But the company hopes there will be no chill on sales when its flagship OS and 2007 Office System hit retail stores
Having missed holiday sales, the company is hoping that finally getting the consumer version of Vista and Office will boost its bottom line.
Microsoft has been touting Vista’s improved security and integrated search. But in addition it is counting on buyers being so impressed with the 3D Aero effects of Vista Home Premium that they’ll be willing to pay extra over the base Home Basic edition.
Resellers are also hoping Vista will lead to peripheral sales as consumers realize Aero will need more memory, faster CPU power and speedier graphic cards.
Inside the 18,000 sq. ft. condo-style abode made of ice were also a few other Microsoft products that have been flying under the Vista radar.
In the kitchen was a Tablet PC running Internet Explorer next to a microwave carved out of ice, and real refrigerator with built-in TV. According to Barnaby Jeans, senior technical advisor to Microsoft Canada, one in every 10 Canadian homes have a PC in the kitchen.
“It’s a little known fact but the kitchen has become the central hub of the digital lifestyle,” Jeans said.
He added that most searches are initially conceived in the kitchen, which is why the new Internet Explorer will have customizable search engines with the ability to do tabbed browsing and eliminate opening several Windows.
There are some new printing features which let the software automatically shrink Web content to fit a page.
“It can also print just the selected text from a Web site, which can save on printer cartridges,” Jeans said.
The browser will also have new security features that can detect virus and phishing scams using a colour scheme of bright red, yellow and green to warn users. Jeans said that when Internet Explorer detects a known phishing e-mail, the URL bright red.
Moving over to the icy teen bedroom, Bruce Cowper, Microsoft Canada’s senior program manager/security initiative, showed OneCare.
Windows Live OneCare is the security add-on to Vista. Cowper said with OneCare you get extra anti-virus, firewall, anti-phishing and anti-spyware protection while begin able to back up and restore data, and do defragmentation tasks all in one single path. OneCare has an annual subscription rate of $59.99.