Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has hinted that there may be further delays in the release of its new Windows Vista operating system.
A second beta version of Vista was released at the software giant’s WinHec hardware conference in Seattle last week.
The final version was originally set to be released this year, but the company announced in March that Vista would not be generally available until January 2007, because the company was behind schedule in tackling security issues.
But Ballmer told a press conference in Tokyo that the firm was still considering what the right time to launch the new operating system would be.
Since the product will not now be released in time to pick up Christmas sales, the company would analyse the next “machine cycle” to ensure a successful launch.
“Certainly, when Windows Vista comes to the market next year, and it will be next year, we will make sure that we make a high quality product, ship a high quality product, when it's ready,” Ballmer said.
“What we are discussing... with hardware partners is when they would really like it - early January, late January, February. We are on track for shipping early in the year.”