Windows Vista is a major release of the Windows NT operating system developed by Microsoft. It was the direct successor to Windows XP, which was released five years earlier, at the time being the longest time span between successive releases of Microsoft's Windows desktop operating systems. Development was completed on November 8, 2006, and over the following three months, it was released in stages to computer hardware and software manufacturers, business customers, and retail channels. On January 30, 2007, it was released internationally and made available for purchase and download from the Windows Marketplace; this is the first release of Windows to be made available through a digital distribution platform.
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