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Thu 30 Nov 2006 08:00 PM

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Burj Al Arab to offer laptop users brand new Vista in regional first


Dubai's Burj Al Arab hotel has launched the first Windows Vista implementation in the Middle East and Africa.

The seven-star hotel installed Microsoft Vista in its suites on November 21, ahead of the official November 30 launch date for corporate customers, making it the first implementation in the region.

"Microsoft selecting us to launch Vista for the Middle East and Africa is a good experience for us.

“The guests will be very happy, because it is something new," said Frederick Sabty, IT director at the Burj Al Arab.

The hotel's IT staff has been testing the new operating system for the last four months, according to Sabty. The hotel has been planning for the implementation for some time, as it ensured its new guest laptops, from HP, were Vista-ready.

Sabty said: "We can call Microsoft, because we are not a small company, and we are taking the headache away from others by doing this case study."

He also described Vista as "the launch of the century".

The Burj Al Arab, part of the Jumeirah group, owned by Dubai Holding, is renowned for both luxury and high-tech systems. The hotel will also be launching a large-scale Wi-Fi voice over IP (VoIP) system before the end of 2006, building on an existing Avaya IP telephony implementation at the hotel.

It supplies its guests with high-end laptops for their use while at the hotel.

Microsoft's Vista operating system has had a troubled gestation, with its release put back from an original 2003 launch to January 2007 for consumers.

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