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Windows Vista - new operating system launched

Windows Vista - new operating system launched - The latest version of Windows, Vista, went on sale today, promising to make the interface more visually exciting and significantly easier to use.

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Press release:
On Jan. 30 the most significant product launch in Microsoft Corp.’s history culminates in the release to consumers of the Windows Vista operating system and Microsoft Office 2007. Starting tomorrow, these two flagship products will be available in more than 70 countries, in 19 languages (with 99 languages anticipated by the end of the year), and at more than 39,000 retail stores and online. The launch marks the achievement of an unprecedented collaboration between Microsoft and its customers and partners, and ushers in an era in which personal computing is easier, safer and more enjoyable than ever before.

“Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 will transform the way people work and play,” said Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft. “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.”

A New Era of Personal Computing
Windows Vista and the latest release of Microsoft Office feature dramatic graphic enhancements to the interface that make the desktop more visually exciting and significantly easier to use. With simple and intuitive tools, consumers can easily create and share digital documents, photos, music and videos, participate in digital communities, and play online and offline games.

With Windows Vista, consumers will be able to experience all kinds of entertainment — from television to video games to music and movies — how and when they want. Keeping in touch with family, friends and colleagues using e-mail, voice recording or video will be richer and more convenient. Redesigned user interfaces will increase productivity and ease of use, helping consumers and small businesses produce documents — from a marketing plan to a child’s birthday invitation — that look better and are more professional in less time. Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 will continue to improve access to information with new tools that make it easy to find the right piece of information — be it an e-mail message, image, note or media clip — no matter where it is stored.

The new versions of Windows and Microsoft Office also deliver advances in family safety by empowering parents to better manage and monitor their children’s PC and Internet activities. With a few simple clicks in the new Windows Vista Parental Controls center, parents can manage and monitor PC and Internet access, and decide what kinds of TV, music and games are appropriate for their children. Security is also more robust in the new releases. Features such as Windows Defender help protect consumers against attacks from spyware and malicious Web sites, while other enhancements help safeguard personal information. In Microsoft Office 2007, Document Inspector helps clean personal information, comments and hidden text from documents, so families can share their documents with confidence.

“These are the most amazing versions of Windows and Office ever,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. “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.”

New Opportunities
The consumer launch of Windows Vista is also expected to unleash a flood of new next-generation hardware, software and entertainment devices and services. Currently, more than 1.5 million devices and peripherals are on the market that work with Windows Vista, including more than 2,500 that are Certified for Windows Vista. In addition, thousands of PC manufacturers and system builders around the globe will deliver the Windows Vista operating system and Microsoft Office 2007 on new PCs.

“We designed Windows Vista and Office 2007 as springboards for our partners, for realizing the next generation of computing, for a whole new wave of innovation in devices and software that offer better graphics, better connectivity and communications, and a more productive, more enjoyable experience all around,” Ballmer said.

The Vista versions
Windows Vista Ultimate

The choice for those who want to have it all, Windows Vista Ultimate provides the power, security, and mobility features you need for work, and all the entertainment features you want for fun.
Windows Vista Home Premium

Preferred for home desktop and mobile PCs, Windows Vista Home Premium has a breakthrough design that brings your world into sharper focus. It delivers the productivity, entertainment, and security you need from your PC at home or on the go.
Windows Vista Home Basic
Ideal for homes with basic computing needs like e-mail, browsing the Internet, and viewing photos, Windows Vista Home Basic is easy to set up and maintain, and helps you quickly find what you need on your PC and the Internet.

Check your PC
The Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor will help you to determine if your Windows XP-based PC can run Windows Vista. You also can use the Upgrade Advisor to determine if your Windows Vista-based PC is ready for an upgrade to a more powerful edition of Windows Vista.
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Brom 13 804 United Kingdom
The first fix will probably arrive tomorrow

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Big Bri 17 16.3k United Kingdom
Beware the driver support for soundblaster Audigy 2 and 4 cards is non existant.
Flickr are reporting that some of the desktop backgrounds were sourced from Flickr users and other 'amateurs'

stevenj 14 2.0k England
The driver for Canon SLR cameras allowing use of the Canon software bundled with cameras, is not available yet.

But there are numerous reasons to at least take a peek at Vista.
Duncan_E 11 201 3 United Kingdom
"Flickr are reporting that some of the desktop backgrounds were sourced from Flickr users and other 'amateurs'"

Let's not take this out of context. The person at MS sourcing the images looked at 10,000 submissions. Many amateurs are highly skilled and take as much care over their photography as the professionals. As long as the end result is top quality, it's irrelevant whether the photographer is a pro or not.
keithh Plus
14 25.4k 33 Wallis And Futuna
Does that measn Vista has some very, very bright coloured backgrounds?
NevP 12 853 13 Canada
Am I alone?

I don't want a more visually stimulating experience. I just want the system that I have to continue to operate in a stable manner and to continue to run the applications that I have loaded and to support the hardware that I have.
I don't need to be "marketed to" to convince me that my fairly new system is crap, I don't need to play space invaders with 100 Chinese nationals online, I already own a TV which is located in a comfortable spot away from my workstation, I don't want a system that makes all the decisions for me.

I am sure some people will rave, but for now I am content to just have a small rant.

Phew that's better! Smile
Amen Nev... Vista is VERY HW hungry and a lot of people are going to catch colds with this release. One good thing though - the pundits reckon there'll be a glut of decent spec 'XP' machines at cheap prices because of them being 'junked' to buy new HW capable of running Vista.
I've just downloaded the MS Vista Upgrade Advisor...my PC is fine (but then I knew it would be) but it informsme that many of my progammes may not be compatible with Vista at present (including Office 2003 Pro). I'm going to wait till I can succesfully upgrade without any problems at all.
Big Bri 17 16.3k United Kingdom
Mike - have you actually seen Vista ? Most PCs from the last 3 years will run Vista perfectly well. They recommend 1Gb RAM, but it works fine on one of my PCs with just 512Mb.

Most important thing is a decent graphics card. If you have a DirectX 9 graphics card, turn on the Aero interface and all the hard work is done in hardware, thus freeing up your CPU for more important stuff.

The added security, built in backup, parental controls, fast search etc all make it a better experience than XP. And the UI is more grown up and less condescending - the "My Picture" folder is now called "Pictures" Smile

If you have a modern PC your are happy with, don't get Vista. If you are buying a new PC, get it.
Big Bri 17 16.3k United Kingdom
Office 2003 Pro works fine with Vista.
Ade_Osman 15 4.5k 36 England
I just bought a new computer in the last month. Currently it's running XP and I'm waiting for the free Vista upgrade disk to arrive from Microsoft. However, I'm still not convinced Vista is for me, so I'll wait for a while before I actually install it. This will give me time to hear all the horror stories about the bugs and errors within Vista before I finally make my mind up.

I have it installed at home now. Basically, it's fantastic Smile Only hardware/software issue I had was that my webcam is no longer supported, but I already knew that from my beta experience, so no big deal really.
shed 14 586 England
It's taken Microsoft 5 years to produce, and whilst it looks nice and works well, doesn't seem to offer anything to beat Mac OSX.

Add that to the fact that not everything is VISTA ready, and it looks less appealing.
Having now seen it, Vista looks very nice, but that's not a compelling reason to change the OS. The only good reason is when software stops supporting XP.
cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
It's funny how there is always a mixed bag of misinformation & speculation surrounding a new Windows release, And even funnier when the Mac brigade scoff as normal.
Just to put it into context most softwares will work OK with Vista, A few may need upgrades (Although why they are not available now is a mystery, Because the software houses have had long enough to sort the code ) Hardware on the other hand depends on the manafacturers, Some have Vista drivers available now, Some don't, Vista is Both 32bit & 64bit remember that.
IF software & hardware Vista updates are not available, You can hardly blame Microsoft, The Beta versions have been around long enough.

As for is Vista right for you, Time will tell I tend to agree with some veiws in that I don't want an all singing all dancing OS that does things all by itself, Buut there are those who can't be bothered with simple maintanance who will no doubt love all the Automation.
Rumour has it that Vista checks all software for validity and if it has doubts, it will delete the software on your behalf - ok for pirated/illegal copies but is prone to fault. Also heard the voice activation can blip and accidently delete software. Think I will wait for confirmation on this, seems a little too Big Brotherish.

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