In February, Microsoft launched its much-anticipated Vista operating system (OS). According to the company, the successor to Windows XP sports several new features that are designed to increase productivity for Microsoft's clients -- including, of course, banks.
"XP [which was released in 2001] is pretty widely deployed in banks, from the lending side to product management, even in the back office," says Greg Haislip, managing director, banking, at Microsoft. "Vista will take over this role," he contends. However, there isn't a "financial services" version of Vista per se, Haislip notes, adding that Vista is a horizontal platform common across Microsoft's footprint.
Still, there are certain aspects of the OS that bankers can exploit to help improve their operations, specifically around security, mobile computing and search. For example, baked into Vista is encryption technology that leverages Microsoft's BitLocker solution. The OS can store centralized keys so users won't need to rebuild them if the data or hardware is compromised.
Further, Vista includes a new search feature that allows users to search different types of media on their computers. "Finding information fast is vital to banks," states Haislip. "This is true for lending officers, relationship managers, wealth managers and call centers."