Windows Vista well behind schedule, warns analyst

A leading industry analyst has warned that the final version of Microsoft’s new Windows Vista will not be ready until as late as June next year, despite Microsoft's promise to release the operating system to volume-licence customers this November.

A leading industry analyst has warned that the final version of Microsoft’s new Windows Vista will not be ready until as late as June next year, despite Microsoft's promise to release the operating system to volume-licence customers this November.

Analyst group Gartner said the expected appearance of beta 2 of Vista during the current quarter, and at least two release candidates due to follow, meant that an OS with all the bugs ironed out couldn’t be expected to appear until between April and June 2007.

After promising to deliver the OS to volume-licence customers – large firms – in November, Microsoft said that all users, including consumers, would be able to buy Vista from January 2007.

Microsoft had previously promised general availability by the end of this year.

In response to Gartner’s estimate, Microsoft said it was on track to meet the November and January Vista release dates, and that its testing procedures had been greatly improved since the launches of previous operating systems.

Gartner based its estimates on previous timetables for new and bug-free Microsoft operating systems, but it also added that Vista was probably the most complicated OS Microsoft had ever introduced, with a host of new features, meaning that testing would take longer.

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