Windows Vista finally released for consumers

By   |  January 30, 2007

After countless delays Windows Vista and Office 2007 were finally released today to consumers in what Microsoft calls its “most significant release ever”.

Coming, as it does, three years after its expected debut, Microsoft is at pains to stress the many “revolutionary” features included in Vista. But as the ever-entertaining The Register points out: “I’m quite ready for Vista, as most users are. The real problem is that, this late in the game, Vista doesn’t appear at all ready for us.”

On the other hand, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, never one to shy away from overstatement, said: “These are the most amazing versions of Windows and Office ever.” Which is presumably why the company took so long to release them and why they want everyone to upgrade.

Equally unsurprisingly, however, Vista has already drawn much criticism.

Aside from the usual complaints about the need to download patches or that the new features do not really break as much ground as has been claimed, some unexpected critics have emerged.

The UK’s Green Party has criticised Microsoft in a statement on their site. Siân Berry, the Green Party principal speaker said: “There will be thousands of tonnes of dumped monitors, video cards and whole computers that are perfectly capable of running Vista – except for the fact they lack the paranoid lock down mechanisms Vista forces you to use. That’s an offensive cost to the environment. Future archaeologists will be able to identify a ‘Vista Upgrade Layer’ when they go through our landfill sites.”

And according to an AFP story on Yahoo! News, computer game publisher WildTangent has claimed that the security features on Vista ruin many common computer games.

Vista is also very demanding on your computer’s resources. To install and run the core functionality of Windows Vista, the absolute minimum requirements are an 800 MHz processor, 512 MB of RAM and a 20 GB hard drive with 15 GB of free space, support for DirectX 9 graphics and 32 MB of graphics memory, a DVD-Rom drive and internet access. Any advanced features require advanced or additional hardware.

For those that work in the IT sector this type of machine may not be unusual but for many it will require an upgrade. More worryingly, however, is the growing list of hardware found to not yet be supported by Vista.

Full the full spec requirements go here on the Microsoft site.

The full press release can be viewed on the Microsoft website here.

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