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Thu 25 Jan 2007 04:10 PM

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Vista delay

Users in the Middle East face further frustration in getting hold of Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system, with the regional launch delayed until next month.

Users in the Middle East face further frustration in getting hold of Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system, with the regional launch delayed until next month.

IT Weekly

can also reveal that some broadband users in the UAE will not be able to surf the internet using Vista, as some of the hardware supplied by Etisalat for its Al Shamil broadband service does not support the OS.

Bahaa Issa, marketing and communications manager for Microsoft Gulf, this week confirmed that the company will not launch Vista on the global date of January 30, with retail stores more likely to get it in mid-February.

"Some of our partners in the region requested a bit more time to get their products ready," he said, adding "it wouldn't be a launch without computers [to run the OS]".

An Arabic version will however be made available on the same day as the English version appears, rather than several weeks later, as has been the case with previous Microsoft product releases. "This is now company strategy" Issa said, with Arabic a tier one language.

Some users of Etisalat's Al Shamil broadband service will also not be able to use Vista online, as some of the USB modems that are supplied with the service are not able to support Vista. The Aztech modem that Etisalat uses does not have drivers to support Vista, with the manufacturer saying it will not release them.

A spokesperson for Etisalat said the company was aware of the issue, but said the operator has yet to decide on what it will do for those customers who are affected. One option was a buyback scheme for affected modems, but "nothing has been finalised" the spokesperson said.

Issa said that Microsoft was aware of the issue and was working with Etisalat to find a solution, stressing that not all Al Shamil users will be affected.

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