The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Gates dangles 2006 as date for debut of new Windows "Some people have speculated that the operating system, code-named Longhorn, will come out in 2006, Gates said.
"That's probably valid speculation," he said.
Predicting the release date of Longhorn has become a sport of sorts for Microsoft watchers. The company at one time expected to ship it as early as this year but pushed back the project as it became apparent more work was necessary.
Longhorn isn't like some Microsoft products that have set ship schedules, Gates said.
"We have things where we say, 'The train is leaving on this date. Whoever has their act totally together by that date, the train will leave,' " Gates said.
"Longhorn is not a date-driven release."