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Microsoft Corp. on Monday showed off features of its next major release of the Windows operating system and unveiled an advanced version of the current software to fill the gap until the big launch. Chairman Bill Gates previewed the look of the major upgrade, code-named "Longhorn," and key features such as anti-spam and anti-fraud security, in a keynote speech to computer hardware makers at the Microsoft Windows Hardware Engineering Conference.

Windows operating systems run on about nine out of 10 PCs worldwide. Users will have a five-year wait between Windows XP, which debuted in late 2001 and Longhorn's expected launch next year. A preliminary version will be available this summer, Gates said.

Longhorn will offer new sets of icons to organize documents, technology to share files more easily and new security to block viruses and other schemes to defraud consumers.

Longhorn will also make it easier for developers to support Windows and create programs to run on it.

Meanwhile, Microsoft said it would begin shipping "Windows XP Professional x64 Edition" next month. The advanced version will tap into faster microprocessors that can crunch more information at one time, handling 64 bits of data compared with 32 bits in the previous generation.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft has been boosting its efforts to promote Windows as the company faces its slowest projected sales growth of just over 8 percent for its current business year to June. Microsoft has posted double-digit growth since going public in 1986.

Source: Reuters

Article submitted by: Taut
Last Update: 04-26-2005
Category: News

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