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Seven days of Vista -- day 6: Vista arrives in London

Microsoft's much-hyped new operating system has finally been launched by Bill Gates at an event at the British Library in London. Are you feeling the "Wow"?

Well, the long five-year wait is over, and Microsoft's brand-spanking new operating system, Windows Vista, and Windows Office 2007 have finally been launched by Bill Gates at an event at the British Library in London. Are you feeling the "Wow"?

Of course, after so many delays, and with so much time for the press to chew through the merits of the software before consumers get their hands on it, it's been hard for Microsoft to generate the sort of buzz around the launch that Crave remembers at, say, the launch of Windows 95.

The reason for the choice of location became clear after Bill and Lynne Brindley, the chief executive of the British Library, conducted a painfully staged and awkward on-stage chat that revealed Gates will be helping to digitally reunite Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks.

The 'Codices' of Arundel and Leicester, owned by the British Library and Bill respectively, will come together online and be accessible via a British Library application called Turning the Pages 2.0, which runs on Windows Vista. Oh, and XP. And Windows 98. And just about any half-decent operating system.

Then Brindley talked for what seemed like hours about the importance of digitising great works of literature. Gates made a swift exit to let her finish, then Cynthia Crossley, UK director of Microsoft's Windows client business group, chatted in-depth about how great Vista Gadgets are.

The only other excitement on offer at the launch was from The Feeling, whose lead singer performed a solo acoustic and returned with the full line-up to play a free gig outside the British Library. Given the generally lacklustre feel to the whole thing, you can see why they might want to bus The Feeling in... We've got five years to look forward to the next version of Windows (Windows Landscape? Windows Scenic?). Until that happy day, here's more on Windows Vista:

You can catch up on the new applications in Vista, such as Windows Calendar, Paint, Windows Meeting Space and Games, in our first day of Vista here.

You can also check out the new fancy-pants Aero interface to Vista in our second day of Vista story here.

And you can explore the amusing new world of Vista Widgets, er, we mean Gadgets, in our third day of Vista story here.

Learn more about Vista's innovative new search and filtering technology in our fourth day of Vista story here.

And, if that hasn't whet your appetite, discover how DirectX 10 can pimp your gaming in our fifth day of Vista story here.

I bet now you're feeling that "Wow"... -MP