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Vista Not "Playing Along" With Online Games

Tuesday, 30 Jan 2007 | 3:29 PM ET

Microsoft’s Vista operating system has barely been on store shelves for a few hours and online gamers, a potentially big faction of Vista users, already have cause for concern. CNBC’s Jim Goldman had the story from Silicon Valley.

According to Goldman, WildTangent, which is the largest publisher of online downloadable games from the Internet, just concluded a year-long study statying that virtually no web-based game is compatible with Vista. That could prevent 70 million gamers from playing more than 500 of the Internet’s most popular games – and could affect companies like RealNetworks (owner of RealArcade), Time Warner (AOL Games) and Yahoo! (Yahoo! Games). The study found that even Microsoft’s own Zone.com was incompatible with Vista.

Vista Problem
Vista users may be in for a surprise, as most online games and many older peripherals do not work with the new OS, with Jim Goldman, CNBC Silicon Valley Bureau Chief

How is it possible that Microsoft committed such a vast oversight after spending over 5 years developing Vista? Alex St. John, CEO of WildTangent, says he thinks Microsoft “went extreme on the security issue with Vista” and actually overcompensated in making the operating system so impenetrable to harm from the Internet that even the most innocent online games now won’t work.

Goldman says this leaves consumers asking the next logical question: what else won’t work with Vista? Should people expecting a hassle-free upgrade think again?

Cadir Lee, chief software officer for Support.com, says existing machines and hardware might struggle with a Vista upgrade – especially when it comes to configuring “nook and cranny” applications that may not be Vista-compatible right away.

And while WildTangent’s “fix-it” software is shipping with all new Hewlett-Packard , Dell , Gateway and Toshiba PCs, gamers hoping to just buy the Vista software alone look like they might be out of luck – at least until Microsoft comes up with a solution.

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