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Vendors Ready For Vista

New York — With Microsoft’s Vista operating system due out at midnight, the major PC vendors have stocked retailer store rooms with Vista-equipped models.

Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Gateway, Sony and Toshiba all announced either new models in support of the Vista launch or that their current models were all available with the new operating system.

Hewlett-Packard is participating with Microsoft and retailers in several Midnight Madness events marking the official release of the OS tonight. Todd Bradley, executive VP of HP’s personal systems group, will be on hand with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at several events in New York City today and tomorrow, the company said.

Sony has refreshed its VAIO, TX, N, FE, C and AR lines with Vista and Office 2007, which also debuts on Jan. 30, and it is hosting a special event at its New York City SonyStyle store with Mark Hanson, VAIO product planning senior VP and Mike Sievert Windows marketing VP.

Gateway will introduce the DX430 Series desktop and NX270s notebook to coincide with Vista. The three-unit DX430 series is configured to handle Vista Home Basic, Premium or Ultimate. Prices run from $499 to $1,099.

The NX770s, $699, utilizes Gateway’s hardened, protective design and a 14.1-inch screen. It features an Intel Celeron 430 processor, 512MB of memory, 60GB hard drive and DVD/CD burner.

Toshiba’s Portege R400, Satellite A135, P105 desktop replacement and P105 gaming notebooks are available with Vista as of Jan. 30 and these will be joined by the Satellite U205 ultra-portable, Feb. 6 and the Qosmio G35 audio-video notebook sometime later this quarter.

Dell kicked off its Vista program last week when it started taking pre-orders or its desktop and notebooks preloaded with Vista. The company said it spent 100,000 engineer hours testing and validating the software so it will work properly with Dell’s products and be properly supported by the company’s customer service department.