Microsoft Launches Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 to Consumers Worldwide

NEW YORK — Jan. 29, 2007 — On Jan. 30 the most significant product launch in Microsoft Corp.’s history culminates in the release to consumers of the Windows Vista™ operating system and Microsoft® Office 2007. Starting tomorrow, these two flagship products will be available in more than 70 countries, in 19 languages (with 99 languages anticipated by the end of the year), and at more than 39,000 retail stores and online. The launch marks the achievement of an unprecedented collaboration between Microsoft and its customers and partners, and ushers in an era in which personal computing is easier, safer and more enjoyable than ever before.

“Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 will transform the way people work and play,” said Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft. “Personal computers have become a key part of the daily lives of almost a billion people worldwide. Millions of consumers had a hand in helping us design, test and create the most exciting versions of Windows and Office we’ve ever released. Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 squarely address the needs and aspirations of people around the globe.”

A New Era of Personal Computing

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates introduces the company’s new Windows Vista operating system at a celebration in New York., N.Y. Jan. 29, 2007

Windows Vista and the latest release of Microsoft Office feature dramatic graphic enhancements to the interface that make the desktop more visually exciting and significantly easier to use. With simple and intuitive tools, consumers can easily create and share digital documents, photos, music and videos, participate in digital communities, and play online and offline games.

With Windows Vista, consumers will be able to experience all kinds of entertainment — from television to video games to music and movies — how and when they want. Keeping in touch with family, friends and colleagues using e-mail, voice recording or video will be richer and more convenient. Redesigned user interfaces will increase productivity and ease of use, helping consumers and small businesses produce documents — from a marketing plan to a child’s birthday invitation — that look better and are more professional in less time. Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 will continue to improve access to information with new tools that make it easy to find the right piece of information — be it an e-mail message, image, note or media clip — no matter where it is stored.

The new versions of Windows and Microsoft Office also deliver advances in family safety by empowering parents to better manage and monitor their children’s PC and Internet activities. With a few simple clicks in the new Windows Vista Parental Controls center, parents can manage and monitor PC and Internet access, and decide what kinds of TV, music and games are appropriate for their children. Security is also more robust in the new releases. Features such as Windows Defender help protect consumers against attacks from spyware and malicious Web sites, while other enhancements help safeguard personal information. In Microsoft Office 2007, Document Inspector helps clean personal information, comments and hidden text from documents, so families can share their documents with confidence.

“These are the most amazing versions of Windows and Office ever,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. “The visual effects are spectacular; the navigation is streamlined and intuitive. They make it much easier to protect your PC, yourself and your children online. And they work together to help you accomplish more throughout the day.”

New Opportunities

The consumer launch of Windows Vista is also expected to unleash a flood of new next-generation hardware, software and entertainment devices and services. Currently, more than 1.5 million devices and peripherals are on the market that work with Windows Vista, including more than 2,500 that are Certified for Windows Vista. In addition, thousands of PC manufacturers and system builders around the globe will deliver the Windows Vista operating system and Microsoft Office 2007 on new PCs.

“We designed Windows Vista and Office 2007 as springboards for our partners, for realizing the next generation of computing, for a whole new wave of innovation in devices and software that offer better graphics, better connectivity and communications, and a more productive, more enjoyable experience all around,” Ballmer said. “Tomorrow’s launch will have a dramatic impact on computing long-term.”

Global Outreach

Microsoft also kicked off its global television, Web, and out-of-home and theater advertising campaigns encouraging people to see the “wow” of Windows Vista. The global campaign will reflect the exciting possibilities that Windows Vista will deliver to customers around the world.

Microsoft has mobilized employees — including executives, engineers, developers and product managers — to spend the launch day assisting salespeople at retail stores across the United States. Retailers around the world are providing special offers and opportunities to shoppers on the first day of general product availability.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft, Windows Vista and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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