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Microsoft sets date for Office, Vista business launch

Windows Vista and Office 2007 will be available to businesses beginning Nov. 30, while mainstream launch remains set for January.

Microsoft plans to mark the business launch of Windows Vista and Office 2007 with an event in New York on Nov. 30.

Microsoft also plans to tout the launch of Exchange 2007 at the "New Day for Business" event, to be held at the Nasdaq stock exchange and starring CEO Steve Ballmer. "This event will mark the business availability of three major releases from Microsoft," the software maker said in an invitation e-mailed to a set of journalists on Wednesday.

Both Vista and Office had originally been slated to arrive on store shelves and new PCs in time for this year's holiday season. However, in March, Microsoft said it would delay the mainstream launch of the products until January, with large businesses still having access to the two products this year.

Despite plans to tout Exchange at the event, a Microsoft representative said that the code won't actually be finished until December. Businesses will be able to place orders for the software Dec. 1, the representative said.

Microsoft had said the business launch of Vista would take place this month. Until June, Office had been slated to be finalized by October, but Microsoft said then that it was being pushed back until some time before the end of the year.

As for Exchange, Microsoft executives had been hoping it would be ready this year, but officially, the company has been slating late this year or early next year as the time frame for its release.

The company is looking to generate some additional buzz from the fact that its flagship products are arriving at the same time. "Launching together for the first time in 10 years, these releases will invigorate the IT industry, while enabling businesses to fully utilize their greatest resource: their people."

The mainstream launch is still slated to occur in January, at which time Vista and Office 2007 will start showing up on retailers' shelves and on new PCs.