RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
And consumers have had some time to mull over the questions Scott just spoke of - to upgrade or not to upgrade - since the computer industry has been talking about the Vista release for five years. With us today to ponder than and other questions is David Pogue. He's a technology columnist for the New York Times and he's written an entire book on the new software. Good morning.
Mr. DAVID POGUE (Technology Columnist, New York Times): Good morning.
MONTAGNE: Now for the average person, is it worth, or even possible to upgrade to Vista?
Mr. POGUE: That's the key question. It probably isn't possible. I'd say a year-, a year-and-a-half-old computer is really the only one that can accommodate Windows Vista with all its features. So Microsoft says that 95 percent of the world will get Windows Vista aboard a new computer.
MONTAGNE: All well and good if you can afford to switch out. But in a way, isn't that a bit of a drawback?
Mr. POGUE: Yeah, exactly. Windows Vista, $2,000 with free computer. It's a drawback only if you consider Windows Vista to be a new thing that you got to have. In other words, I think most of the world just uses the version of Windows they get when they get a computer. And a lot of people have been waiting for over a year just for this reason. They heard that they would need a new computer when they run this thing. And so they'll just get it when they get it.
MONTAGNE: Why bother with the advertising if ineffectively most consumers will get Vista on the computer that they buy, when they buy that new computer?
Mr. POGUE: Well, that's an excellent question. And I think it has less to do with individuals going to the computer store and buying the upgrade and more to do with, number one, PR; and number two, the corporations who buy 500 copies at a time. These are Microsoft's main interests. These are the bread and butter.
MONTAGNE: So what's your favorite feature?
Mr. POGUE: Wow. There's a lot of cool stuff. I have to say that the speech feature, speech recognition. Basically you wear a headset microphone, you can dictate text exactly as I'm talking to you - comma - and everything gets written down - period. And control everything too. You can even move the cursor and drag the mouse all by voice.
And my second favorite feature - I just have to mention this, it's so great - on laptops, there's now a one-click button called Presentation Mode. And that's for when you're in a boardroom somewhere giving a PowerPoint pitch. It turns off everything that might interrupt your talk - screen savers, error messages, funny beeps. It'll even change your desktop picture so the, you know, the bikini babe you usually have isn't visible to the rest of the board as you give your pitch. It's just clever.
MONTAGNE: David, thanks very much.
Mr. POGUE: My pleasure, thank you.
MONTAGNE: David Pogue is technology columnist for the New York Times. He's also the author of the newly released book "Windows Vista: The Missing Manual."
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