Simultaneous Vista and Office 2007 launch?

Whoa! I know they did this once before but is the public ready for a one-two punch same-day release of Windows Vista and Office 2007 later this year? This would be a bold move - I'm not sure it's wise.

Australian IT reports that comments made by Microsoft's Dave Block at the Intel Developer Forum suggest that Microsoft, in an effort to conjure up that old Windows 95 magic, is planning to release Windows Vista and Office 2007 on the same day later this year. If you are old enough to remember the midnight launch of Windows 95, you'll recall a heady time for geeks everywhere standing in line in front of brick and mortar memories like Egghead Software dancing in place to the Stones' Start Me Up. Well.. OK... it was whatever passes for dancing in the geek set.

Block is quoted in the article as saying:

"Windows Vista will probably go on to 400 million PCs in the first 24 months," Block says. "That's both new system sales and upgrades from XP. When you think we're going to launch Office simultaneously there's this huge wave of upgrades and opportunities." 

I have mixed feelings about attempting a 2006 (?) version of this nuttiness. To be sure, there's a lot to be excited about in both releases. And Microsoft is gambling big time on these releases to reinvigorate their two primary revenue streams. But I worry that, in an effort to maximize excitement, what will actually take place will more like deer-in-the-headlights paralysis than cattle stampede.

Working with the latest builds of both Vista and Office 2007, I can tell you there's some great stuff coming. But there's a lot of complexity that accompanies the features, visual presentation, and hardware compatibility concerns that are inevitable with these change-everything releases. It might be better to follow the Windows XP/Office XP model and allow a few months between the release of Office and Windows.

The article also says that the Designed for Windows Vista logo program will, for the first time, offer two levels of certification for new PCs beginning April 1. Systems that support basic Vista versions will bear a silver badge while high-powered systems that can take full advantage of Vista's advanced graphics including Aero Glass will sport a gold badge. That should make the purchase decisions surrounding a new PC a little  less difficult.

Any thoughts? Do you plan to upgrade to both? Neither? One or the other?


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