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Countdown to Vista is nearly over

The Week Ahead: Bill Gates comes to London for Microsoft's biggest launch in years
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor

This is one of the most important weeks in Microsoft's history, as it finally brings its Vista operating system to the consumer market.

Of course, businesses have been able to use Vista since last November. Tuesday's consumer launch, though, is absolutely critical to Microsoft. Is a new Windows launch still a big deal? Is Vista enough of a leap forward to repel the advances of OS X and Linux? Has Microsoft really cracked security?

These questions won't be answered for many months, but we'll be looking for a rousing performance from Bill Gates. He'll be gracing London with his presence on Tuesday — before flying up to the Microsoft Government Leaders' Conference in Scotland — and we'll be there to record the event.

Slightly more prosaically, Gartner will be taking its annual look at business intelligence (BI). The three-day BI Summit starts on Tuesday, looking at the challenges faced by companies as they try to make better use of their systems and data.

We're also expecting some big news from Oracle this week. Details are vague at this stage, but the company is holding its "Applications Unlimited" event on Wednesday afternoon, and there'll be a live webcast conducted by company president Charles Phillips.

This may be an opportunity for customers — especially those acquired through Oracle's purchases of PeopleSoft and Siebel — to learn about how the company is going to bond its various offerings closer together.

The House of Lords will continue its investigations into internet security on Wednesday afternoon. The inquiry, by the Science & Technology committee, has already uncovered evidence that agencies — such as the Office of Fair Trading — aren't well-skilled to fight cybercriminals. As yet, the committee hasn't announced who it will be hearing from this week.

We'll also be getting an update from T-Mobile on its plans for the year. Will it be prepared to follow its rival 3 and cut its roaming charges? As ever, you can use our Company and Topic alerts to keep track of the latest news.

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