Microsoft Corp.’s long- awaited release of the upgrade to its flagship Windows operating system will likely be delayed again by at least three months, research group Gartner Inc. said on Tuesday.
The research note, released to clients on Monday, said the new Windows Vista operating system is too complex to be able to meet Microsoft’s targeted November release for volume license customers and January launch for retail consumers.
A Microsoft spokeswoman said the company disagreed with the Gartner report and it was still on track to meet its launch dates.
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.
Gartner’s estimate is apparently based on their perception of the testing requirements and the current beta schedule.
Update: Related – RSA: Microsoft to shelve token support in Vista:
Microsoft has shelved plans to include built-in support for RSA Security’s tokens in Windows Vista, even though the company has been testing out the authentication technology for almost two years.
In February 2004, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said that Windows would be able to support easy integration with RSA’s popular SecurID tokens. That meant businesses would find it far easier to deploy a two-factor authentication system for logging on to networks and applications.
However, almost two years after the SecurID beta-testing program kicked off, RSA’s chief executive, Art Coviello, disclosed that Windows Vista will not natively support the technology.
“Microsoft had said they would include the ability to support all kinds of One Time Password (OTP) and challenge-response type authentication in Vista. But they were unable to get it in with all the other issues they have had, so it is going to take longer,” Coviello said in an interview on Tuesday morning in Sydney.
Microsoft had been touting two-factor authentication in Vista, but it looks like features are dropping in the home stretch.
Update 2: At Microsoft Watch, Mary Jo Foley asks, “Would Another Vista Delay Matter?”
More pressing than questions as to exactly when Microsoft will roll out Vista are others about the effect – if any – another delay would have on Microsoft’s various constituencies. Would consumers, business customers, PC makers, software vendors, channel partners, or even Microsoft’s competitors, actually be affected if Vista slips another quarter or more?
Watch out there, that slope is slippery! The answers could be embarrassing if the question is simply rephrased as, “How big would a Vista delay have to be to matter to anyone outside Microsoft?”