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Windows Vista Launches Tonight; Lots Going On

Tonight, at midnight, Windows Vista will go on sale at stores across the nation (many places are holding late-night launch parties). Here’s a round-up of launch-related stories going on:

Microsoft is offering incentives for people to buy new PCs from small system builders. Microsoft is offering a “Buy Local” bonus pack, as well as some freebies for those who purchase a PC preloaded with Vista. Vista Premium buyers get a free 2-gig ReadyBoost flash drive and an HDTV tuner, Vista Business buyers get that plus an additional wireless travel router, while Vista Ultimate buyers get all three plus a photo printer. Buy a PC with both Vista and Office 2007, and you get a free wireless print server.

NBA superstar LeBron James will be a major part of the promotional push for Windows Vista. Microsoft will use him in TV commercials and other ways to promote Vista and other Microsoft releases.

There will be launch events all across the US in major NFL cities (except New York, probably because we have the main launch, where you can enjoy free food, win prizes, and get your picture taken with a pro football player.

Chris Lanier warns that Windows Vista x64 isn’t worth picking up just yet. For now, driver support is not good enough to use in many situations, causing far too many headaches. It’s such a shame that the more advanced and more expensive 64-bit processors aren’t supported well enough, when consumers should be able to buy better technology and take advantage of it.

PCs running Windows Vista will enjoy free access to T-Mobile hotspots for the next free months, as part of a promotion with the launch of Vista. From tomorrow through April 30, you can logon at any of T-Mobile’s many hotspots, including at Starbucks, FedEx Kinkos, airports, and lots of other locations, for free high-speed internet access, so long as your computer identifies itself as running Vista.

Tonight, at 11pm Eastern, Bill Gates will be a guest on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with John Stewart. Should be a fun encounter, not just because of Stewart, but because John Hodgman, the guy who plays the PC in Apple’s “Get a Mac” commercials is a show regular.

I also got this in the email:

Windows Vista Launch Dances in NY Skyline [Source: Microsoft]

During a ceremony to celebrate the launch of Microsoft’s Windows Vista, 16 aerial dancers scaled a building in New York City to create a “human billboard” against the Big Apple’s skyline. To create the billboard, dancers moved across the exterior walls of the five-story Terminal Building, thus creating images of the Windows Vista and 2007 Office System icons. The performance was accompanied by an original score inspired by the new Windows Vista start-up sound. The new Microsoft application will go on sale Tuesday, Jan. 30.

Here’s a funny comic about which version of Vista you should pick up.

The Vanishing Point game concluded with a fireworks display revealing the final clues.

Back in 1995, a big deal was made over Jonathon Prentice, the first buyer of Windows 95. Jonathon was the first buyer in the earliest time zone to get Vista, New Zealand, and he cited the ability to play Solitaire and send faxes at the same time as a big draw. Nowadays, most versions of Vista don’t have fax abilities, and Vista Solitaire is an overhualed, graphically cool experience, but Jonathon doesn’t find it as appealing, and will stick with a laptop dual-booting Windows XP and Linux.

Microsoft has launched a new Windows Vista home page, with a brighter look and more complete options, including information on how to buy or upgrade.

Gizmodo writes about a website that is keeping track of the proper Vista drivers for all sorts of hardware, so if Vista doesn’t install it automatically, they’ve got you covered.

That’s it! If you’ll be at the New York launch tomorrow, be sure to say hi! If you will be in town and need to reach me in a rush, call my cell at 212-380-7127.

January 29th, 2007 Posted by | General, Vista, Windows | no comments

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