Office 2007 delayed, Vista to follow?

Office 2007's launch schedule was announced just three months ago, but Microsoft has already decided to revise its plans. Instead of the announced October business launch and January 2007 consumer launch, Microsoft has now switched to much vaguer "by the end of 2006" and "early 2007" time frames for the software suite's respective releases. According to Microsoft, the postponement will make way for changes based on user feedback from last month's Beta 2 release.

This isn't the first time Microsoft has backpedaled to a slippery timeframe after announcing a precise schedule for a product's availability. Last month, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Windows Vista was on track to ship "early in the year," carefully avoiding to mention the official January 2007 date. This statement's similarity with the Office delay notice may be no coincidence; a Citigroup analyst quoted by Reuters says he expects Microsoft to announce that Vista has also been delayed in the near future.

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