive list of Windows keyboard shortcuts.


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