What? Further Vista Delays?

According to analysis by research firm Gartner, there is a high likelihood that Microsoft will not meet its first quarter 2007 target for Windows Vista release, and will probably be able to come up with a final production version by April to June of 2007. Recall that Microsoft earlier moved this target from November of 2006 to January of 2007. But with Gartner’s study, comparing past precedents and estimating a few weeks’ lag time for Microsoft to release a final major beta version, and then several more weeks for PC vendors to bundle and install OEM versions on their machines.

In retrospect, Windows XP took five months from a second major beta test release to production, and its predecessor Windows 2000 took 16 months. Gartner says Vista is likely to go the way of Windows 2000, given the magnitude of technological improvements over XP, the OS it intends to replace.

Gartner targets a Windows Vista release in the April-June quarter of 2007, nine to 12 months after Microsoft conducts a second major test, or “beta,” release for Vista during the current quarter.

“Microsoft still wants to get it out as soon as possible, but slipping from January to March is nowhere near as bad as slipping from shipping before the holidays to after the holidays,” a group of Gartner analysts wrote in the report.

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