Vista still on track for January release

Despite Bill Gates' statement last month that Vista was "80% likely" to make it to its announced release date, Microsoft has now reiterated its initial plan to ship Vista to businesses in the fourth quarter and to consumers in January '07. The reiteration comes from Timothy Chen, Microsoft's CEO for the Greater China region, who told Windows IT Pro Magazine that the release schedule is currently "unchanged" and that the consumer version of Vista will come out in "late January."

That said, Microsoft has reportedly made some schedule tweaks internally. Vista's build 5520 was originally intended to ship as the Release Candidate 1 version, but problems with the build forced Microsoft to pass the torch to build 5536. Paul Thurrott believes neither build 5520 nor build 5536 are proper candidates for the final Vista release, though, since Microsoft does not plan to finalize the operating system until October.

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