Windows Vista's Day Has Arrived - InformationWeek

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Windows Vista's Day Has Arrived

At launch event in New York, Bill Gates hosts a day-long extravaganza

Windows Vista is finally here--almost. After years of development, what's another day?

Bill Gates & Co. come to town

Bill Gates & Co. come to town
Bill Gates and guests by the hundreds will be in New York on Jan. 29 for an all-day consumer product launch. Ceremonies start in the morning on Manhattan's West Side with a "human billboard," followed by an invitation-only lunch hosted by CEO Steve Ballmer. The main event: a 5-1/2-hour extravaganza at the Nokia Theatre in Times Square, which seats 2,000 people and features an 85-foot, high-def LCD screen on its marquee.

Vista doesn't formally go on sale until Jan. 30. Between the launch event Monday and product release Tuesday, Gates will appear on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. All of this for a PC operating system some critics say isn't that different from Windows XP.

IT professionals can ignore the fuss; Microsoft released Vista to them two months ago. Vista, of course, is arriving later than expected. In reporting last week that second-quarter profit fell 28% on 6% higher revenue, Microsoft said it had to defer $1.64 billion in revenue because of the delayed rollout of Vista and the new version of Office.

The big question: Will consumers run out to buy Vista? Retailers will be open at midnight just in case. On Tuesday, Ballmer will be at Best Buy on Fifth Avenue doing what he does best--hawking Microsoft's newest software releases.

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