Microsoft Prepares Windows Vista-Ready Gifts for Holidays

Microsoft promises the holiday availability of PCs, software, hardware and games that will work with its Windows Vista. More than 250 hardware and software products from over 50 industry partners have received either the Certified for Windows Vista logo or the Works with Windows Vista logo created to help consumers more easily identify software and devices that are compatible with the new operating system. The Works with Windows Vista logo helps ensure compatibility, and the Certified for Windows Vista logo indicates that a particular software or device will help deliver a superior end-user experience when used with a PC running a Windows Vista operating system.

During his opening keynote address, Mike Sievert, corporate vice president of Windows Client Marketing at Microsoft, emphasized the breadth of products on the market come the holidays that will work with Windows Vista. "...So many of our industry partners are working with us to bring Certified for Windows Vista software and devices to market this holiday season", said Sievert. "This certification helps ensure our customers will have a great experience with these products now, and an even better one when they are using them with Windows Vista. These products will make a great gift for the holidays that gets better with Windows Vista".

All the products shown in Sievert's keynote are undergoing the logo testing process, and all will be available this holiday season, including NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards; Logitech's Cordless Desktop MX 3200 Laser, MX Revolution Mouse, ChillStream game pad and QuickCam Ultra Vision; and the InterVideo WinDVD and WinDVD Creator. These products represent a sampling of the many devices and applications Microsoft's partners are releasing today and in the coming months that take advantage of new features like improved graphics, increased stability and enhanced security in Windows Vista.

Since the availability of the Windows Vista Release Candidate 1, products from companies such as ATI, Canon, Logitech and NVIDIA have qualified for the Certified for Windows Vista logo, and many others have begun the process. Products from Attachmate, Belkin, Buffalo, Computer Associates, Corel, D-Link Systems, Epson, Fujifilm, Hauppage Computer Works, HP, Lexmark, Logitech, Microsoft Hardware, Microsoft Office, NetPro Computing, Nero AG, Olympus, Riverdeep Interactive Learning, SanDisk, Seagate Technology, Sonic, Symantec, Trend Micro, Viewsonic, Workshare, Yahoo! and other companies are expected to a Windows Vista logo within the Windows Vista launch time frame, further contributing to the growing Windows Vista ecosystem. Throughout their product development process, Microsoft has collaborated with independent hardware and software vendors, ensuring not only that the products support a high level of compatibility, but also that the products coming to market now and over the next several months will take advantage of exciting new features in Windows Vista.

HP is one of the companies pursuing approval for the Certified for Windows Vista logo for a variety of products. "Just as we did with the launch of Windows XP, HP has worked closely with Microsoft to ensure our imaging and printing products take full advantage of the capabilities of Windows Vista", said Greg Wallace, senior vice president of marketing for the Imaging and Printing Group at HP. "HP will be a top provider of products ready for Windows Vista, offering more than 450 compatible imaging and printing products once Windows Vista is available on the market".

Also carrying the Certified for Windows Vista logo will be NVIDIA GeForce Graphic Processing Units, which enable features in Windows Vista such as Windows Aero and Flip-3D. "NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards underwent thorough testing to attain the Certified for Windows Vista logo", said Ujesh Desai, general manager of desktop GPUs at NVIDIA. "It was the commitment to quality testing that attracted us to the program. People can be confident that any products carrying the logo will provide a top-notch experience with their PCs running a Windows Vista operating system".

In addition to the Windows Vista logo program, Microsoft is taking steps to ensure that consumers can buy PCs now that will be ready for the launch of Windows Vista. PCs capable of supporting Windows Vista bear the Windows Vista Capable logo. Consumers can feel confident in purchases they make today due to the broad availability of Windows Vista Capable PCs that are capable of running Windows Vista Home Premium Edition, identified as Premium Ready PCs.

Consumers also can now purchase new PC games that offer exceptional compatibility with Windows Vista as well as Windows XP. Games that carry the Games for Windows logo must meet certain requirements, such as the ability to work with x64 versions of Windows Vista and support the Windows Vista Games Explorer function. Games that feature this logo and will be available for purchase this holiday season include "Company of Heroes", "LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy" and "Microsoft Flight Simulator X".

In addition to these products available at retail, two Windows Vista features, Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Media Player 11, will be made available in the coming weeks. Windows XP users are encouraged to try the features to get familiar with and excited about these programs now, which will be included in Windows Vista. Internet Explorer 7 will be made available to Windows XP customers via free download in the next two weeks. Microsoft encourages all Windows XP users to download the new version to explore the browsing experience in Windows Vista and take advantage of the new security features that will help protect them against malicious software and phishing attacks. Windows Media Player 11 will be available via free download beginning Oct. 24 and will enable users to take advantage of an elegant and intuitive user interface, a new level of online store integration, especially with MTV's URGE service, and improved navigation for larger music libraries.

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