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Microsoft planning Windows Vista upgrade

'Fiji' beta to add Media Center features to Vista

Microsoft has started taking beta-tester applications for the next update to Windows, an upgrade to the Windows Media Center functionality within Vista.

Dubbed ‘Fiji’ by some, it will not be a separate operating system, a la Windows Vista, but instead an update atop Vista, according to messages posted at Green Button a site dedicated to Media Center.

Jessica Zahn, a programme manager on the Media Center team, opened the beta-tester selection by pointing users to a link on Microsoft's Connect site. Potential testers must complete an online survey, submit it to Microsoft and then wait until 31 May, when the pool will be picked.

"The survey is deliberately broad," wrote Zahn. "It would probably be a mistake to assume everything we're asking about is going to end up in the next version, whenever that is. :-)"

The survey included questions about users' habits in listening to digital music, manipulating photos, and watching live television on the PC screen.

"Is this next release going to be an update to what is in Vista now (i.e. service pack) or is this for the next version of Windows?" asked a user identified as ryan.tollefson. Chris Lanier, forum moderator, replied: "It's Vista-based, not a 'new' OS."

"We only have so many spots, and we need a diverse group of testers from across the US and from supported countries," said Zahn. "You'll only be contacted if you're chosen, and we will choose people by May 31."

Zahn did not clue in testers to a release date for the Media Center update, or whether it will precede or succeed Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1), a roll-up of fixes Microsoft has confirmed but not yet set a release date for.

See PC Advisor's review of Windows Vista and discuss the new operating system with other readers in our Windows Vista forum.

www.computerworld.com


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