Microsoft has claimed that its long awaited new operating system – Windows Vista – is on target to go into broad consumer beta to approximately 2 million users in the second quarter of 2006. Microsoft is on track to complete the product this year, with business availability in November 2006 and broad consumer availability in January 2007.
“Product quality and a great out-of-box experience have been two of our key drivers for Windows Vista, and we are on track to deliver on both,” said Jim Allchin, co-president for the Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft. “But the industry requires greater lead time to deliver Windows Vista on new PCs during holiday. We must optimize for the industry, so we’ve decided to separate business and consumer availability.”
The delay of the consumer version appears to be an attempt to minimise disruption to the industry over the Christmas period, but it could be argued that it would provide a timely boost to demand and that the knowledge that Vista will be released in January will lead to many purchasing decisions being delayed until then.