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Week in Review: Move over Vista, Windows 7 is in the works

Bill Gates may have gone, but Microsoft still has the ability to make the IT community sit up and take notice.

It looks like Microsoft has virtually given up on Vista as a enterprise-wide replacement for Windows XP as the covers were pulled off Windows 7.

According to Microsoft management, the new platform in development will not suffer from the performance and compatibility problems that have beset Vista. A public beta will be released early in 2009, and it has also been hinted that it will be officially released as soon as late 2009 or early 2010.

Microsoft also made its move into the cloud' with a preview of a new utility computing platform called Windows Azure.

It was also a week of security with RSA Europe being held in London. The biggest news from the event was Information Commissioner Richard Thomas' speech where he revealed that there were 277 more data breaches since the infamous HMRC records loss.

NHS IT has had many problems, but is it actually "grinding to a halt?" Government opposition calls for a review of the 12.7 billion programme which has already suffered delays and problems with suppliers backing out.

Other public technology schemes seem to be in better shape though, and the police confirm that trials of mobile fingerprint scanners will be expanding nationwide.

Handheld biometric devices, which are the size of a smartphone, these useful little gadgets are able to return identity confirmation from a suspect's fingerprints in just a few minutes.

Last, but not least, yesterday saw the first Google Android phone hitting stores. Reports have suggested that it had a rather less enthusiastic turnout than for the Apple iPhone, but considering the handset itself is an HTC model which is similar to one already running Windows Mobile, that was probably to be expected.

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