Businesses Get First Crack at Vista

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Regular users need to wait until January 30th, but Microsoft released Windows Vista, alongside Office 2007, to volume-licensed businesses yesterday. “These are game-changing products,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square to announce the launch. “It’s an incredible step forward for business computing in a year of unprecedented innovation from Microsoft. We expect that more than 200 million people will be using at least one of these products by the end of 2007.”

Ballmer expects the new versions of Vista and Office to “represent more than $250 billion” in increased business efficiency. They are designed to help employees collaborate more efficiently, search through corporate files and find information faster, protect data and reduce IT costs with improved security features.

Vista and Office 2007 also contain many components designed to compete with online application offerings like Google’s Writely and Spreadsheet. Vista features built-in support for RSS feeds and other web services, while Office 2007 hooks in to Microsoft’s online suite Office Live.

According to Microsoft, this is the largest and most important product launch since the simultaneous release of Windows 95 and Office 95 in 1995.

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