January 30, 2007 10:56 AM PST

Vista steals the show

NEW YORK--Now that Steve Ballmer has launched Windows Vista and Office 2007, he has his sights set on getting a key user to upgrade: his wife.

Although Microsoft's chief executive has managed to get test versions of both products on some of his home machines, Ballmer said his wife has a strict policy of no beta software on her PC. "Now that we've officially launched, I get to do the upgrade at the Ballmer house," he said, speaking Tuesday morning to a crowd at a Best Buy on Fifth Avenue.

The event, ostensibly aimed at showing the retail excitement around the new products, drew a crush of reporters.

That made the considerably smaller number of store customers at 10 a.m. PST on Tuesday nearly as popular as Ballmer, with video crews lining up to get their thoughts on the new software.

swag bag

With Ballmer handling retail duty, Chairman Bill Gates took to the airwaves, chatting with the Today Show, CNN and The Daily Show, where Gates tried to sell host Jon Stewart on Vista.

Stewart warned Gates upfront that he was not exactly a technophile.

"I'm not particularly well-versed in computers," he told Gates. "What does the F12 button do?"

Gates was quick with his reply. "I'd stay away from it if I were you. Start with F1 and work your way up."

Gates gave Stewart a copy of Vista, but the reigning monarch of fake news was still not sold. "What if I don't know how to use it?"

"Call me," Gates said.

Stewart did show some savvy in trying to get Gates' password, asking the world's richest man if he had any pets. No, Gates said, no pets. What about when you were a kid?

That's not my password, Gates assured Stewart.

All eyes on Vista
Although Microsoft launched Office 2007 and Vista together, nearly all the attention Monday was on the new operating system, with the ubiquitous Office logo the only clear reminder that it, too, was having its launch.

News.com Poll

Vista: Now or never
How soon do you plan to move to Microsoft's latest OS?

I'm standing in line right now to buy it.
Whenever I buy my next PC.
Windows XP is going to last me a good, long time.
I'm sticking with the Mac--or moving there soon.



View results

Office Vice President Chris Capossela said he wasn't too disappointed.

"I feel good about the amount of airtime," he said over breakfast Tuesday. "Your expectations have to be reasonable."

He noted that Office got more attention at the business launch, back in November.

What's in that swag bag?
The biggest hit at the launch party Monday was the goodie bag that people got on their way out. Attendees at the Times Square affair included beta testers, reporters, analysts and tech executives. And it was sometimes hard to tell which of those groups was most excited for the swag. Sure, the reporters and beta testers were lining up to get theirs, but I also saw one very high-ranking tech executive make sure he had his before heading out to his next event.

So what was inside?

Predictably, there was Office and Vista. Notably it was the high-end Vista Ultimate and the entry-level Home and Student edition of Office--sorry Vista test kids, no InfoPath server for you. There was also an Xbox 360 controller (it also works with Vista PCs) and a Games for Windows title. Also tucked in the bag was the Vista press kit from the Consumer Electronics Show, which itself included another Vista game and a pair of flash drives.

See more CNET content tagged:
Jon Stewart, Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, reporter, Microsoft Windows Vista

70 comments

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Add your comment
Are proofreaders an endangered species?
What's wrong w/ the following sentence?

Stewart warned Gates upfront that he was not exactly a technofile.

It should be "technophile" not "technofile".
Posted by HowardParsons (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Are proofreaders an endangered species?
What's wrong w/ the following sentence?

Stewart warned Gates upfront that he was not exactly a technofile.

It should be "technophile" not "technofile".
Posted by HowardParsons (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Vista
I don't have any interest in Vista.After 12 years i've learned not to try new operating systems since they have a lot of bugs and security holes.I intend to use XP PRO until i can't go where i want on the internet.I only started using XP about 3 years ago and have no intention of buying Vista.I already used Vista RC-1 and was not impressed.If i had the money i would rather buy a Mac.
Posted by bwchato (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Vista
I don't have any interest in Vista.After 12 years i've learned not to try new operating systems since they have a lot of bugs and security holes.I intend to use XP PRO until i can't go where i want on the internet.I only started using XP about 3 years ago and have no intention of buying Vista.I already used Vista RC-1 and was not impressed.If i had the money i would rather buy a Mac.
Posted by bwchato (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You go buy a mac then...
I bet you work for Apple... geez.

Unlike you, I don't want to pay $2 per update, I also don't want to wait 5 years for them to plug in a hole in Quicktime. I also don't like companies installing rootkits in my pc, like the one with iPod.

Safe and secure... and Macs use Firefox... How much safer and securer (err.. more secure) than a Vista-running machine also using Firefox?
Posted by DMAN3k (150 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Full of crud
I dont even work or own a mac and I know your statement is filled with crap. $2 was a one time charge for a wireless update. I am sure that the Apple share holders are making tons of money off of the update that many people wont even buy.

KM
Posted by kieranmullen (1070 comments )
Link Flag
You should by a mac
You sound like someone working for MS. Apple has no rootkit
installed on there computers and If i had to wait 5 years to really
get the windows hole patch with again an outdated OS I would have
switched to the company that can be proud to say : Still no
virusses!
Posted by barrack (10 comments )
Link Flag
Amazing
You astound me by how little you know about what you're talking about.

Mac OS X's core security comes from its open-source kernel, - i can't comment on vista's new security as I haven't used it yet - but it has little to do with Firefox.

Your comment about ipod rootkits is equally less informed, and i'm amazed to see someone actually commenting on slow security turnarounds and then using MS as the comparative example.

Vista i'm sure will be good, but i think maybe you should take off those blinkers and actually read something about the state of the tech world before you make another inane comment like that.
Posted by liam.doyle (2 comments )
Link Flag
HaHa
Your stupid. And I mean really, really stupid. Don't misunderstand
me, I'm not saying you are misinformed or incorrect, I'm flat out
saying you are stupid.
Posted by TowerTone (361 comments )
Link Flag
Must be a linux user ...
Couldn't be a Windows user ... complaining of an alleged 5 year
wait to plug one hole, agains five years to plug tens of
thousands.

Complaining about a rumored $2 fee that will never happen.

And a mac with a firefox vulnerability is far safer then windows
since firefox can't gain root priviledges while you don't neet root
priviledges to wreck havoc on Windows.

and the beat goes on ....
Posted by mdfischer (8 comments )
Link Flag
You go buy a mac then...
I bet you work for Apple... geez.

Unlike you, I don't want to pay $2 per update, I also don't want to wait 5 years for them to plug in a hole in Quicktime. I also don't like companies installing rootkits in my pc, like the one with iPod.

Safe and secure... and Macs use Firefox... How much safer and securer (err.. more secure) than a Vista-running machine also using Firefox?
Posted by DMAN3k (150 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Full of crud
I dont even work or own a mac and I know your statement is filled with crap. $2 was a one time charge for a wireless update. I am sure that the Apple share holders are making tons of money off of the update that many people wont even buy.

KM
Posted by kieranmullen (1070 comments )
Link Flag
You should by a mac
You sound like someone working for MS. Apple has no rootkit
installed on there computers and If i had to wait 5 years to really
get the windows hole patch with again an outdated OS I would have
switched to the company that can be proud to say : Still no
virusses!
Posted by barrack (10 comments )
Link Flag
Amazing
You astound me by how little you know about what you're talking about.

Mac OS X's core security comes from its open-source kernel, - i can't comment on vista's new security as I haven't used it yet - but it has little to do with Firefox.

Your comment about ipod rootkits is equally less informed, and i'm amazed to see someone actually commenting on slow security turnarounds and then using MS as the comparative example.

Vista i'm sure will be good, but i think maybe you should take off those blinkers and actually read something about the state of the tech world before you make another inane comment like that.
Posted by liam.doyle (2 comments )
Link Flag
HaHa
Your stupid. And I mean really, really stupid. Don't misunderstand
me, I'm not saying you are misinformed or incorrect, I'm flat out
saying you are stupid.
Posted by TowerTone (361 comments )
Link Flag
Must be a linux user ...
Couldn't be a Windows user ... complaining of an alleged 5 year
wait to plug one hole, agains five years to plug tens of
thousands.

Complaining about a rumored $2 fee that will never happen.

And a mac with a firefox vulnerability is far safer then windows
since firefox can't gain root priviledges while you don't neet root
priviledges to wreck havoc on Windows.

and the beat goes on ....
Posted by mdfischer (8 comments )
Link Flag
Vista to difficult for Balmer's wife?
Is it that hard to install vista on a pc that the man of the house has
to do the work? I can understand that he fixes the car or does the
jobs that are hefty but is Windows still that dificult that an
experienced man needs to install it?
Posted by barrack (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Whoosh!
You missed the point.

Mr. Ballmer didn't say that Mrs. Ballmer finds it "to (sic) difficult" to install. He said that she has a rule about not installing beta software on her PC.

She sounds like a sensible woman -- unlike millions of others who ignore warnings about using beta software on mission-critical PCs, and then moan and groan because something isn't working properly.
Posted by CBS Orchestra (10 comments )
Link Flag
Ballmer has a wife?
Wow, she must be a very special person.
Posted by vm019302 (85 comments )
Link Flag
Marrying monkey boy wasn't too smart
If she was dumb enough to marry this used car clown salesman
how bright can she be. Maybe inserting a DVD and clicking start
are a little outside her abilities. You geeks can no doubt handle that
though, right? Well at least in a group effort, right? No.... oh.
Posted by Clues (84 comments )
Link Flag
Vista to difficult for Balmer's wife?
Is it that hard to install vista on a pc that the man of the house has
to do the work? I can understand that he fixes the car or does the
jobs that are hefty but is Windows still that dificult that an
experienced man needs to install it?
Posted by barrack (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Whoosh!
You missed the point.

Mr. Ballmer didn't say that Mrs. Ballmer finds it "to (sic) difficult" to install. He said that she has a rule about not installing beta software on her PC.

She sounds like a sensible woman -- unlike millions of others who ignore warnings about using beta software on mission-critical PCs, and then moan and groan because something isn't working properly.
Posted by CBS Orchestra (10 comments )
Link Flag
Ballmer has a wife?
Wow, she must be a very special person.
Posted by vm019302 (85 comments )
Link Flag
Marrying monkey boy wasn't too smart
If she was dumb enough to marry this used car clown salesman
how bright can she be. Maybe inserting a DVD and clicking start
are a little outside her abilities. You geeks can no doubt handle that
though, right? Well at least in a group effort, right? No.... oh.
Posted by Clues (84 comments )
Link Flag
Windows user dont read CNET anymore?
It seems that Windows user don't read CNET any more. Look into the voting result and you will see that. And me after almost 4 years of reading News.com and eWeek, yesterday I just delete eWeek from my bookmark. I may soon switch to Digg and other news sources, this pool show me that CNET is no more for mainstream user, it is now a land of haters.

Goodbye CNET!
Posted by TanNg (31 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Agreed
Every Vista story is covered with Mac bias from head to toe, and every reply comes from Windows hating bigots who contribute nothing useful to the discussion.

There are plenty of other news sites to visit that give neutral opinions in their stories... and you don't have to read replies from their readers who, in the end, can only voice their opinions among Microsoft hating friends because of their collective insecurities.
Posted by ACole (6 comments )
Link Flag
Not Only Users - CNET Editors Haven't Seen Windows in Years
Beyond the crazy-eyed Macinfart fanatics, CNET itself leans heavily towards Rotten Apple. Jobs can do no wrong, the iPud is the new Bible and telephony didn't exist until a few weeks ago (I'm not sure how we all ever called each other all these years).

On the users comments, every article is turned into Microsoft is evil (so 1997) and Macinpoop is from God (1984), even those that have nothing to do with either company. CNET encourages this with it's editor policies of how articles are written - it not only loves Macinturd, it loves it when fanatical jihad Al-Apple and Osama Bin Jobs' followers come on to comment.
Posted by iZune (58 comments )
Link Flag
A likely reason . . .
When Safari RSS came out a couple of years ago, several RSS
feeds were included in the basic set of bookmarks. CNET's RSS
feed is among them. My guess is that a lot of Mac users end up
here because of that, making the proportion of Mac visitors to
the site much higher than the proportion of Mac users overall.

Long-time readers might remember that CNET used to be quite
biased against the Mac. CNET no doubt noticed a significant
increase in Mac traffic following the release of Safari RSS. The
anti-Mac bias has changed, though I certainly would not say that
the site is now "pro-Mac."

Another side effect is a significant increase in Mac headlines,
many of them inflamatory, that draw in Mac traffic through the
RSS feed.
Posted by Thrudheim (306 comments )
Link Flag
Windows user dont read CNET anymore?
It seems that Windows user don't read CNET any more. Look into the voting result and you will see that. And me after almost 4 years of reading News.com and eWeek, yesterday I just delete eWeek from my bookmark. I may soon switch to Digg and other news sources, this pool show me that CNET is no more for mainstream user, it is now a land of haters.

Goodbye CNET!
Posted by TanNg (31 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Agreed
Every Vista story is covered with Mac bias from head to toe, and every reply comes from Windows hating bigots who contribute nothing useful to the discussion.

There are plenty of other news sites to visit that give neutral opinions in their stories... and you don't have to read replies from their readers who, in the end, can only voice their opinions among Microsoft hating friends because of their collective insecurities.
Posted by ACole (6 comments )
Link Flag
Not Only Users - CNET Editors Haven't Seen Windows in Years
Beyond the crazy-eyed Macinfart fanatics, CNET itself leans heavily towards Rotten Apple. Jobs can do no wrong, the iPud is the new Bible and telephony didn't exist until a few weeks ago (I'm not sure how we all ever called each other all these years).

On the users comments, every article is turned into Microsoft is evil (so 1997) and Macinpoop is from God (1984), even those that have nothing to do with either company. CNET encourages this with it's editor policies of how articles are written - it not only loves Macinturd, it loves it when fanatical jihad Al-Apple and Osama Bin Jobs' followers come on to comment.
Posted by iZune (58 comments )
Link Flag
A likely reason . . .
When Safari RSS came out a couple of years ago, several RSS
feeds were included in the basic set of bookmarks. CNET's RSS
feed is among them. My guess is that a lot of Mac users end up
here because of that, making the proportion of Mac visitors to
the site much higher than the proportion of Mac users overall.

Long-time readers might remember that CNET used to be quite
biased against the Mac. CNET no doubt noticed a significant
increase in Mac traffic following the release of Safari RSS. The
anti-Mac bias has changed, though I certainly would not say that
the site is now "pro-Mac."

Another side effect is a significant increase in Mac headlines,
many of them inflamatory, that draw in Mac traffic through the
RSS feed.
Posted by Thrudheim (306 comments )
Link Flag
Desktop search
Do you know who have desktop search first? Many desktop search applications are running on Windows 2000, XP. Apple just copy it into their OS. Search concept also showed in prototype of Longhorn before OS X appear. So, this is not a trust, this is a lie. Ten company desktop search application and CNET dont talk about this, but when Google come out with GDS CNET was chanting "Innovation", when Apple copy it to their OS, CNET and Apple user are shouting "breakthrough innovation". And you call this trust.
Posted by TanNg (31 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hilarios
Anybody else living in that reality?
Posted by Clues (84 comments )
Link Flag
MS not innovative here...
The notion of "desktop search" is pretty old.
Desktop Search as it is used today was really
first attempted (and failed) by Oracle who tried
to do it with IFS (which worked for a networked
filesystem and ignored the desktop). At about
the same time, Google and several other offered
simple desktop search engines and Linux
developers came up with various approaches from
file-system extensions to background indexers.

The modern desktop search with local
plugin-based metadata extraction and indexing
was first demonstrated in Linux with Beagle (and
a couple of other engines) then quickly followed
up with Spotlight. Microsoft's own internal
memos note that they had promised but failed to
deliver the feature which, in the meantime had
been delivered by others -- spurring them to
introduce the desktop search in Vista (which is
considerably less ambitious than the original
plan and still doesn't function quite as well as
Apple's Spotlight).

Actually Beagle is probably the best if only
from it's relatively simple and elegant
implementation. It's written in Mono-compatible
C#, so it could easily be ported to Windows and
Mac.
Posted by FellowConspirator (397 comments )
Link Flag
Desktop search
Do you know who have desktop search first? Many desktop search applications are running on Windows 2000, XP. Apple just copy it into their OS. Search concept also showed in prototype of Longhorn before OS X appear. So, this is not a trust, this is a lie. Ten company desktop search application and CNET dont talk about this, but when Google come out with GDS CNET was chanting "Innovation", when Apple copy it to their OS, CNET and Apple user are shouting "breakthrough innovation". And you call this trust.
Posted by TanNg (31 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hilarios
Anybody else living in that reality?
Posted by Clues (84 comments )
Link Flag
MS not innovative here...
The notion of "desktop search" is pretty old.
Desktop Search as it is used today was really
first attempted (and failed) by Oracle who tried
to do it with IFS (which worked for a networked
filesystem and ignored the desktop). At about
the same time, Google and several other offered
simple desktop search engines and Linux
developers came up with various approaches from
file-system extensions to background indexers.

The modern desktop search with local
plugin-based metadata extraction and indexing
was first demonstrated in Linux with Beagle (and
a couple of other engines) then quickly followed
up with Spotlight. Microsoft's own internal
memos note that they had promised but failed to
deliver the feature which, in the meantime had
been delivered by others -- spurring them to
introduce the desktop search in Vista (which is
considerably less ambitious than the original
plan and still doesn't function quite as well as
Apple's Spotlight).

Actually Beagle is probably the best if only
from it's relatively simple and elegant
implementation. It's written in Mono-compatible
C#, so it could easily be ported to Windows and
Mac.
Posted by FellowConspirator (397 comments )
Link Flag
 

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