Microsoft unleashes Windows Vista, Office 2007 to consumers

New operating system and productivity suite aim to provide an intuitive user experience

More than five years after its predecessor Windows XP was born, Microsoft has unleashed what it sees as its biggest product launch since Windows 95 with the mass market release of the much-anticipated Windows Vista and the 2007 Office System.

Today's January 30 launch marks the availability of the new-generation products via traditional boxed packages and pre-installed on computers, and comes two months after they were made available to the business market.

Microsoft Australia's newly appointed Managing Director Tracey Fellows said Windows Vista is the most important release of Windows that Microsoft has ever delivered.

"Australian consumers will be among the first people in the world to experience the powerful innovations that have been delivered with Windows Vista and the 2007 Office system," Fellows said.

The Sydney launch event, held at the Museum of Contemporary Art, attracted some 250 press and business partners. The presentations included demonstrations of the new software which went smoothly with the exception of a jittery projector which often dimmed and even blanked-out a few times.

Windows Vista is now available in four versions - Home Basic ($385), Home Premium ($455), Ultimate ($751), and Business ($565). Windows XP users can take advantage of the upgrade to these versions for less with the Home Basic upgrade for $199. Academic pricing is also available.

During her presentation Fellows focused on the improved security of Windows Vista, saying the new family safety settings via the Parental Control Panel are the most advanced of any operating system.

Vista's security settings can be used to restrict content, downloads and Web sites.

Some significant new features of Vista include live previews, including video, of running applications, integrated search and security, and 3D navigation of applications on the desktop.

For the local consumer market, Vista also integrates three key Web services - Kodak Online Print Wizard, the Sanity online music store, and Bigpond Movies for movie downloads.

The 2007 Office System now features a new "ribbon" user interface replacing the traditional dropdown menu, and extends the live preview functionality so documents are updated in real-time. OneNote now ships as part of Office 2007, and native PDF exporting from applications is now also a feature.

Microsoft's global president of its platforms and services division, Kevin Johnson, said there were over five million beta testers of Windows Vista, including about 90,000 in Australia.

For the design of Office 2007, Johnson said data from some one billion hours of office use was used to provide feedback and feature requests.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Rodney Gedda

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?