Vista copies should hit all UAE stores by day’s end

It’s February the 15th, the day on which Microsoft’s long-awaited new OS, Windows Vista, officially launches in the region, but depending upon which stores consumers live closest to they might have to wait until this evening before they can buy their copies.

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By  Matthew Wade Published  February 15, 2007

It’s February the 15th, the day on which Microsoft’s long-awaited new OS, Windows Vista, officially launches in the region, but depending upon which stores consumers live closest to they might have to wait until this evening before they can buy their copies. A joint Windows Middle East and IT Weekly straw poll conducted this morning discovered that several UAE retail stores do not yet have copies on the shelves, meaning impatient OS buyers will either have to wait a few hours or shop around. Of the six retail stores contacted by Windows Middle East magazine and IT Weekly staff this morning (five of them so-called chain-store ‘power retailers’), only two were at that time selling Windows Vista versions, and of those that had begun selling the OS, only two of the four end-user versions of Vista were being offered for sale. Asked to confirm when such stores would have all the versions of Vista available for end users (who themselves have already been waiting two weeks longer for Vista than buyers in other regions), a Microsoft spokesman this morning explained that the firm’s distributors were delivering many copies of the software to shops today. “Our distributors are distributing Vista to the stores now, they’re going to retailers as we speak,” he commented. “Other stores have it already but haven’t shelved it yet.” This morning, Sharaf DG at Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai was selling the upgrade version of Vista Business and what staff suggested was the Vista Basic full version priced US $163 and $100 respectively, whilst the smaller Computer Care of Bur Dubai was offering the full Business version for $320 and the Home Premium upgrade for $135. Staff at Carrefour at Deira City Centre, Plug-ins Electronics at Festival City, Jacky’s and CompuMe advised our pollsters to try back in a few days. (However Microsoft’s spokesman has assured Windows Middle East that Vista copies are very much on sale at Carrefour outlets in the UAE already and that the store’s customer service staff had given out incorrect information.) “We have 85 power retailers here in the UAE. By this evening, all of these will have all versions of Vista and Office available to buy,” he confirmed. Copies of Windows Vista have been on-sale at various power retailers in Saudi Arabia meanwhile for the last two weeks, since the OS' official launch at the end of January. In January, Microsoft announced three methods through which end users will be able to upgrade or license multiple copies of Windows Vista after the operating system’s launch, however only two of these will apply to users in this region - Windows Anytime Upgrade and Windows Marketplace - and these programmes are not expected to go live just yet. In other Microsoft news this week, the firm launched its latest mobile Windows operating system - Windows Mobile 6 - at 3GSM in Barcelona, with which it aims to continue stealing market share from industry leader Symbian.

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