Microsoft is working hard to help resuscitate Windows Vista's tarnished image. In recent days, the company released a new tool designed to allow customers to see whether their hardware and software will work properly with the OS, and also launched a program that offers free support to small businesses willing to make the move to Vista.

The software giant is not stopping there, however. Microsoft believes its competitors are gaining ground on the desktop using lies and myths against Windows Vista, and - in a clear nod to Apple and its "I'm a PC, I'm a Mac" ads - is preparing to retaliate with a major new multi-million dollar advertising campaign. While Vista's new features haven't exactly taken the world by storm, I do believe it's an improvement over XP - whether or not it merits forking out the price of a license for an upgrade is another thing. In any case, Microsoft is at long last being more proactive about polishing Vista's poor image.