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Vista Compatibility Center still MIA

If the goal was to help improve Vista's image, it's not working. The online tool was supposed to launch Tuesday morning, but remains offline with no explanation from Microsoft.

Apparently 20 months wasn't quite long enough to wait to introduce an online "Vista Compatibility Center."

The Web site, which was due to launch on Tuesday morning, still hasn't launched as of 2 p.m. PDT Wednesday.

The idea was to offer a Web site where consumers and small businesses could easily check whether their hardware and software are Vista-ready. Since yesterday afternoon, however, the site has greeted visitors with the message "The Windows Vista Compatibility Center will be launching soon, please check back!"

Well, I have been and it hasn't. No word from Redmond on what's behind the hold-up, but it's certainly not helping the company's efforts to put a better face on the oft-maligned operating system.

I'll keep checking back and let you know when it's up. In the meantime, here's a screenshot of what it's supposed to look like.

The Windows Vista Compatibility Center is aimed to be part of Microsoft's case that Vista is ready for prime time. However, so far the site has been down, only adding to the operating system's bad press. Microsoft

Update, 2:42 p.m.:

Well, it's still not up, but recognizing that it's getting some hits, Microsoft has added some teaser text to the site.

"Did you know," the page now adds, "The Windows Vista Compatibility Center will provide information on more than 9,000 products."

It also directs small business customers with compatibility issues to check out its recently launched page.