Microsoft Announces Holiday Availability of PCs, Software, Games for Vista

More than 250 hardware and software products from over 50 industry partners have already received the "Certified for Windows Vista" or "Works with Windows Vista" logo.

As Microsoft aggressively starts to prepare the market for the debut of Windows Vista, it will use the Digital Life trade show in New York Oct. 12 to announce the holiday availability of PCs, software, hardware and games that will work with Vista, even though the operating system will not be available to consumers until early next year.

The software giant will also announce that more than 250 hardware and software products from over 50 industry partners have received the "Certified for Windows Vista" or "Works with Windows Vista" logo.

The logo program lets customers know that these products are compatible with the new Vista operating system.

Mike Sievert, Microsofts corporate vice president of Windows client marketing, will announce these moves in his opening keynote at Digital Life Oct. 12, titled "The Beauty and Power of Windows Vista," a Microsoft spokesman told eWEEK ahead of that talk.

While Microsoft isnt expected to make Vista available to consumers until January, the company is moving to ensure that consumers can buy PCs now that are capable of supporting Windows Vista Home Basic and of running Windows Vista Home Premium Edition.

/zimages/3/28571.gifWindows Vista enters the home stretch with Release Candidate 2. Click here to read more.

These PCs will be identified by either the "Premium Ready PC" logo or the "Windows Vista Capable" logo.

Microsoft is preparing to release Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Media Player 11, both of which are in Vista, in the next two weeks, hoping that releasing them to current Windows XP users will encourage those users to get familiar with the programs, which will be even more robust in Vista.

Internet Explorer 7 will be made available to Windows XP customers via free download in the next two weeks.

/zimages/3/28571.gifMicrosoft has added anti-phishing tools to IE7. Click here to read more.

"Microsoft encourages all consumers to download the new browser once available 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," the spokesman said.

Windows Media Player 11 will also be available as a free download from Microsoft on Oct. 24 and will enable users to take advantage of a new, more intuitive user interface; a new level of online store integration; MTVs URGE service; and improved navigation for larger music libraries.

Next Page: Vista-ready products on display.