Microsoft is working on new parental controls for its forthcoming Windows Vista operating system, as it plans to launch a prototype of the offering for its existing Windows XP OS.
The free parental controls are first expected to be available for Windows XP by the end of June.
Called Windows Live Family Safety Settings, the technology will help prevent children from accessing content deemed unsuitable by parents.
The product is currently in beta and the first version to become available in June will let parents filter content and get activity reports of websites visited.
A later version of the technology will allow parents to approve which contacts can be made by their children using the e-mail program Windows Live Mail, and instant messaging service Windows Live Messenger.
Windows Vista is expected towards the end of this year, and Microsoft said the filtering technology currently being developed for XP would be complementary to Vista.