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March 25, 2006

Vista problems “bigger than admitted”?

Posted by David Hunter at 10:50 AM ET.

Whether or not 60% of Windows Vista has to be rewritten, the public relations debacle continues. Elizabeth Montalbano reports at Infoworld that Vista problems might be bigger than admitted:

More delays in the release schedule for Windows Vista revealed Friday hint that problems with getting the OS out the door may be broader than Microsoft has articulated.

Beta testers familiar with Microsoft’s plans to release test versions of the OS said that although Microsoft has said Vista development has been delayed a few weeks, the date the OS will be released to manufacturers has been pushed back two months.

Instead of reaching manufacturers on Aug. 25, as originally scheduled, Vista will now be released to them on Oct. 25, sources said.

Allchin characterized the delay in development as “a few weeks” on Tuesday’s call. But a two-month change in the RTM of the product clearly suggests development is off track by more than that. Moreover, analysts said missing its target date for the holiday season gives Microsoft breathing room to push back Vista’s release even further into 2007.

PC sales are typically slower in the first and second quarters of the year, said Joe Wilcox, an analyst with Jupiter Research. “Microsoft missed the holidays, so January might as well be July,” he said.

Even a late October RTM is bumping up against a deadline for when OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) would need Vista in order to get the system on PCs in time for January, he added.

More by following the link. There was some good news for Vista however, as Mary Jo Foley reports at Microsoft Watch:

Windows Vista is running behind schedule, but that doesn’t mean the Vista test process has ground to a halt.

On Friday afternoon, March 24, Microsoft will release a new test build of Vista to its Technology Adoption Partner (TAP) elite tester pool, as well as TechBeta testers, Microsoft officials confirmed.. The company will not make the new 5342 build available to a wider audience, however.

But even among the TAP crowd there was some relief at the schedule slip:

Some testers said they were in favor of Microsoft’s delay, claiming the February CTP build was not very reliable or tuned for performance. Driver support is still lagging, as well, testers added.

In spite of the launch delay, “we are still in pretty good shape,” since his company was not planning to move to Vista this year, said one TAP tester, who asked not to be named. “But now that they bit off the Christmas delay, it makes it much easier for more (delays) and that is more scary to us.”

Delays aren’t as scary as a problem-ridden Vista, I’m sure.

Filed under Beta and CTP, General Business, Microsoft, OS - Client, Public Relations, Windows Vista

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