It has been a very long time in coming but Microsoft has finally launched “Vista”, its new Windows operating system for home users. More than 100 million computer users are expected to be using it worldwide within a year, giving the company more than enough reason to celebrate across the globe. Microsoft bosses say the successor to Windows XP will revolutionise everything from watching television to making phone calls.
For those who use their PC just for computing, the software promises an improved interface and increased security. This of course comes at a price, the basic version of Vista will cost around 150 euros. Most people are probably now resigned to the fact that computer makers want us to upgrade as often as possible, but PC expert, Richard Doherty, believes it is still a tough pill to swallow. “The GUI (graphic user interface) is really snazzy, but it comes at a price. If you’ve got a brand new PC, it’s probably going to look great. If you’re trying to put this on a PC made two or more years ago, your PC may be really slow.”
So the bad news for some PC users is good news for Microsoft. The conversion to Vista is expected to generate some four billion dollars alone this year for Microsoft, with the worldwide industry receiving up to 70 billion dollars. A new broom must sweep clean, as the expression goes, so there is also a stripped down version of Vista Starter, which is aimed at customers in developing countries. But some critics have raised concerns that Vista’s new features to protect computer users against viruses and identity theft are insufficient.