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NEW YORK — Nov. 30, 2006 — At a press conference at NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square, Microsoft Corp. chief executive officer Steve Ballmer announced the business availability of the Windows Vista operating system, the 2007 Microsoft Office system, and Exchange Server 2007. Designed to enable businesses to thrive in a world of instant communication, expanding information, and constant change, the new products provide a platform that will transform the way people turn information into opportunity and growth.” -Microsoft’s press announcement.

Finally, after what has to be the longest rollout in the brief history of PC software and certainly the most intensive beta testing of any operating system, Microsoft has released Vista to its business customers. Every software project regardless of scope or size eventually must be turned free. There always comes a time when we need to say: “Enough. It is what it is, and it’s time to release.” The timing was a little puzzling. It certainly wasn’t based on an anticipated holiday rush to buy the new OS. Gaming machines, such as the Nintendo Wii, the Xbox 360, and the Sony PlayStation 3, already had stolen the thunder as well as the liquid assets of Gen-X techies. Besides, anyone who really cared already had installed and used at least one of the betas.

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