Vista Debuts Without Huge Fuss
Carolina Beach Ocean Rescue squad leader Evan Anderson places a sign in the sand closing the beach to swimming at Carolina Beach, N.C. Saturday, May 26, 2012. Strong rip currents created dangerous swimming conditions and prompted Carolina Beach Ocean Rescue to close the beach to swimming and not allow people in past their knees. (AP Photo/The Star-News,Matt Born ) / Matt Born
At a CompUSA store in Raleigh, N.C., only about a dozen people waited around to be among the first to get Vista. The store reopened at 10 p.m., offering customers coffee and discounts on other items including printers and recordable DVDs, and planned to stay open until at least 2 a.m.
The low turnout wasn't surprising, especially after Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said the company wasn't pushing the midnight sales events.
CompUSA manager Damon Didier said the midnight sales met his expectations, especially given the late hour with temperatures in the upper 20s.
"I think we'll see sales pick up throughout the rest of the week, especially on Friday and over the weekend when people have more time to download it," Didier said.
Employees decorated the store with balloons and set up bright new displays featuring computers equipped with Vista. There was a five-second countdown over the public-address system to let customers know they could buy the software.
Those who came for the midnight launch were almost as enthusiastic.
"I guess I'm a geek at heart," said Chad Janko, 29. "I wanted to process the whole thing myself before all the reviews surface about it."
Mike Johnson, 29, of nearby Rolesville, bought a laptop computer with the new software preinstalled.
"The biggest reason for me is the new interface. It looks so much better than XP," he said. "Apple computers have had nice graphical interfaces for some time. But it's the first time Windows has even approached that level."
New Apple ads poke fun at Windows Vista, and New York Times technology columnist David Pogue says there's good reason for that.
"I don't mean to imply that Vista is nothing but copies from Apple, but there are some certain similarities that are unmistakable," he told CBS News science and technology correspondent Daniel Sieberg, pointing to new features in Vista that are already available on Macintosh computers.
"When I look at Windows Vista, I see a technology that is interesting, that is relevant, but to some extent is evolutionary," said Al Gillen, an analyst at the technology research group IDC. "I do not believe it will create a lot of motivation for people to rush out and get a new operating system."
Only On The Web: New York Times technology columnist David Pogue shows Daniel Sieberg the similarities between Microsoft's Vista and Apple's most recent operating system.
Microsoft celebrated the Vista launch Monday with a Times Square bash complete with acrobatics and blaring music. Dancers clad in Microsoft colors dangled from ropes high above street level and unfurled flags to form the red, green, blue and yellow Windows logo against a building wall.
Vista went on sale in 70 countries Tuesday, along with new versions of Microsoft Exchange e-mail software and the flagship Office business suite, which includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
But unlike the recent launches of next-generation game machines like Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3, customers haven't been camping out for days.
"You don't really need to stand in line on this one, because you can download it over the Internet, and that wasn't possible back in 1995," Gates told CBS News correspondent Lou Miliano, saying the launch of Windows Vista is bigger than that of Windows 95. "If you're going to buy a physical product like an X-box, you bet, you've got to line up for that."
"It's a very different world than in 1995," said Gates.
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