Microsoft Releases Vista to Manufacturing
Today Microsoft released Windows Vista to manufacturing. Microsoft has already announced that Windows Vista will be broadly available as a stand-alone product or pre-installed on new PCs on January 30, 2007. It will be made available to Volume License customers later this month. TechNet Plus and MSDN subscribers will also be able to get the final version later this month.
Windows Vista will be available in four different editions.
1. Home Basic: For basic home needs such as e-mail and Internet access.
2. Home Premium: For the best home computing and entertainment.
3. Business: For small and mid-sized organizations.
4. Ultimate: For work and entertainment, this is the most complete edition.
There is another version called Windows Vista Starter which will be available in 119 markets. Windows Vista Starter will be what Microsoft calls an “affordable” price version. The starter version is designed for first-time PC users. Here’s the fine print about Vista Starter:
Windows Vista Starter is not currently scheduled to be available in the United States, Canada, the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, or other high income markets as defined by the World Bank.
There will be yet another version called Windows Vista Enterprise. However, this version will not be available to general public. It will be available to customers who have PCs covered by Microsoft Software Assurance or a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement.
Jim Allchin pointed out the following unique Windows Vista milestones.
1. This is the first time Microsoft has supported a broad array of product skus to help address different customer segments—and they’re all supported using a single product image. The same DVD can be used to install any of the product images.
2. It is truly a worldwide release. For the first time Microsoft has released Windows simultaneously in 5 languages! 18 languages will be available at the general launch in January. Microsoft will ship 32 language editions within 100 days of US English RTM. And eventually Windows Vista will be available in over 100 languages.
3. Windows Vista supports more hardware than ever. Hundreds of OEMs and thousands of systems builders will pre-install Windows Vista, which will have more than 50% more device drivers inbox at RTM than Windows XP had, plus thousands more will be on Windows Update before general availability.
4. Windows Vista is the most tested release ever. This is the first Microsoft product that has incorporated the Secure Development Lifecycle from the beginning, and has employed stringent quality gates for each release milestone.
5. There have been millions of downloads of the pre-release versions, and there are already over 60,000 machines at Microsoft running Windows Vista—more than any prior Windows release at RTM.
6. This is the first time that Microsoft customers will be able to deploy worldwide on diverse hardware all with a single IT-managed image. And it’s the first time that this image can be serviced offline.
7. Because of the great improvements in deployment tools, it’s the first time that leading OEMs will be able to drive their mission-critical manufacturing process for building and configuring machines using only inbox tools. Windows Vista deploys Windows Vista!
8. Windows Vista is the fastest installing version of Windows when installing on then current generation hardware. Install times of Windows Vista on normal desktop class hardware regularly clock in at between 15 and 20 minutes.