Like buses you wait years for an important piece of software to turn up, then watch as it downsizes, drops features, runs over time and over budget, shakes the very foundations of the company who designed, then two turn up at once. Ok, so not so much like buses after all…
Anyway in the same week that Office 2007 finally went gold and was released to manufacturers, industry mega-OS Windows Vista has done the same thing. 30 November is the day big business will get its embezzling hands on Vista with the public kept begging for its first taste of emergency security patches until 30 January 2007.
Success or failure, the development of Vista is truly epic. It has taken nearly five years from start to finish, is constructed from roughly 50 million lines of code and may perhaps be the largest single factor in IT legend Bill Gates deciding to hang up his boots in 2008.
Numerous versions of Vista will be able across the globe (it has passed double figures) but full distinct packages will dominate the market: ‘Home Basic’, ‘Home Premium’, ‘Business’ and ‘Ultimate’. Home Basic will do little to please anyone since it skips the headlining Aero interface and media centre functionality. Premium fills in these gaping omissions and brings Tablet functionality and integrated DVD burning while Business has more advanced document management. Ultimate combines the features of Business and Premium.
Despite a tumultuous development what we’ve seen of the Vista builds suggests it will prove a gigantic leap forward from XP. Whether it is five years worth of leaping forward (in a market where performance tends to double every 18 months) is more open to debate but like it or loathe it we’re glad Vista is finally ready.