Windows 7 security changes examined

We've already had a look at Windows 7's user interface changes, but Microsoft's next operating system won't just be a pretty faceā€”it'll also include a number of security enhancements. CNet News' Robert Vamosi has tried out the Windows 7 pre-beta Microsoft released at PDC2008, and he has the skinny on some of those changes.

Microsoft has reportedly consolidated alerts from 10 different Windows features (including the Security Center, Windows Defender, and User Account Control) into a single control panel: the Action Center. Speaking of User Account Control, Microsoft has also tweaked UAC so users can adjust the behavior of prompts with a slider. According to Vamosi, Microsoft claims users will "still be protected against malicious software, even if they never see another alert." Redmond developers recently talked about the subject in their Engineering Windows 7 blog.

Vamosi says Windows 7 will also extend BitLocker encryption support to removable storage (like USB thumb drives), allow users to manage and control biometric login data, and tweak System Restore so it explicitly states which programs will disappear after jumping to a given restore point. In a somewhat stranger move, Microsoft will supposedly let third-party developers disable parts of the Windows Firewall so they can push their own firewall software, as well.

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