Windows Vista will be the most secure operating system that Microsoft has released, a company executive said a Vista launch event in Washington, DC yesterday.

Microsoft has listened to feedback from users, who disagreed with the decision to have some security features turned off by default in Windows XP, said Bill Veghte, Microsoft's corporate vice president for North America.

"I won't mince words," Veghte said to an audience of nearly 3,000 people. "Every single time we had a trade-off between application compatibility or security, we went with security."

But Vista also includes a feature that shows users which applications have problems after switching from an earlier version of Windows and the fixes that are available for those issues, Veghte said.

Microsoft will also submit its Office SharePoint Server 2007 for US Department of Defense (DOD) certification for electronic records management, Veghte said. Microsoft, working with partner Applied Information Sciences, expects to have SharePoint Service compliant with DOD 5015.2 standard in May.

The DOD standard focuses on secure records handling, requiring encryption on Web-based applications, the ability to schedule records to expire, and the ability to restrict user access to documents.

Applied has developed a Records Management Center add-on pack to SharePoint Server, part of the Microsoft Office 2007 suite released along with Vista. That add-on will allow users to comply with the DOD standard and have "military-grade" records management, said Russ Stalters, Applied's chief technology officer.

The add-on package will allow customers to collaborate using SharePoint without buying third-party records-management software, as SharePoint users have had to do in the past, Stalters said. By complying with the DOD standard, the software package "sets the bar" for records management for customers in highly regulated industries, he said.