Vista, the next version of Windows' client-side operating system, is designed to fulfill the fundamental role of an operating system today: provide users with a safe environment when they are on the Web, the company's Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie said Wednesday.
His comments, made at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, came on the same day the company released Vista to manufacturers, putting it on track to reach business customers in late November and consumers in late January.
"It's software and it will have flaws," Ozzie cautioned. But Vista has been built from the ground up to be secure "by design," he said in a presentation in which he answered questions from conference chair John Battelle and from attendees.
Asked about Microsoft's vision for Windows and Office five years from now, Ozzie said the different product groups will determine it, but that clearly the explosion in mobile devices and the pervasiveness of the Web will without doubt be factored into the future development of Office.
Likewise, hardware trends that will take PCs from multicore to "many core" processor environments will play a big part in the evolution of Vista, he said.
About his choice to replace Gates as chief software architect, Ozzie acknowledged they have different management styles and that he needs to earn the level of trust and loyalty that Microsoft employees have for Gates, something that will take time.
Asked to comment about Google, Ozzie described the Microsoft rival as "a force to be reckoned with by many people in the industry" but added that there are many opportunities to improve Web searching.