Microsoft hopes to tackle an age-old problem with the next version of Windows: How to keep PCs running like new.
With Vista, the new client version of Windows due next year, Microsoft is addressing what's become a sad truth for most people: PCs run more slowly over time.
Vista will automatically de-fragment hard disks, make better use of memory to more quickly load programs, and include a new performance control panel that will identify performance bottlenecks, according to the company.
The goal is to keep PCs running like new long after they're purchased. "Certainly a year after a user gets a Vista system, if they do the sort of standard things we encourage users to do (install Windows updates, etc.), it should run the same as when they initially go it, said Gabriel Aul, a group program manager in Microsoft's Windows division.