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
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
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
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
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:
Likewise, there are five editions of Microsoft Office 2007
available to general consumers:
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
of freebies being given away with both software packages this week in stores.