After a false start last week, Microsoft has finally unveiled the product line-up for its forthcoming Windows Vista operating system, with two business versions and three for home users.
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Windows Vista Business is designed for smaller businesses and aims to keep PCs running with reduced dedicated IT support.
For the larger organisations that can use this product, Microsoft said the product would provide new infrastructure improvements that would enable IT staff to spend less time focused on day-to-day maintenance of PCs, and more time adding strategic value to the organisation.
Windows Vista Enterprise is aimed at the needs of large, global organisations and those with highly complex IT infrastructures. Microsoft said Windows Vista Enterprise is designed to significantly lower IT costs and risk.
In addition to all of the features available in Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Enterprise is designed to provide higher levels of data protection using hardware-based encryption technology.
For consumers, there will be Windows Vista Home Basic, for users who simply use their PC to browse the internet, correspond with friends and family using e-mail or perform basic document creation and editing tasks.
There will also be Window Vista Home Premium, which will help consumers use mobile or desktop PC functionality more effectively, while supporting new digital entertainment platforms, said the company.
Windows Vista Home Premium includes everything in Windows Vista Home Basic, plus the new Windows Vista Aero user interface and Media Center platform, along with Tablet PC capabilities.
In addition, Windows Vista Ultimate brings together all the consumer-oriented features available in Windows Vista Home Premium with all the business-oriented features available in Windows Vista Business.
Al Gillen, an analyst at IDC, said, “Microsoft’s strategy to address different customer segments with versions of Windows Vista optimised for their needs should be well received by these diverse user segments.”
All the versions of Windows Vista are scheduled to be available in the second half of 2006.
Additional feature descriptions can be found at www.windowsvista.com