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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 November 2006, 16:52 GMT
Microsoft names Vista launch day
Bill Gates, AP
Microsoft has been showing off Vista for months
Microsoft has announced the date on which Windows Vista will be made available to businesses.

From 30 November corporate customers of the software giant will be able to get their hands on the next version of the operating system.

Also on that date Microsoft will make available Office 2007 - its suite of business programs.

Home users will have to wait until January 2007 to get hold of a copy of the Vista software.

Opening Windows

Vista is the long-awaited update of the Windows operating system that was originally slated to be released in August 2006. The software has been under development for more than five years. The release will be a simultaneous global launch.

The software is a major overhaul of Windows and updates many of the core technologies. New elements include improved security, an improved 3D interface, plus new sound and networking technologies.

Vista, known as Longhorn during its gestation, will be available in six separate versions to match the differing needs of computer users.

Three of these are tuned for businesses, two are for home users and one will be for developing nations.

Microsoft has yet to give details of the prices of the different versions but it has released information about what PCs will have to do to run the software. Many PC makers are now selling "Vista-ready" computers.

In the US the software will be unveiled by Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer at an event at the New York Stock Exchange.

Minimum Recommended
Processor 800MHz 1GHz 32 or 64 bit
System Memory 512MB 1GB
Graphics card DirectX 9 capable Runs Windows Aero
Graphics Memory - - 128MB
Free space on Hard Drive 15GB 15GB
Source: Microsoft

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