Ballmer Whispers Of Vista Delay

    May 24, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The consumer version of the much delayed Windows Vista operating system may be pushed past its planned January 2007 launch date.

Earlier in May, Gartner analysts predicted a Vista delay to the second quarter of 2007 before it would be in customer hands. Microsoft said at that time it was on track to hit the volume customer and consumer ship dates and denied it would miss those dates.

Microsoft recently made Beta 2 versions of Vista, Office 2007, and Windows Server (aka Longhorn) available to millions of its testers. Now, PCWorld has cited comments from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer regarding the consumer launch:

“We think we are on track for shipping early in the year. We’ve talked about the month, but we get a chance to critically assess all of the feedback we’ll get from this beta release then confirm or move [the launch date] a few weeks,” he said at a news conference in Tokyo.

A delay may happen to suit the OEM hardware partners who will distribute millions of copies of Vista with new computers. Ballmer suggested in the article that between the production cycle at the OEMs and feedback from beta testers, Vista availability to the manufacturers could be pushed into February.

If that were to happen and new Vista-equipped hardware starts to hit the market in May or June, that should not hurt Microsoft too much. The back to school shopping that takes place in midsummer has proven a profitable one for computer makers, and sufficient demand in July and August would make years of complaints about delays go away.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.