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Five Things You Didn't Know About Windows Vista

Microsoft's latest Windows Vista beta, in the field less than a month, has been getting a thorough going over from developers and early adopters as they strive to learn as much about the operating system as possible in advance its official release later this year.

Developers have been posting their experiences, questions, and complaints to a special series of forums and newsgroups set up by Microsoft. Some have also blogged about their experiences on Microsoft's MSDN developer network as well as on independent sites such as The Hive,, and the unofficial Vista blog.

Such venues are also bringing to light a number of slightly offbeat facts surrounding the Vista universe. Accordingly, after extensively trolling these and other sites, we've gathered together the best of this, er, stuff, and put it together, Jeopardy-style, in the form of five questions.

What's the official Windows Vista launch Date?

That's been a moving target for years (in 2002, the launch of Longhorn, the original code name of Windows Vista, was scheduled for 2004). Last year, Microsoft settled on 2006 as the ship date. In his recent CES keynote, Bill Gates re-emphasized that Windows Vista will ship this year. But he didn't provide a specific date.

Therein lies the apparent seeds of Microsoft's "Guess the Launch Date Contest" contest. Unfortunately not open to U.S. residents, it's hosted on Microsoft's EMEA site and is aimed at residents of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Winners get a trip to the international Vista launch event in the USA, whenever and wherever that may be, along with three nights in a four-star hotel.
Interestingly, second through fourth prize winners might consider themselves even luckier, since they win a new Xbox 360 system.

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