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What Vista Really Looks Like

Pictures - 38 of them - speak louder than words when it comes to Microsoft's new operating system

There's not much about Windows Vista that hasn't already been said in advance of the operating system's official launch on Thursday. Accordingly, we're letting our screen captures do the talking. We've corralled three previous collections of Vista pictures into a single, giant image gallery of 38 shots.

Combined image gallery.

The images are drawn from three previous reviews of Vista beta code provided to InformationWeek by Microsoft. The most recent, Windows Vista Ultimate, 1 Week Before Release: Report Card, is off of an RTM version of Vista that's essentially identical to the software Microsoft is officially unveiling in New York City on Thursday.

We also captured images when we assessed the almost-but-not-quite-buttoned-down RC2 version, released earlier this fall, in First Look: Windows Vista RC2.

This summer, we put Beta 2 through its paces in Top 10 Windows Vista Hits & Misses.

Moving forward, we'll keep an eye on the software as it evolves. It's a good bet that consumers will migrate to Vista fairly quickly, and willingly, particularly once the OS is on retail-store shelves in January.

For the IT community, Vista adoption may be more keyed to the normal PC upgrade cycle than to an immediate, mad dash to upgrade. CIOs still need to assess just how much better Vista is at security than is Windows XP. They'll also want to quantify Vista's total cost of ownership, especially given that Vista-capable PCs require a good graphics card to properly run the OS's new Aero interface.

- Alexander Wolfe, InformationWeek

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