The official announcement came early Friday morning at a press event at the companyis headquarters in Redmond, Wash. Video of the announcement can be viewed using Windows Media Player for Mac at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2005/jul05/07-22LHMA.mspx.
The company also said that the first beta release of Vista will be on Aug. 3. That release will be targeted at developers and IT professionals, Brad Goldberg, a Microsoft product manager, said. A second beta release will likely come before a final release in late 2006, he commented.
Mr. Goldberg also said Microsoft plans on beta testing a server version of the OS as well "later this year." He said it hasnit been determined if it will be called iVistai as well.
The advertising slogan for Vista will be "Clear, Confident, Connected: Bringing clarity to your world," according to the video of the press event.
Best known for some time now under its code name iLonghorn,i the new OS will replace the current Windows XP. Longhorn has been under development for several years and is the first upgrade to Microsoftis flagship product since 1995.
Features of the new OS will include a new graphical user interface, transparent window frames, an enhanced search system and and better security against "phishing" attacks designed to steal personal information from PCs.