Microsoft wraps up development of Windows Vista

Microsoft announced today that Windows Vista has been released to manufacturing. Vista will mark the first big shift in Microsoft consumer operating systems in over 5 years.

With Vista, Microsoft promises increased security with an improved firewall and Windows Defender and User Account Control. Other fresh additions include integrated desktop search, Internet Explorer 7.0, Windows Sidebar, Windows Sideshow, built-in system diagnostics, improved gaming support, fully integrated Speech Recognition as well as support for Windows SuperFetch, Windows ReadyBoost and Windows ReadyDrive.

Windows Vista will be available in four distinct retail versions:

  • 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.

According to Neowin, the RTM version of Vista will be available for MSDN subscribers sometime after November 10, while businesses should begin receiving their copies on or shortly after November 30. Vista will be launched into the retail sector on January 30, 2007.

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