Beginning with brief demonstrations to reporters this week, Microsoft is starting to shed light on just what the next version of Windows will offer when it hits the market next year.
In addition to the sneak peek at Microsoft's next version of Windows, Apple Computer announced its planned date of delivery for Tiger, its own next-generation update to its operating system.
According to Apple, the updated desktop and server versions of the operating system, officially dubbed Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, will become available April 29. Until now, the company had said only that the upgrade would be ready sometime during the first half of 2005. Mac customers will get a chance to tame their own version of Tiger at 6 p.m. April 29 at Apple retail stores, where the company plans to host special events for the release.
In other OS-related news, Microsoft disabled the software tool that prevented Windows XP Service Pack 2 from automatically downloading itself onto business computers. One implication of the decision was that people who wanted to avoid adopting the security patch update may now be forced to incorporate it into their systems.
Microsoft advised companies still looking to shun SP2 to use a patch management tool such as System Updates Services to block the update. But some members of the IT industry were concerned that Microsoft had not provided enough information on this. A recent survey found that many of Microsoft's business customers are still avoiding SP2.