Gates: Vista takes Windows to ‘whole new level’
Microsoft chairman Bill Gates claimed Vista has taken the Windows platform to ‘a whole new level’ as he launched the new operating system and Office 2007 in London.
Speaking at The British Library, Gates claimed today’s launch was a ‘special occasion’, being only the second time the company has launched a new operating system and Office suite simultaneously.
The last time was with Windows 95, and Gates invoked memories of that occasion. ‘In 1995, when people thought about personal computers, they weren’t thinking about photos, telephony, gaming… they were thinking about documents and emails. In Vista, we have taken things to a whole new level,’ Gates claimed.
‘It’s about the digital workstyle and digital lifestyle. The way people buy and sell products, the way people use telephony, the way people use television, which now is not limited to broadcast channels. We’re taking entertainment to a whole new level,’ he added.
However, Gates claimed the true strength of the Windows platform wasn’t the operating system itself, but the entire ‘eco-system’ that surrounds it. ‘The Windows environment has always had ten times as many applications as any other environment. Every time we move the platform up to a new level, we’re amazed what the software industry does with it.’
The Microsoft chairman also claimed the company had taken a gamble with its ambitious new Ribbon interface in Office 2007, describing the product as ‘a major, major release’. ‘The new user interface takes a number of features that have been in Office and brings them to the surface. It allows people to create what we call 21st century documents. It only takes people a few hours to learn how to use. We took a bet on that, and it has paid off,’ Gates claimed.
However, not all the new features in Vista and Office have gone down well at Chez Gates. ‘When I told my son I could limit how long he spends on his machine his reaction was, “jeez, is this what it’s going to be like for the rest of my life”. My reaction was, it probably will as long as you’re at home.’