Later today at a NASDAQ stock exchange event in New York City, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will officially launch versions of Windows Vista, Microsoft Office 2007 System, and Exchange Server 2007. The launch is aimed at big businesses. Vista and Office 2007 were completed earlier this month, but Microsoft doesn't expect to ship Exchange 2007 until sometime in December. A larger, consumer-oriented launch event for Windows Vista and Office 2007 is scheduled for January 30, 2007.
The timing of the business launch event is a bit odd. Because consumers won't be able to get Vista-based PCs until January, some might hold off on new PC purchases this holiday season. But the versions of Vista and Office 2007 that Microsoft is shipping starting tomorrow will not be made available to consumers, although news of the launch could be confusing to them. Instead, only businesses with volume license agreements with Microsoft will be able to get the code now.
Microsoft is expecting big revenue jumps from Vista and Office 2007 in particular, despite tepid interest from enterprises, which typically decide to upgrade when it makes most sense for their business. Microsoft CFO Chris Liddell said this week that he expected the company to see 13 to 15 percent revenue growth and 11 to 13 percent earnings growth in the current fiscal year because of Vista and Office 2007.