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Microsoft is planning to spend $500 million on its "The 'Wow' Starts Now" campaign for its new Vista operating system, which was released this morning at the stroke of midnight to a less than enthusiastic response from the general public.
IT professionals were also less than enthusiastic, with one survey showing that nearly half of the IT pros surveyed consider it a "distraction from more important issues." One analyst bemoans the fact that he had to wait "Five years for a chrome-plated turd," one CEO of a computer-repair group is "urging the tens of thousands of businesses and home computer users we service to take a wait and see approach." One pair of analysts advise prospective Vista buyers to get a guarantee before shelling out their hard-earned cash on the new OS, while others point out - and rightly so - that it's "an Apple copycat" - although Bill Gates is understandably unhappy with that characterization. (Read more of Bill's take on Vista here.)
To be fair, some point out that it is "an improvement over XP," but that sounds to us like a classic example of damning with faint praise. Another analyst had some quite complimentary things to say about Vista - before switching back to his Mac.
One more quick note to PC users less than thrilled with Vista's new features: According to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, there's "plenty more where that came from." Whoopee...
Vista's not the only operating system on people's minds, however - there's also Apple's upcoming Mac OS 10.5, aka Leopard. One muses about Leopard's "secret' features, another has an Leopard iChat wish list, while another looks forward to Leopard's enterprise edition.
In other Apple news: Apple has released the two-buck 802.11n AirPort upgrade, is reported to be paying $700,000 in legal fees in a settlement of last year's anti-blogger lawsuit, has patented some nifty-geeky hardware and software enhancements, and is offering a free demo of the iPod game, Vortex. The debate also continues as to whether Apple is harmful or helpful to the environment.