Vista's coming, ready or not

Microsoft Windows Vista is coming fast.

The very first CES-related thing we saw when we got to Vegas was a banner advertising Windows Vista at Las Vegas International. Since then, it's been pretty much nonstop. Vista is everywhere at the show. It's dominated the conversations we've had with nearly every major desktop, laptop, peripheral, and software vendor we've met with.

The ubiquity of Vista at CES mirrors how it's going to affect the PC market. Mass adoption won't happen right away, but as you'll find Windows XP on the majority of computers today, in a few years we anticipate that Windows Vista will have almost as much penetration. That almost makes it superfluous to review it, since for many of us, we'll eventually be using one version of it or another regardless. If that sounds too fatalistic, perhaps you'll take heart, as we have, that the energy level from the various computer and software vendors seems high. In part, we suspect that's due to an anticipated rush of new computer purchases. But we also get the feeling that products such as HP's TouchSmart PC IQ770, the Asus W5Fe SideShow, and the Sony VAIO XL3 are just the beginning of Vista acting as a catalyst for innovative new hardware designs.

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