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Real World: Vista

Vista arrived amid the glitz of Times Square and MTV, but now the real show begins

6:10 PM -- Tomkat wasn't there, but MTV was.

MTV Networks president and chief operating officer Michael Wolf stood beside beaming Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer today at Microsoft's big splashy unveiling of the long-awaited Windows Vista operating system, Exchange Server 2007, and Office 2007 suite of applications in New York's Times Square.

MTV -- home of Pimp My Ride, Road Rules, and the Real World -- was on hand because it was a beta site for the new Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Office 2007. Wolf says MTV will deploy the new software on 3,000 desktops in the next six months.

But the music video machine and other early adopters may be going solo for a while with the new software, as will any early takers of the new Vista OS, which Gartner says will be deployed on less than 10 percent of the installed base of desktops by the end of next year. Aside from the usual migration hurdles in many enterprises, there will be other considerations for moving to the new Vista platform, such as compatibility with existing applications and Vista's heralded security features: disk encryption, antispyware, host-based firewall, user privilege features, and its controversial kernel protection.

Now that Vista is finally here, it will face some crucial tests, with hackers poised to take a shot at it since it's no longer a beta version (most hackers don't bother with betas). Vista customers are likely to face a whole new generation of patches. (See Microsoft Beckons to Early Adopters, The Vista-Forefront Security Two-Step, and Hackers Train Sights on Vista, Forefront.)

The honeymoon's over, Vista. Welcome to the Real World.

— Kelly Jackson Higgins, Senior Editor, Dark Reading

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

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