Wide Vista for Windows in ME

It cost $20 billion to develop, but Microsoft expects that one in five will use new operating system by year-end

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By  James Bennett Published  November 19, 2006

One in five regional Windows business users will be using the latest Vista operating system by the end of the year, according to the region’s highest-ranking Microsoft executive.

In an exclusive interview at Dubai's Gitex conference, Ali Faramawy, vice president of Microsoft Middle East and Africa, told Arabianbusiness.com that 20% of current Middle Eastern desktop enterprises would either have “committed or completed” projects with the new operating system by the end of the year, while consumer sales would rise “even faster” when launched in January 2007.

“Within the enterprise space by the end of the year I would expect we would move to 20% [of the current desktops in enterprises] adoption of the current base either already done or in different phases of adoption in the Middle East. And then much steeper,” he said.

He added that within the small to medium business and consumer marketplace sales would rise even further and at a faster rate, but that within enterprises sales were slightly slower as purchases are more considered and were in line with individual company strategies.

Some of the early adopters to the new operating system, which promises to be easier to use and more integrated, more searchable and with added security, include logistics giant PWC in Kuwait, the seven star Burj Al Arab in Dubai and the Aspire Sports Academy in Qatar.

Yesterday Charbel Fakhoury, general manager for the Gulf region announced the launch of Vista, alongside the new version of Office and Exchange.

The trio of products cost Microsoft a global grand total of US $20 billion in research and development and was tested across 3.5 million users.

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