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Microsoft release Windows Vista, Microsoft Office 2007 for consumers

It has been a long time coming, but consumers can now have their first real taste of the Windows Vista operating system as well as Microsoft Office 2007. Sure, you could grab an OEM copy of Vista a week early online, but only the true tech geeks were that anxious to get their hands on Microsoft's first new operating system in over 5 years. Microsoft's biggest cash cows are being launched in over 70 countries, in 19 languages (99 before year's end) and will be available in nearly 40,000 retail locations globally.

2006 saw countless beta versions of Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007. Microsoft even went so far as to make Office 2007 Beta 2 and Windows Vista Beta 2 available for public download over the summer to get greater feedback on the operating system. The expanded availability was quite beneficial in helping Microsoft to track down bugs and adjust the features and usability of the operating system.

Even though there were many successes during the gestation period of Windows Vista, there were also some big disappointments. Features that were dropped from the operating system include PC-to-PC Sync, WinFS, and FireWire-B support.

And we can’t forget Microsoft’s tussle with anti-virus manufacturers over Kernel PatchGuard. The software feature was put in place to prevent malicious code from accessing and altering the Windows kernel. Symantec kicked up a fuss over the feature and McAfee went so far as to place a full-page ad in the Financial Times blasting Microsoft. During this war of words, Kasperky and Sophos both sided with Microsoft saying that they had no problems with Kernel PatchGuard. In the end, however, Microsoft ended up caving and decided to provide kernel-level APIs to give secure access to the Windows Vista kernel. Not surprisingly, McAfee and Symantec were not impressed.

Likewise, there were many concerns over when Windows Vista would actually launch. Bill Gates, however, was there to reassure consumers and analysts alike that Windows Vista would make its January "on sale" date.

That being said, Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 are now finished products and both Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer are ready to sing the praises of both big releases.

"Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 will transform the way people work and play," said Microsoft chairman Bill Gates. "Personal computers have become a key part of the daily lives of almost a billion people worldwide. Millions of consumers had a hand in helping us design, test and create the most exciting versions of Windows and Office we’ve ever released. Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 squarely address the needs and aspirations of people around the globe."

"These are the most amazing versions of Windows and Office ever," added Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. "The visual effects are spectacular; the navigation is streamlined and intuitive. They make it much easier to protect your PC, yourself and your children online. And they work together to help you accomplish more throughout the day."

There are four editions of Windows Vista available for consumers, so here’s a breakdown:

  • Windows Vista Home Basic, $199/$99.95 (full/upgrade)
    Provides a basic platform for home users who want to keep tabs on email and Internet activity. Comes standard with Vista's new Search Explorer, Sidebar and Parental Controls.
  • Windows Vista Home Premium, $239/$159
    Builds on Home Basic by adding the Windows Aero interface, Windows Media Center functionality, Windows Tablet PC technology and integrated DVD burning.
  • Windows Vista Business, $299/$199
    Supports the Aero user interface, offers improved document managing and Windows Tablet PC functionality.
  • Windows Vista Ultimate, $399/$259
    Vista Ultimate combines the functionality of Vista Home Premium and Vista Business.

Likewise, there are five editions of Microsoft Office 2007 available to general consumers:

  • Microsoft Office Home and Student, $149/NA (full/upgrade)
    Excel 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Word 2007, OneNote 2007

  • Microsoft Office Standard 2007, $399/$239
    Excel 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Word 2007, Outlook 2007

  • Microsoft Office Small Business 2007, $449/$279
    Excel 2007, Accounting Express 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Publisher 2007, Word 2007, Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager

  • Microsoft Office Professional 2007, $499/$329
    Excel 2007, Access 2007, Accounting Express 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Publisher 2007, Word 2007, Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager

  • Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007, $679/$539
    Excel 2007, Access 2007, Accounting Express 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Publisher 2007, Word 2007, Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager, InfoPath 2007, Groove 2007, OneNote 2007

For those looking to score a hot deal on Windows Vista or Microsoft Office 2007,you may want to check your local sales flyer as there are a number of freebies being given away with both software packages this week in stores.

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don't forget the OEM versions are half price
By RamarC on 1/30/2007 11:22:56 AM , Rating: 2
these are prices from newegg/zipzoomfly for the full oem version (not ugprades) and are about half of retail.
home basic - $93
home premium - $123
business - $150
ultimate - $207

there is no hardware purchase restriction but oem has no tech support from ms.,1697,2088385...

By ObscureCaucasian on 1/30/2007 11:34:46 AM , Rating: 1
How about student discount at my University, 15 bucks, but they won't have it till March and I'm not sure what version we get.

RE: don't forget the OEM versions are half price
By Visk on 1/30/2007 11:41:25 AM , Rating: 1
My university (Rochester Institute of Technology) gives it out for free :D

RE: don't forget the OEM versions are half price
By AlabamaMan on 1/30/2007 1:36:24 PM , Rating: 1
Hey Visk,

I go to RIT instead, but I must have missed the free Vista thing.... what do you need to do to get it???

By clemedia on 1/30/2007 2:04:47 PM , Rating: 2
I'm assuming he's using MSDNAA. Too bad it's Vista business only. (downloads as 6 CDs). I'm wondering what the Windows select pricing will be, and whether we can get something other than vista business.

RE: don't forget the OEM versions are half price
By poohbear on 1/30/2007 11:41:00 AM , Rating: 2
can u reinstall oem versions after u change hardware?

By RamarC on 1/30/2007 11:44:33 AM , Rating: 1
can u reinstall oem versions after u change hardware?

yup. you may have to reactivate though.

By kelmon on 1/30/2007 1:21:04 PM , Rating: 2
Assuming that you haven't changed the motherboard, yes. If you have changed the motherboard then, by the license agreement, no. Whether or not there is a mechanism to prevent re-activation on a computer with a new motherboard remains to be seen but I expect that you can probably kick up a fuss with the Activation help line people such that they'll give you an extraordinarily long activation code to enter manually should it come to that.

RE: don't forget the OEM versions are half price
By Chriz on 1/30/2007 11:47:27 AM , Rating: 2
The only thing I don't understand about the OEM versions is if they contain 64 bit versions.

On Newegg, they just say 32-bit. Are these really only 32-bit? If so, how do you get 64-bit OEM?

RE: don't forget the OEM versions are half price
By RamarC on 1/30/2007 11:50:18 AM , Rating: 2
zipzoomfly has 64-bit oem vista so i assume newegg has 'em also:

By Korvon on 2/2/2007 12:15:53 PM , Rating: 2
All copies of vista have all versions on the DVD. The only thing that says what you get is the product code. If you put in no product code you can install any version you want 32, or 64bit you just have to put in the proper code for that version within 30 days. With any Microsoft product it’s not the disk that you pay for it’s the little sticker with the code on it that is worth the money.

By Griswold on 1/30/2007 12:14:36 PM , Rating: 3
You can buy both seperately. Part of the reason why OEM is so much cheaper is the fact that you wont get both 32bit and 64bit discs for that price.

RE: don't forget the OEM versions are half price
By borowki on 1/30/2007 12:09:58 PM , Rating: 2
Can you upgrade using an OEM disc? That's a big big question for many I'm sure.

RE: don't forget the OEM versions are half price
By Flunk on 1/30/2007 12:24:00 PM , Rating: 3
Legally, no OEM discs are for use on new systems only. As to if Microsoft has disabled the functionality in the installer, maybe. They have disabled full install for upgrade discs.

RE: don't forget the OEM versions are half price
By dice1111 on 1/30/2007 12:49:29 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt it's the other way around though. It would make no sence to have new customers remove and reinstall to update their machine with a retail copy of Vista. And i doubt that MS would waste money mass producing a 3rd version for OEMs that differ from retail.

This is just speculation however. I could be wrong.

By leexgx on 2/1/2007 10:31:30 PM , Rating: 2
thay do differ the OEM, retail and upgrade

the thing is Most users whould buy OEM any way via an new pc or been not stuped enuf to pay £320 ($400) for Vista Prim

in the Rare cases i seen an upgrade and an Full Retail disks (i think maybe 2-4 times in 2-3 yrs of doing this stuff) the Key part where you put it in is an little dif per type of Key used
before its entered OEM is an Key logo thats on your PC,
Retail and Upgrade is an Orange sticker on the book that stays in the XP box only been dif is the bit at the top says upgrade or not
i all so say the Vol ver as well {XP Pro Corp as alot use as it rids the anoying Actervation on users who do lots of upgrades all thsts needed just DO not goto windows update thats all Auto update is fine}

as there is allso an VOL ver for vista as well thats called Vista Enterprise (no media Center) that can be worked arounded useing KMS server

Time will tell
By flurazepam on 1/30/2007 11:23:15 AM , Rating: 2
Hear, hear. Right now I have no compelling reason to upgrade as, according to most sites I've read, Vista is still slower than XP (with no true support for OpenGL), and DX10 still hasn't come to fruition. I guess it's a wait 'n see pattern for me.

RE: Time will tell
By ChronoReverse on 1/30/2007 11:51:36 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, it does have true support for OGL. The same as XP anyways. That is, it won't turn off Aero or anything like that.

The problem is that the ICDs have yet to release drivers with that support on but as usual that's not something MS can something about.

RE: Time will tell
By RamarC on 1/30/2007 11:59:27 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Time will tell
By Flunk on 1/30/2007 12:22:38 PM , Rating: 5
AMD (ATi) released Vista drivers(32bit and 64bit) for all Radeon 9500 and newer cards that includes a full OpenGL ICD yesterday.

RE: Time will tell
By Chillin1248 on 1/30/2007 4:55:46 PM , Rating: 2
Nvidia will be releasing a full Forceware 100 series driver on Monday according to some sources.


RE: Time will tell
RE: Time will tell
By PhattyPatty on 1/30/2007 5:05:27 PM , Rating: 2
Oops. Didn't copy everything in. Just wanted to post those up for people that need them... especially people with 8800 series cards.

RE: Time will tell
By Chillin1248 on 1/30/2007 6:41:21 PM , Rating: 2
Those are still Beta, I was talking about a WHQL release. But thanks for bringing those drivers up, I thought 100.30 were the latest betas.


Powerpoint in Home Edition?
By Frank M on 1/30/2007 11:34:25 AM , Rating: 2
Why is PowerPoint in Home edition, but Outlook isn't? When did that happen?

I'd much rather have a mail/calender program at home than a presentation program. Silly Microsoft.

RE: Powerpoint in Home Edition?
By RamarC on 1/30/2007 11:49:00 AM , Rating: 2
lots of people use powerpoint for/at work. windows mail/outlook express is bundled with the os and not needed to work on files you take home.

RE: Powerpoint in Home Edition?
By Spyvie on 1/30/2007 11:49:32 AM , Rating: 2
Vista has decent calendar and mail programs built in. Outlook is really only usefull connected to Exchange server.

Shadow Copy
By borowki on 1/30/2007 12:08:24 PM , Rating: 2
I wish they had included Shadow Copy in the Premium Home edition. Just because I'm at home doesn't mean my docs are more dispensable. It's really a great use of today's huge hard-drives.

RE: Shadow Copy
By ATC on 1/30/2007 2:25:02 PM , Rating: 2
I agree about Shadow Copy. I had never used the feature before in XP (I'm assuming XP Pro had it).

I was just looking at it the other day in Vista Ultimate, and it works great. I was able to look up and restore files in a folder I had deleted days earlier. What a great feature.

I assume Business edition has it too.

RE: Shadow Copy
By borowki on 1/30/2007 4:00:24 PM , Rating: 2
It's a feature added in Windows 2003 I believe. There is a client for XP and 2K for shared shadow copy though.

Vista Business is only 40 bucks more by you lose some of the Home stuff... Might have bite the bullet and get Ultimate. A hundred dollars is worth it for a butt-saving feature.

Office - Yes, Vista - No
By kelmon on 1/30/2007 1:25:28 PM , Rating: 2
I'm glad that Office 2007 has been released as I've been very impressed with the last beta released and have been using it for a couple of months now full time so I'll definitely be plunking down the cash for that one. Vista, on the other hand, can take a long walk off a short cliff for all I care. The last beta that I installed of Vista (RC2) was much slower than XP Pro SP2 so I see absolutely no reason to spend a ton of money just so that I can slow down my computer.

RE: Office - Yes, Vista - No
By TomZ on 1/30/2007 7:38:05 PM , Rating: 1
Vista RTM is much faster and more stable than RC2. You shouldn't judge a production release by its betas, in general.

That said, if you only have 512MB or less of memory and only a medium-performing machine, I would personally stick with XP, and upgrade to Vista when you buy a new machine.

RE: Office - Yes, Vista - No
By kelmon on 1/31/2007 1:53:31 AM , Rating: 2
Understood but the important question here is, is Vista faster on the same hardware than XP? Since I've only just bought a new computer I won't be upgrading again for many years so the only way that I'd actually get Vista is if this one breaks in the meantime or if I buy a copy of it for this machine (Core 2 Duo).

Office Home/Student Pricing...
By Micronite on 1/30/2007 1:38:19 PM , Rating: 2
Is is just me or does $150 for Excel, PPT, and Word sound pretty good.
Sure, yes, I like OpenOffice, too and it's free. However, considering the improvements to the 2007 versions, I'm quite impressed that you can get the bundle for $150. In addition, I'm happy with PowerPoint being included in the lowest-priced bundle.

RE: Office Home/Student Pricing...
By livelouddiefast on 1/30/2007 4:12:05 PM , Rating: 1
make friends with a college kid and have them buy the ultimate version for you for like 80 bucks. it's spectacular.

RE: Office Home/Student Pricing...
By borowki on 1/31/2007 12:41:06 AM , Rating: 2
I just bought a couple Home Premium upgrades from the Academic Superstore for $70 each with free shipping. Pretty good deal. One of the perks of working at a university.

Sorry to ask...
By Captain Orgazmo on 1/30/2007 3:31:43 PM , Rating: 2
Is there an advantage in getting 64 bit over 32 bit (or the other way around) versions of Vista? Do you need new hardware drivers no matter what version it is? Will XP-compatible programs work on the 64 bit version? All this is very foggy for me... I would really appreciate it if someone could help me out (or link to a good page that explains this). Muchos Gracias.

RE: Sorry to ask...
By livelouddiefast on 1/30/2007 4:08:56 PM , Rating: 1
64 bit- more security features, decreased compatibility and drivers are sketchy and possibly scarce for now.
32 bit- the standard microsoft os. still more secure and stupid proof than xp.

some xp drivers work with 32 bit versions, however it's best if you upgrade them all. most xp programs work in vista x64.

x64 has a 32 bit emulator built into it that works reasonably for most programs.

RE: Sorry to ask...
By Captain Orgazmo on 1/31/2007 2:44:59 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the info. What version (32/64) would you get (if at all yet)?

Bill Gates Edition
By therealnickdanger on 1/30/2007 11:24:04 AM , Rating: 3
Don't forget about this jewel... :D I'd buy it if I didn't already have a copy of Ultimate.

By zmarius on 1/30/2007 11:38:03 AM , Rating: 2
I see no justification to spend $207 for the OEM or $400 or whatever it was for the retail version of Vista when there is no spectacular advancement over XP besides pretty visuals (which even in XP I disable personally) and more hardware drivers support, which most people can find drivers for their devices either online or through a pc tech shop. I've played with Vista beta1 and 2 and I see nothing worth even $50 imo.

By semo on 1/30/2007 12:51:17 PM , Rating: 2
hey what about the drm things ppl were talking about. are tilt bits implemented in every version?

any other info other than cost analysis of vista content protection?

I'll wait
By daftrok on 1/30/2007 2:39:42 PM , Rating: 2
Like all launch items (OS systems, consoles, processors) I'll wait. I'm fully content with XP and see little reason right now to upgrade and frankly the prices are ridiculous. Maybe they'll make Vista dirt cheap for us university students like they did XP :)

Future Shop Canada, No Ultimate?
By Matrinix on 1/30/2007 2:55:47 PM , Rating: 2
In regards to that photograph that says Ultimate is missing from Future Shop Canada, if you look closely you can see that there is indeed Ultimate in that photograph. Since the boxes are black it is hard to see it in the unlit shelf but if you look closely to the right of the Business boxes they are there. Also, when you say Business Depot, do you mean Staples?

Oem version
By electriple9 on 1/30/2007 3:47:23 PM , Rating: 2
I think the oem version you can only install it once, and got be able to upgrade any hardware. But the retail I believe I can be moved to any pc.
Also I think Vista home premium is good for most people.

By medavid16 on 1/30/2007 7:36:19 PM , Rating: 2
Pirated RTM copies have been out for a long time now. Yes, it's activated, yes you can download the Ultimate Extras.

By crystal clear on 1/31/2007 8:38:43 AM , Rating: 2
This is for all DRM -LOVERS & HATERS:

This little guy has DONE it-He will enable you bypass the DRM-but HE IS SHIT SCARED OF M$.

Come on MS BUY HIM OFF to SHUT HIM UP or give him A GOOD JOB-well paid-OFCOURSE.

DRM haters can you help him-with CASH,LAWYERS etc


Unfortunately, with almost 0% use for the open source community (which can use test signing mode for their drivers), documenting my method and/or releasing a sample might be viewed as an anti-DRM tool, and defintely a DMCA violation. Although used on its own, this POC doesn’t do anything or go anywhere near the PMP (I don’t even have Protected Media, HDMI, HD-DVD, nor do I know where PMP lives or how someone can intercept decrypted steams), a particularly nasty group of lawyers could still somehow associate the DMCA to it, so I’m not going to take any chances.

It’s quite ironic — Microsoft claims driver signing is to fight malware and increase system stability, so if I get sued under DMCA, wouldn’t that be an admission that driver signing is a “anti-copyright infringment tool”?.

I’d really love to release this tool to the public though, so I will look into my options — perhaps emphasizing the research aspect of it and crippling the binary would be a safe way.

Got it
By Master Kenobi on 1/31/2007 8:44:48 AM , Rating: 2
I was at the IT Keynote in Washington DC yesterday. They showed off all of the support, troubleshooting, enterprise image building and deployment. Definately impressed by what we saw and got to do there. For businesses and suppor teams Vista will be a definate improvement, hands down.

Now on a side note, Microsoft gave us a free copy of Office 2007 Professional (The $500 one) and a free copy of Vista Ultimate ($399). Loaded last night, 64-bit version (of course), loaded Office. Runs better than the RC1 and RC2 versions I had previously played with.


Student and Teacher Editions
By Omega215D on 2/1/2007 6:22:38 PM , Rating: 2
When I was browsing a few stores I asked about the new Office Student and Teacher Edition and for some reason the employees I spoke to at each store asked if I had student ID to show if I wanted to buy it. Is this a new rule? I remember buying Office 2003 without showing student ID.

By livelouddiefast on 1/30/2007 4:05:05 PM , Rating: 1
I worked an overnight last night at office depot setting up the new vista planograms and computers. Initial boot up was easily 20 minutes (though microsoft claims they will have this fixed for next batch of skus). Besides that, the IGPs can barely handle vista premium. For the $500+ desktops you'd think someone would wise up and toss in a $50-$100 video card so you could get around vista smoother.

In addition to vista itself running slow, manufacturers (specifically hp/compaq) bog down already crappy computers with loads of bloatware. I wonder what people actually use bloatware that keeps those companies going...

vista, run on a good machine, is a beautiful and decently running system. OEMs need to chip in a bit more so the experience of using vista on their machines won't be so trying

I suspect most people will NOT buy Vista
By Beenthere on 1/30/07, Rating: -1
RE: I suspect most people will NOT buy Vista
By Griswold on 1/30/2007 12:19:59 PM , Rating: 2
64bit is part of the full retail version along with 32bit version. That is not the case with OEM versions, which is what most people here seem to look at.

Vista has little to offer and a lot of hardware and software headaches to deal with.

Thats probably true for those who only look at the (pretty) desktop.

No, I havent bought it yet and I might not do so for a few more weeks or months, but I definitely will buy it this year.

By clemedia on 1/31/2007 1:45:56 AM , Rating: 2
the 32bit & 64 bit images only come with ultimate.

scroll to the bottom if you don't believe me.

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