The next versions of Windows 95 and Windows NT Workstation will be able to cache network files locally so that users can access them while their computers are disconnected. The function is one of several utilities Microsoft will fold into the next-generation operating systems.
With the client-side caching, files will be synchronised automatically with the server when the client is reconnected, said Bernard Wong, Windows product manager.
NT 5.0 and Memphis, the update to Windows 95, are both due in 1998. The first wide-release Memphis beta version is due by the end of June, with the NT 5.0 beta version coming later in the year.
Some of the enhanced utilities will be included in a Zero Administration Windows kit for Memphis. Microsoft officials said a release date for the kit has not been set.
Microsoft is scheduled to release other Zero Admin kits for NT 4.0 and Windows 95, which are designed to bring down the cost of management and use of PCs.
Predicting a 10 per cent overall improvement in performance, Wong also demonstrated a number of new or updated Windows technologies.
One will automatically scan a PC's files for defects and extract replacements from compressed files. Another is a registry scan and repair utility that will allow users to fix outdated, damaged, or corrupted entries, according to Microsoft.
Also on tap is an improvement to the SysEdit utility to simplify and speed up the booting process by letting users determine what files and drivers are loaded, Wong said.
The Dr Watson crash-analyser utility also will be updated to aid identification of applications that cause system crashes, Wong said.