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January 29, 2007

Vista launch: Family pushes the button

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano at 2:53 PM

NEW YORK -- Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer took the stage pitching Vista as easier, safer, more entertaining and better to keep you connected. The rock music boomed, courtesy of Angels and Airways, a band that's playing now and seems to be the official musical entertainment of the Vista launch.

When time came to flip the switch -- or in this case, press the Vista logo on a touch-screen PC -- it wasn't the crew of PC industry bigwigs that Gates and Ballmer marched on stage to thank and give mounted copies of Vista and Office.

In keeping with the "wow, thanks a million" theme, the honor of launching Vista went to the Regan family of Germantown, Md., one of the 50 "Vista Families" who have been playing with Vista and giving Microsoft lots of feedback for the past two years.

Here's a profile of the Regans from ABC News. Gates handed the family a signed copy of Windows Vista Ultimate. Then the three blond children of Chris and Melissa Regan counted down with Ballmer and touched the button.

After that, several of the giant electronic screens in Times Square lit up with a host of Vista and Office logos. (And the glitched-out Toys R Us sign I spotted earlier today had been fixed.)

A video showed images from around the world, including a fireworks display in Seattle, which readers of this blog are probably better equipped to report on than I am. Couldn't tell from the video feed I saw where exactly the fireworks were going off.

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Tricia Duryee
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