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Least buggy Windows, Office ever: Microsoft

The global launch of Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange 2007 kicked off in Sydney on Thursday with Microsoft executives promising the massive beta testing program has ensured its new products will contain fewer bugs than before.When Microsoft launched Office 2003 and Windows XP, around 3,500 Australians installed a beta2 version of the products to test for compatibility issues and report bugs.

The global launch of Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange 2007 kicked off in Sydney on Thursday with Microsoft executives promising the massive beta testing program has ensured its new products will contain fewer bugs than before.

When Microsoft launched Office 2003 and Windows XP, around 3,500 Australians installed a beta2 version of the products to test for compatibility issues and report bugs. This time around, Microsoft claims that number has increased to 86,000 beta testers.

Robin Young, product solutions manager at Microsoft Australia, said that the beta test program has surpassed all expectations and customers should expect fewer compatibility issues with Microsoft's new products than ever before.

"We have 86,000 organisations that have activated the beta2 kit -- not only downloaded the beta2 kit but activated it. We judged it would be about 20,000 or 25,000 and were very surprised that so many people downloaded it.

"Eighty-six thousand people -- just in Australia -- testing our products have ensured we can deliver a really high quality... there have been many different bugs that have been fixed [prior to launch]," Young told ZDNet Australia.

According to Young, the beta program will mean "significantly less issues" when it comes to compatibility and conflicts with other software.

"With Windows Vista we released the application toolkit nine months before we released the actual product, which is something we have never done before. With XP we released it six months after the product," said Young.

Young highlighted that the majority of bugs fixed prior to launch were due to functional issues rather than security vulnerabilities.

"We build our products in a completely different way now ... security is fundamental. The [bug fixes] were around functionality -- how different functions perform and interact with each other, that has been the focus of our attention," he said.