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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

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

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