Vista revs up peer-to-peer engine
Whenever Windows Vista computers arrive, they will have their own special way of talking to one another.
Microsoft's new operating system, which won't arrive for consumers until early next year, has a new collaboration feature that allows laptops to share information with other nearby machines.
The underlying technology is known as "People Near Me" and is being used by Microsoft for its own software projects and by other developers. The company has built one program based on it into Vista--Windows MeetingSpace--that lets people share and view files.
The new collaboration tools are among a host of features, topped by improved search and new graphics abilities, that Microsoft is hoping will convince people to either upgrade from Windows XP or buy a new Vista-equipped PC. It had hoped to have the new operating system on store shelves in time for the 2006 holiday season, but is now shooting to be ready for a January mainstream launch.
MeetingSpace is designed with a couple of situations in mind. First is the scenario where people meet up at a coffeehouse and want to share data with one another. The other might be at a business, where several people are in a meeting and want to be able to view and edit a presentation together.
"You can just start a session and project onto someone's system," said Mika Krammer, a director in the Windows client unit.
The feature requires the laptops to have built-in Wi-Fi (nearly all notebooks do these days), but does not require Internet access, since the technology uses peer-to-peer connections. Users with most versions of Vista will be able to start a session; those with Home Basic can join a session but not start one of their own.
>> Source: C|Net News