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Microsoft Releases Latest Windows Platform

After more than five years and $6 billion in development, Microsoft's newest operating system, Vista, went on sale Tuesday. Two technology experts discuss Microsoft's software overhaul and the company's future.

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    After more than five years and $6 billion in development, Microsoft's latest software system went on sale to the public today. It's a new computer operating system called Windows Vista, with a complementary product, Office 2007.

    An operating system manages all of a computer's hardware and software programs. More than 90 percent of the world's personal computers run on Microsoft systems. And they account for most of the company's $44 billion in annual revenues.

    The company says Vista is more secure and more user-friendly than earlier Windows versions. The cost, if purchased independently, ranges from $100 to $400.

    In their announcement yesterday, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer acknowledged that the technology landscape has changed dramatically since the first major update of Windows in 1995.

  • STEVE BALLMER, CEO, Microsoft:

    If you think back, as Bill did, to the time of 1995, the PC was sort of solitary in the technology world. The Internet wasn't really developed. People didn't own cell phones, really, very much or digital cameras.

    Here we are, 12 years later, and Windows Vista comes to market. There's many technology products. But at the center, the product that brings it all together — the hardware, the cameras, the photo frames, the connectivity to other machines in the house, the new applications, connections to Web sites — it really is the PC running Windows, and particularly Windows Vista, that enables that next generation.