Confessions of a Windows Enthusiast

Where I rant about Microsoft products, computers and technology, and much more.

  • Hello? Is this thing on?

    Hey everyone,

    First and foremost I'd like to thank Brandon LeBlanc for forwarding my request to one Mr. Robert McLaws, who was kind enough to set me up here at! I've been a long time reader of this site since it first opened up back when Windows Codename "Longhorn" (now more formally known as Windows Vista) was still in the alpha phase, and I'm ecstatic to be a part of the team here! I mean, wow... this just rocks!

    For those of you who don't know me, my name is Kristan Kenney, and I'm a Windows Live Messenger Product Specialist and a long time Microsoft Beta Tester. I've been beta testing Microsoft products, both client and server, for about 4 years now. I started with Windows Server 2003 and then moved on to Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 SP1 & Server 2003 R2, MSN Messenger, Virtual Server 2005 and Virtual PC 2004, and some of the Windows Live products.

    I have a very solid background in computing and have covered everything from Windows 3.1 straight to Windows Vista & Windows Server Codename "Longhorn", and I've also worked with non-Microsoft systems such as UNIX/Linux and Mac OS.

    Again, I'd like to thank the team here for allowing me to be the latest addition, and I look forward to providing some really great content here for all you readers in the near future!

    Until then, take care!

    -- Kristan M. Kenney

  • Windows Vista Q & A with Microsoft!

    I had the chance to get some Q&A going on with Microsoft, so a big thanks to them for allowing this to happen. I’d also like to thank Jessica from Waggener Edstrom for setting this up! Now, for your reading pleasure... here’s the interview!

    What are the main focus points for Windows Vista in general?

    For the Enterprise, Windows Vista delivers great value to businesses by addressing critical business scenarios. First, it empowers your people by making it easy for them to find, share, and use Information. Second, it enables mobile and remote workers to stay connected and productive wherever they are. Windows Vista also addresses growing security threats and will help protect your people’s data in and out of office, secure your environment, and make it easier to achieve compliance with government regulations and internal policies. Finally, it will make it is easier to deploy, manage, and support your corporate PCs by helping you to optimize your desktop infrastructure. With Windows Vista you get all of these productivity, mobility, and security benefits while also achieving lower Total Cost of Ownership. 

    For the consumer, Windows Vista makes finding information, staying connected, and interacting with your PC much easier than in the past. Windows Vista Home Premium lets you enjoy your digital entertainment more by simplifying and improving the way you use, organize, and share photos, video, TV, home movies, and music. It even makes it easier and more fun play your PC games. If you use a mobile PC, Windows Vista Home Premium includes innovative mobility and connectivity features that enable you to use it more effectively than ever before.  Finally, Windows Vista Home Premium simplifies the setup of your PC and is designed to be dramatically more reliable and secure compared to any previous version of Windows. Whether you are balancing your checkbook, studying for school, watching a movie, listening to music, or playing a game, your experience will be better on a PC running Windows Vista Home Premium.

    Windows Vista VPR (Virtual Press Room):


    With Windows being one of the key Microsoft products available to consumers, how many new features that have been requested for Windows Vista have made it into the product?

    The final feature set was something determined only after extensive testing and feedback from our customers and partners. We are constantly evaluating the feedback from our community and the most important feature of Windows Vista continues to be the overall quality of the product. Although Windows Vista has been feature complete since the Enterprise CTP, many features will continue to evolve throughout the development cycle, and the feedback we receive will continue to impact the overall feature set and experience.

    Windows Vista Features:


    Security is a key factor with any computer system, and Windows Vista has included some new security technologies such as User Account Control, Windows Defender, and Protected Mode for Internet Explorer 7; but how do these work together to protect the end user?

    Building confidence and trust in our customers continues to be the single most important ingredient to our success and the success of the technology industry as a whole. This effort, known as Trustworthy Computing, requires that we develop a more secure operating system. Windows Vista will meet that requirement by building a security infrastructure that provides a usable, consistent and manageable experience and ultimately making our customers more confident in their PC and the things they can do with it.

    Microsoft believes the best approach to stopping malware is to layer security features.  Windows Vista contains numerous security features that, working together, help prevent malware from installing and help find and remove it if it has already been installed.

    New features such as User Account Control (UAC), Windows Defender, and Internet Explorer Protected Mode along with improvements to Windows Firewall and Windows Update work together to help shield Windows Vista PCs from malware.

    Additionally, other Microsoft software and services such as the Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) and Windows Live Safety Center ( are important parts of Windows Vista’s strategy for fighting malware.  Used together, along with an antivirus application such as Windows OneCare or one available from our antivirus partner companies, the above features and services can help prevent malicious software from installing on your computer and, if already installed, can help remove them and mitigate any damage they might cause.

    In essence, Windows Vista contains a number of new safety features that, taken together, are designed to make Windows PCs more secure and online experiences safer. The improvements should help users accomplish three important goals:

    1. A PC free from malware such as viruses, worms, spyware, and other potentially unwanted software
    2. A safe online experience for users and their families
    3. An understanding of when a PC is unsafe, and the control and guidance to make it safe again

    Windows Vista Security Features:


    What are the top 5 reasons or features that you think would make someone running Windows XP want to upgrade to Windows Vista?

    Windows Vista will deliver significant advances in key areas important to our customers and partners. Our number one priority with Windows Vista is nailing the fundamentals, so that we can provide our customers with clarity in their computing experience. With Windows Vista we aim to give customers more confidence in the PC and the things they can do with it. The features of the operating system are designed to help our customers easily find what they need and focus on doing what they want to do as well as to provide simple, easy ways for them to connect to people, information and other devices. When Windows Vista is released, it will include major enhancements in security, privacy, performance and reliability as well as advances in deployment and serviceability for IT pros.  Windows Vista also will deliver new tools for smart information management, collaboration and sharing, and a streamlined user experience that will enhance user productivity and is designed to scale with today’s modern hardware.  Also, Windows Vista will provide the next-generation platform for hardware and software developers. 


    How do you think businesses will adopt Windows Vista? Fairly quickly or a more laid back approach as many have done moving from Windows 2000 to Windows XP?

    In the two years following the launch of Windows Vista, roughly 500 million PCs will ship in the marketplace. This represents an excellent opportunity for strong Windows Vista deployment.