Microsoft is cooking a new storage features for Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and Windows XP Service Pack 3 “Windows Feature Pack for Storage”. However, the Windows Feature Pack for Storage will not be limited to the Vista and XP clients, and will also be released for the following operating systems: Windows Vista, Windows Vista SP1, Windows Server 2008, Windows XP SP2+, Windows Server 2003 SP1+. Smartcard on XP is only available in 32 bit. At this point in time the Redmond company has failed to disclose an availability deadline, as the project is only in pre-release stage, and available for download to testers via Microsoft Connect.
There are 3 technologies available for this Pre-Release, each will have its own installer:
- Active Storage Platform: enables the Windows platform to restrict access to portable devices (such as a USB Flash Device) via a certificate or password authentication based on the IEEE 1667 standard specification.
- Image Mastering API update for Blu-Ray media: enables the Windows platform to do master style optical burning on Blu-Ray media.
- Smart Card Driver: provides support for new form factors, such as ICCD/CCID.
“The beta is being released in order to get coverage on any legacy scenarios and install/uninstall scenarios,” reads an excerpt from the message posted by Microsoft for the Windows feature Pack for Storage Beta. The Windows Feature pack for Storage won’t be the first Vista feature pack. Microsoft has released, in addition to the previously mentioned optical feature pack, the Windows Vista Feature Pack for Wireless and the Windows Media Center TV Pack.