Microsoft Vista: The Good, the Bad and the Boring - Barron's

| About: Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)

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Microsoft's Game to Lose by Jay Palmer

Summary: Following five years, $6 billion and months of hype, Microsoft unveiled its new OS, Vista, to an ambivalent Street. Its stock, which closed at $30.19 on Friday, has surged 40% since the summer in anticipation. Vista has a lot to prove, and risks abound, including keeping bugs to a minimum and deflecting hackers. Home users will like the shiny new desktop and convenience, but not the price tag. Packaging Vista together with the new Office 2007 will present a more obvious change, with its 'ribbon' interface that organizes features into tabs. On the downside, Vista still can't 'communicate' with some existing hardware, such as a Sony photo printer; Sony has no intention of issuing compatible drivers. Vista can't be uninstalled, and its security features can make downloading nightmarish. Many big PC makers are banking on Vista, and have rolled out powerful new computers with the system built-in. Barron's Bottom Line: Some bulls think Vista could deliver a further 20% gain, but the downside, at this point, looks even greater.
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Microsoft 04 02 2007