Microsoft Updates Windows Vista Road Map: Business availability for Windows Vista in November 2006, 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.'
Because of the way businesses test and deploy software, it makes sense for Microsoft volume licensing customers to receive windows Windows Vista starting in November of this year. Availability for consumers and on new PCs will follow in January."
I suspect there will be lots of "Includes a free upgrade to Windows Vista" PC offers starting in October or so... Not good news for Microsoft and its hardware partners, in any case, but more embarrassing (in terms of inability to hit schedule goals) than any sort of massively business-impacting crisis...
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