Microsoft Corporation, the love-hate object of all PC users, has finally revealed the branding for its long-overdue successor to the Windows XP operating system.

Branded Windows Vista, a beta version will be available to Windows groupies as from August 3 - nearly two years after an initial, basic form of Vista was released to independent software developers.

The new brand name is said to imply "clear ways to organise and use information the way you want to use it!" Among the new goodies (and glitches-in-waiting) in the beta release are Avalon and Indigo - the former a new graphics engine, the latter a communications device.

Both will be engineered to also run on earlier versions of Windows, a move that many observers see as a placatory gesture to competition regulators by "unbundling" the new operating system. The concession could well be an unsung tradeoff in the deal recently struck between the software titan and the European Commission [WAMN: 08-Jun-05].

Following the beta tests, a full-scale launch of Vista is expected towards the end of 2006.

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff