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Windows Vista could be delayed again

updated 10:10 pm EDT, Tue May 2, 2006

Windows Vista delay?

As Apple prepares to unveil the first look at its next-generation Mac OS X Leopard later this summer, a new report says that Microsoft will likely delay, yet again, the release of the much anticipated Windows Vista by another three months. Industry research firm Gartner today said that Microsoft will likely be forced to delay its Vista release because of its current development cycle, previous release cycles, code complexity and lofty feature targets. "Microsoft's track record is clear; it consistently misses target dates for major operating system releases," Gartner told clients. The next major Windows overhaul will be the first since Windows XP was released nearly five years ago. The report said that Windows is too complex and feature burdened to meet the projected release target of November for corporate customers and January for consumers.

Earlier this year, Microsoft said that it would delay the consumer release of Vista again to January 2007, missing the critical holiday shopping season. Windows Vista was originally expected to ship in 2005. Gartner now expects Vista will not be widely available until the second quarter of 2007, nearly two years after the first scheduled release date.

"One should never overestimate how much Microsoft will underestimate the complexity and time needed to deliver a major new client OS," Gartner analysts wrote. "Based on Microsoft's current schedule, we would expect the schedule to slip again, with broad availability not coming before 2Q07, nine to 12 months after Beta 2 ships, assuming Beta 2 is reasonably stable and feature-complete."

Gartner, however, believes that Microsoft could face even further delays if the quality of beta 2 is not up to par. "Slipping into 3Q '07 is possible, but we will have a better idea once Beta 2 ships and we can assess the quality," Gartner said.

Microsoft, however, said it was still on track, despite the report on possible further delays.

"We remain on track to deliver Windows Vista Beta 2 in the second quarter and to deliver the final product to volume license customers in November 2006 and to other businesses and consumers in January 2007," said a spokeswoman for Microsoft told Computerworld.

Microsoft's continued Windows Vista delays could help Apple as the company preps its next Mac OS X "Leopard" release. Apple's next generation operating system could be released by Christmas this year, giving Apple yet another edge during the busy holiday season.

by MacNN Staff




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