Microsoft Windows Vista represents a fundamental shift in operating system architecture, so much so in fact that earlier versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system are considered legacy operating systems. The dramatic changes in the Windows Vista architecture are designed to provide multiple layers of protection for your computer and your data. These protections begin with a change in the way Windows Vista starts, and they extend through just about every facet of the operating system—from the way services run, to the way authentication is performed, to the way your computer uses encryption.
In this chapter, you’ll learn about the most important architecture changes and how they create layers of protection for your computer. The changes that we’ll look at include the new boot environment, which safeguards and enhances computer startup, and new security features as well as enhancements to existing security features.
This book was written using the Windows Vista Beta to provide an early introduction to the operating system. More so than any other area of Windows Vista, the security features discussed in this book are subject to change. Some of the features might not be included in the final product, and some of the features might be changed substantially.