Ballmer slippery regarding Vista launch date

— 1:14 PM on May 24, 2006

Steve Ballmer shed some doubt over the release schedule of Windows Vista at a press conference in Tokyo today. The Microsoft CEO said Vista would ship "next year ... when it's ready," a rather vague statement considering Microsoft's officially announced timeframe of January 2007 for the release of the new OS. Ballmer nonetheless added that Microsoft was "on track for shipping early in the year," and that the company was in talks with hardware partners over "when they would really like it – early January, late January, February." AFP believes Ballmer's slipperiness is a hint of possible additional delays that could befall the operating system, which has already seen its release date pushed back multiple times.

Earlier this month, the Gartner research group published a report claiming that Microsoft was likely to delay Vista from January 2007 to some time in the second quarter. Gartner said the delay would be due to Vista's internal complexity, which is reportedly between that of Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Since 2000 and XP took 16 and five months to ship after their respective Beta 2 releases, Gartner believes Vista will take up to nine to 12 months to move from Beta 2 to launch. Microsoft introduced the Beta 2 release of Vista at WinHEC yesterday, so Gartner's estimates would put the release some time between February and May 2007. Thanks to The Register for the link.

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