Bigger Than Usual Day For Microsoft ....
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UPDATED: Microsoft's announcement today that Windows Vista and Office 2007 are now available for volume license customers represents the most significant product launch in the company's history.
Additionally, said the company, launching Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange Server 2007 at the same time was the first simultaneous release by Microsoft since Windows 95 and Office 95 more than a decade ago.
Microsoft also said consumers and businesses without volume licenses will be able to purchase Vista and Office 2007 Jan. 30.
Today's event actually was 30 years in the making, according to Ballmer.
"We have been working toward this moment since the day Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft three decades ago," CEO Steve Ballmer wrote in an e-mail.
The result of more than 1 billion user sessions and more than 5 billion beta downloads, the new Windows products "mark an incredible step forward for business innovation from Microsoft," Ballmer said in a statement.
Ballmer admitted the changes are dramatic and "come with more than a little risk." However, the benefits of instant communication make any risks worthwhile.
"We expect that more than 200 million people will be using at least one of these products by the end of 2007," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said.
"We want to continue to advance the revolution in the workplace productivity and efficiency that we started 11 years ago by delivering tools and capabilities that complete the transformation of IT from an expense to a strategic asset."
Ballmer was joined on stage by Michael Wolf, president and chief operating officer of MTV Networks.
"In the highly competitive and fast-moving media and entertainment industry, our advantage comes from our people," Wolf said. "These new products provide rich collaboration tools and powerful information-discovery capabilities that will help our employees be more productive and more creative. This will strengthen our competitive edge, and that's why we'll deploy the new products to 3,000 desktops in the coming six months."