Unveils Windows Vista Product Lineup | Microsoft Corp. today announced the product lineup of its upcoming Windows
Vista operating system. Scheduled for release later this year, the Microsoft
Windows Vista product lineup will bring clarity to customers’ digital world by
helping them easily accomplish everyday tasks, instantly find what they want,
enjoy the latest in entertainment, improve the safety of their personal
information, stay connected at home or on the go, and help ensure PCs are
up-to-date, more secure and running smoothly.
The Windows Vista product lineup consists of six versions, two for
businesses, three for consumers, and one for emerging markets: Windows Vista
Business, Windows Vista Enterprise, Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista
Home Premium, Windows Vista Ultimate and Windows Vista Starter. The number of
offerings is the same as the number of offerings currently available for
Windows XP. More important, the lineup is designed to deliver clear
value to a broad range of customers, each product tailored to meet specific
needs of various segments of customers — home PC users, small and medium-sized
businesses and the largest enterprises — and is aimed at bringing 64-bit, Media
Center and Tablet PC functionality into the mainstream.
“We live in a digital world that is filled with more information, more
things to do and more ways to communicate with others than ever,” said Mike
Sievert, corporate vice president of Windows Product Management and Marketing
at Microsoft. “The PC needs to give people the clarity and confidence to handle
this ‘world of more’ so they can focus on what’s most important to them. With
our Windows Vista product line, we’ve streamlined and tailored our product
lineup to provide what our customers want for today’s computing needs.”
Windows Vista: Designed for Businesses
of All Sizes
Business customers can choose from two versions that are designed to meet
their needs, based on the size and scale of their organizations:
- Windows Vista Business.
Windows Vista Business is the operating system designed for organizations of
all sizes. For small businesses, Windows Vista Business will help keep PCs
running smoothly and more securely so they are less reliant on dedicated IT
support. For larger organizations, Windows Vista Business will provide dramatic
new infrastructure improvements that will enable IT staff to spend less time
focused on day-to-day maintenance of PCs and more time on adding strategic
value to the organization. These are some of the specific features of Windows
- A new user interface, named Windows Aero™, is designed to
deliver the most productive, highest-performing desktop experience possible.
Windows Aero will provide a professional-looking, transparent glass design,
with subtle effects such as dynamic reflections and smooth animations, along
with Windows Flip and Flip 3D desktop navigation features.
- In addition to these navigation improvements, Windows Vista
Business makes it easier than ever to manage huge volumes of business
documents. By integrating search throughout the operating system and providing
new ways to organize files, Windows Vista Business helps business users quickly
find exactly what they are looking for.
- Windows Tablet PC technology provides built-in handwriting
recognition and enables interaction with the PC with a digital pen or fingertip
instead of a keyboard.
- Windows Vista Enterprise. To better
address the needs of large global organizations and those with highly complex
IT infrastructures, Windows Vista Enterprise is designed to significantly lower
IT costs and risk. In addition to all the features available in Windows Vista
Business, Windows Vista Enterprise is designed to provide higher levels of data
protection using hardware-based encryption technology. It will also include
tools to improve application compatibility and will enable organizations to
standardize on a single worldwide deployment image with the inclusion of all
Windows user-interface languages. Windows Vista Enterprise will be available
only to customers who have PCs covered by Microsoft Software Assurance or a
Microsoft Enterprise Agreement. These are some of the specific Windows Vista
- Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption helps prevent sensitive
data and intellectual property from falling into the wrong hands if a computer
is lost or stolen.
- Virtual PC Express is one of several built-in tools that
improve application compatibility with previous versions of Microsoft operating
systems. Virtual PC Express enables a legacy application to run unchanged on a
legacy Windows operating system in a virtual environment on top of Windows
- Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications enables users to run
UNIX applications unchanged on a Windows Vista Enterprise-based PC.
The new user interface Windows Aero is also available in
this edition of Windows Vista.
Windows Vista: Incredible New Experiences and Choices for the
Home PC User
Consumers can choose from three versions that deliver
exciting new experiences for the home PC user:
- Windows Vista Home
Basic. Windows Vista Home Basic is a great choice for homes with basic
computing needs. For consumers who want to simply use the PC to browse the
Internet, correspond with friends and family through e-mail or perform basic
document creation and editing tasks, Windows Vista Home Basic will deliver a
safer, more reliable and more productive computing environment. It will provide
new tools and technologies for making the PC more secure and enjoyable,
including features such as a new Search Explorer, Sidebar and Parental
- Windows Vista Home
Premium. Windows Vista Home Premium will help consumers use mobile or
desktop PC functionality more effectively while enabling the enjoyment of new,
exciting digital entertainment experiences. Windows Vista
Home Premium improves every aspect of digital entertainment experiences,
including photos, video, TV, movies, music and games. Windows Vista Home
Premium includes everything in Windows Vista Home Basic, along with additional
features and enhancements such as the following:
- The new user interface Windows Aero is also available in
this edition of Windows Vista.
- Windows Vista Home
Premium integrates search throughout the operating system, helping
customers easily organize and quickly find large collections of documents,
pictures, movies, videos and music.
- Windows Media Center capabilities turn the PC into an all-in-one
home entertainment center. Consumers can use Media Center
to record and watch TV shows (even high-definition TV) and access new kinds of
online entertainment content. It also provides the ability to connect Windows
Vista Home Premium to Xbox 360™, extending the Media Center experience to multiple rooms in the home.
- Windows Tablet PC technology, which enables interaction
with the PC with a digital pen or fingertip instead of a keyboard, is also
available in this edition of Windows Vista.
- Integrated DVD burning and authoring allows users to
seamlessly burn personal videos photos and files to video or data DVDs, and
easily create professional-looking DVDs from home movies that can be shared
with family and friends.
- Windows Vista Ultimate. Windows Vista Ultimate is the edition
of Windows Vista that has it all. It is the first operating system that brings
together all the entertainment features, mobility features and
business-oriented features available in Windows Vista.
All new versions are available for either 32-bit or 64-bit
systems, depending on the needs of the customer. Windows Vista Home Basic, Home
Premium, Ultimate and Business will be available as a full-packaged product at
retail and on new PCs. Windows Vista Enterprise will be offered only to
business customers participating in Microsoft’s Software Assurance program.
Microsoft also will offer Windows Vista Starter in emerging
markets. Windows Vista Starter is designed to empower families and entry-level
PC users in these markets to experience the world of social and educational
benefits that personal computer technology and the Internet makes possible. A
32-bit operating system designed specifically for lower-cost computers, Windows
Vista Starter enables popular beginner PC activities and provides an
easy-to-use and more affordable entry point to the Windows Vista family of
“Windows Vista is going to be a significant release for all
Windows customers — including enterprises, small and medium-sized businesses as
well as consumers,” said Al Gillen, research director for System Software at
IDC. “Microsoft’s strategy to address different customer segments with versions
of Windows Vista optimized for their needs should be well received by these diverse
All versions of Windows Vista are scheduled to be broadly
available in the second half of 2006.
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