Microsoft Opens Up 'Vista' Operating System Microsoft is about to unveil its first new operating system in a number of years, amid much fanfare. But a big question remains: Is Vista any good?
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Microsoft Opens Up 'Vista' Operating System

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Microsoft Opens Up 'Vista' Operating System

Microsoft Opens Up 'Vista' Operating System

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Now on Mondays we focus on technology, and today we talk about the new version of Microsoft's Windows software. The new operating system, Windows Vista, goes on sale tomorrow. Early reviews say it delivers some real improvements, especially in the area of security. But it's not likely to cause a stampede at your neighborhood computer store, as NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

SCOTT HORSLEY: Microsoft's newest product launch is relatively low-key, compared to some earlier rollouts, like Windows 95. There's no Rolling Stones commercial, for example. Bill Gates is scheduled to appear tonight on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and some retailers are holding midnight sales events. But unless those retailers are offering deep discounts, analyst Rob Enderle says there's no need to stay up that late just to be first on your block with the new software.

Mr. ROB ENDERLE (Analyst): Don't get me wrong, I've been using it myself for a while. It's a good product. But I value my sleep a lot.

HORSLEY: Enderle says the graphics of the new operating system are much prettier than older versions. It no longer looks like something from the last decade, he says. What's more, Microsoft's worked hard to make the software less vulnerable to computer hackers.

Enderle says people who are already planning to buy a new PC should be happy with the new operating system that comes with it. But those with older computers might think twice about buying Vista as an upgrade.

Mr. ENDERLE: You bought a PC in the last year it'll work fine. Just be real sure that you have enough memory. Vista really likes memory.

HORSLEY: The most basic version of Vista retails for about $200, with advanced versions selling for twice that much. Technically challenged customers can also pay an additional fee to have the software installed by a professional.

Scott Horsley, NPR News.

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