Redmond, Wash., — April 23, 2008 — Personal computing has undergone a dramatic transformation over the past six years. In 2002, most people used their PCs chiefly for trading e-mail, surfing the web and creating documents, with activities like blogging or social networking limited to a periphery of early adopters.
Since then, PC ownership has continued to skyrocket. Moreover, the way people use their computers has changed dramatically too. Blogs have proliferated from fewer than half a million six years ago to more than 70 million in 2007, and Facebook and MySpace counted 143 million members last year, an exponential increase from the 1,250 registered users of pioneering social networking site Friendster. Digital photography has also flourished, spiking from 30 million pictures taken annually in 2002 to more than 50 million in 2007.
With people’s digital lives becoming richer and richer, PCs have shifted from being tools primarily for personal productivity and document creation to becoming canvasses for self-expression and connecting and collaborating with others, as well as multimedia home entertainment hubs that function as digital photo albums, digital video recorders and virtual jukeboxes.
Accompanying the enrichment of people’s digital lives, increasing penetration of broadband wireless networks has diversified the scenarios in which people are accessing their information, with increasing numbers logging on from neighborhood coffee shops, airport departure lounges or wherever life or work takes them, as well as at home or in the office. Recent research by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 41 percent of US adults have accessed the internet wirelessly in mobile situations beyond home or work using a laptop or other portable device*.
Such powerful trends demand an operating system designed from the ground up to natively address and integrate the increasingly disparate usages people have for their computers, bring the PC and web together in a seamless continuum, and stay ahead of the latest security threats to people’s personal information.
In a poll of 6,000 PC users in the US, China, Britain, Germany and Japan conducted in January that was commissioned by Microsoft, a majority of those that used Windows Vista agreed that it was safer and allowed them to do more with their computers than previous operating systems. The survey also found that more than 85 percent of Windows Vista users who increased their use of advanced features like managing pictures and video, monitoring internet usage and gaming, agreed that Windows Vista made it easier to perform these tasks.
Through Windows Live Photo Gallery and Windows Movie Maker in Windows Vista, consumers can easily view, organize and edit digital photographs and create their own home movies. With Windows Media Center, they can then sit back and enjoy the results, alongside their favorite music, TV shows and Hollywood blockbusters on their living room television. And the powerful instant search capabilities in Windows Vista help them more easily manage their files, documents and photos.
The recent release of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 fine-tunes this digital experience by adding the very latest security capabilities and enhancing performance and reliability.
Windows Vista’s performance, functionality and security are spurring many consumers to switch to one of the new generation of PCs specifically engineered for it, and Windows Vista is helping drive PC sales. Global PC shipments increased by 14.6 percent in the first quarter of 2008, compared to the same period in 2007, according to IDC**, and more than 100 million Windows Vista licenses have been sold since its consumer debut in January 2007. More than 11,000 hardware and software products – from printers to routers to digital cameras – now carry either the “Certified for Windows Vista” or “Works With Windows Vista” logo – an 87 percent increase since July 2005.
“Trend Micro has worked closely with Microsoft to ensure our security products are optimized for Windows Vista SP1,” said Carol Carpenter, vice president of consumer marketing and product management for Trend Micro. “Our goal is to protect consumers who use Windows against identity theft, malware and the latest Web threats.”
“CorelDRAW(R) Graphics Suite X4 is designed to take advantage of the latest innovations offered by Windows Vista,” said Gerard Metrailler, Director of Product Management, Graphics, at Corel. “The Windows Vista platform allows us to incorporate Windows features, including desktop search and high-resolution thumbnails and file previews to enable an altogether richer experience for users. We’re looking forward to deepening these capabilities in future releases.”
Meanwhile Windows Vista is inspiring a new wave of PCs that trade beige and boring for sleek new designs and a wide variety of forms, colors and finishes – complementing Windows Vista’s intuitive, customizable design, which allows people to stamp their personality on their PC by adding mini-applications or “gadgets” to stream tailored business data, news feeds, weather information, traffic updates, internet radio broadcasts and even view slide shows right to their PC’s desktop.
“The PC has truly become an expression of its user’s personality,” said Stephen DeWitt, senior vice president for the Americas for HP’s Personal Systems Group. “At HP we’ve invested heavily in building products that reflect the personal interests of our customers in both design and functionality.”
The embrace of high design values and ease of use in software and hardware squarely addresses the new fashion zeitgeist among consumers. Industry watcher Forrester Research recently proclaimed the next four years to be the “Age of Style” for PCs, characterized by design taking “center stage” for fashion-conscious consumers.
“With increasing commoditization of PC technology, style has become critical for consumers,” said Xavier Lauwaert, Sony’s product manager for Vaio product marketing. “New designs, color schemes and materials are pushing the envelope and shaking up the industry. This trend will continue to accelerate and consumers can only benefit from the rich diversity of choice.”
This sampling of the latest Windows Vista-powered PCs, available today, offer something for every lifestyle and aesthetic taste:
April 22, 2008
Designed by young people for young people, this splashy model will set heads turning in the coffee shop, lecture hall or dorm room, without skimping on performance. Packing indispensable features in a cool, colorful exterior, this 14.1-inch high-definition widescreen, 5.59-pound notebook with onboard Bluetooth (optional) and webcam delivers blazing performance for working, playing games, editing photos or watching movies.
April 22, 2008
HP’s premium Pavilion Elite m9200z delivers a high-end home entertainment experience, serious gaming capabilities and enough horsepower to handle advanced multitasking, business critical productivity applications and sophisticated visual design and modeling.
April 22, 2008
With many colors to choose from including: sangria (red), indigo (blue), dove (white), black, crocodile brown and champagne (gold). This lightweight laptop is the ultimate technology fashion statement. The easy-clean keyboard and quick-play audio-visual controls make it ideal for home and mobile use.
April 22, 2008
This High Definition PC/TV combines style and performance with a nod to space conservation. The 22-inch widescreen PC is wall-mountable and equipped with cable-ready HDTV tuner, web cam and microphone.
April 22, 2008
This urban notebook packs workhorse performance in a chic exterior. At just 2.7 pounds and with a battery life of up to 8.5 hours, it comes fully loaded with advanced features and an 11.1-inch screen that make it the ideal mobile companion for the power user. It comes with matching gold mouse and leather case.
*Horrigan, John. Mobile Access to Data and Information. Pew Internet & American Life Project, March 5, 2008 (.pdf file, 91 kb) http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_Mobile.Data.Access.pdf
**IDC press release: US Growth Slips, But Worldwide PC Shipments Remain Healthy, According to IDC, April 16, 2008 http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp;jsessionid=I0CRGLFF5BBLWCQJAFDCFFAKBEAVAIWD?containerId=prUS21190708