Bill Hartnett got accustomed to the screaming. As Microsoft Corp.’s manager of software sales to financial services companies, Hartnett used to get pelted with complaints about the security and reliability of Microsoft’s products.
Hartnett speaks openly about those dark days because he’s sure they’re well past. He and his colleagues contend the company is about to give businesses compelling reasons to not just tolerate Microsoft, but to be thrilled with it.
The occasion is the launch of crucial upgrades to Microsoft’s most widely used and most profitable products. All at once, Microsoft is releasing a new Windows operating system known as Vista; an update of the Office “productivity” package, which includes Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint; and server software that handles behind-the-scenes functions.
The products became available for business users Thursday, with a consumer release of Windows and Office on Jan. 30.
Vista has been delayed so long that it has been five years since the last overhaul of the operating system, which runs 90 percent of the world’s personal computers. Office last got refreshed in 2003.
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