Microsoft puts price tag on Vista delay

A further delay in the launch of Microsoft’s new Windows Vista operating system could cost the software giant hundreds of millions of pounds, its chief finance officer has admitted.

A further delay in the launch of Microsoft’s new Windows Vista operating system could cost the software giant hundreds of millions of pounds, its chief finance officer has admitted.

Microsoft chief finance officer Chris Liddell told investors that if the launch date slipped by a financial quarter, it would have an impact on revenues of between $200m (£107m) and $400m.

Speaking as Microsoft posted its fourth quarter results – with a 13% increase in operating profit for the year – Liddell said the potential loss was “revenue we’d like to see but not significant”.

His comments came in response to questions as speculation about the likely release date for the Vista operating system continues.

Vista was originally scheduled for launch this year but Microsoft announced in March that it would not be generally available until January 2007, because the software giant was behind schedule in tackling security issues.

In May, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer cast new doubts on the January 2007 release date, hinting at further delays. The firm was still considering what the right time to launch the new operating system would be, he told a press conference.

“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,” he said.

 

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