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Windows Vista To Launch a Day Early

While Jan. 30 is the promised date for Windows Vista's and Office 2007's availability to consumers, the company is actually holding the launch gala in New York the day before on Jan. 29.

The event will kick off with a luncheon hosted by Microsoft chairman Bill Gates at mid-town Manhattan's famed Italian restaurant Cipriani on 42nd Street. Then, after the antipasti, the grilled shrimp and the pesto, it's off down 42nd Street to Times Square and the Nokia Theater for the official launch event. The enterprise launch of Vista and Office 2007 was also held in Times Square in late November.

Vista's consumer launch -- dubbed "the Wow starts now" -- will seemingly open the floodgates for all of the pent-up user demand for a new Windows version, an until now unrequited desire that has languished for nearly five years since the launch of Windows XP. The driving question remains, however, whether consumers will snap the OS up immediately or wait for another excuse -- such as late summer back-to-school sales or Christmas 2007.

Despite the excitement and pent-up demand, Microsoft's celebratory gathering cannot come close to this week's New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square that drew at least a million attendees. Public relations spin or not, lines around the block to buy Vista at midnight won't be able to hold a candle to that.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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