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Microsoft launches Vista, Office & Exchange Server

Burj Al Arab first customer to install Vista OS in the ME

Microsoft launched its long-awaited Vista operating system (OS) to Middle East business customers at Gitex last week. Office and Exchange Server 2007 were also launched and all are available in both English and Arabic.

“Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office system are among Microsoft’s most significant product innovations, representing years of research and development,” said Ali Faramawy, vice president for Microsoft Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), at the launch.

“These products will help businesses overcome the challenges of our increasingly information-saturated world, enhancing the way people collaborate, communicate, protect and manage content, and find, use and share information,” he added.

The launch at Gitex came before the worldwide unveiling of Vista for businesses, which is due to take place at the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York, US, on November 30.

Vista and Office had previously been pushed back from their original release dates of August and October respectively, and up until a few months ago there was still speculation that both would experience further delays.

The software giant’s latest OS is designed with a host of new features, including a new user interface and visual style — named Windows Aero.

Vista is available in three separate versions for businesses, and once the OS is made available to the general public in January next year there will be another two versions for home users and one for developing nations.

Microsoft said all three of its product releases delivered massive improvements in performance, protection, manageability, and accessability, as well as reducing businesses’ IT costs.

The first Vista customer in the Middle East and Africa has already been revealed. Dubai’s Burj Al Arab hotel — after four months of testing — made the OS available for guests last week.

“With Microsoft we are launching the first Windows Vista installation in the suites[...] ahead of the official November 30 launch date for corporate customers. This will be the first implementation in the region,” Frederick Sabty, IT director at the Burj Al Arab, told IT Weekly’s sister publication Network Middle East prior to the launch.

“Microsoft selecting us to launch Vista for the Middle East and Africa is a good experience for us. The guests will be very happy because it is something new,” he added.

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