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It’s taken a few years, but it appears Microsoft has finally found a Vista development schedule it can actually stick to (see “Mulder, Scully assigned to Redmond-area Longhorn mutilation“). On Tuesday afternoon, Microsoft uncrated the “beta 2” version of its much delayed next-generation Windows operating system, along with test versions of its Office 2007 business suite and Longhorn server software. “Today’s a milestone for us in terms of the huge investments and big innovation going into the next major version of Windows and of all the big complementary products,” Gates said during his opening remarks at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) in Seattle. “We’re actually announcing today the beta of three major products — you can say the three most important Microsoft products — and we’ve never had this synchronized in this way before, and we think that’s a great thing for us in terms of seeing how they work together, and then for customers as it comes time for them to roll these things out.”

Tuesday’s announcement makes good on Microsoft’s promise of a second beta of Vista before the end of June and would seem to suggest that the company may well hit the new deadline it set itself in March of shipping the consumer version of Vista by early 2007 (see “Don’t you know Lunar New Year is the new Christmas?“). Still, there’s no telling what might happen in the glaring light of a public beta. An already critical community of users will undoubtedly illuminate Vista’s every flaw. Will Microsoft be able to address them all in time to bring it out on time (see “Gartner predicts Vista delay, rising of sun, continued Mideast strife“)? Gartner analyst Michael Silver told the New York Times he doesn’t think so: “We think they are underestimating how long it’s going to take to respond to the problems that two million people find,” he told the New York Times.


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  • Billy Ray

    I think that the Gartner analyst is wrong. Vista will ship on time and the issues that 2 million users find will fixed as part of Vista SP 1. More reason to wait for the first service pack.

  • Sid Zorkowski

    Chinless Bill’s running another bluff. Haven’t seen a Crock this full since Chamber Pots were replaced by Crappers.

  • Pauly

    It’s true that MS has never released three products synchronized like this, mainly because they’re not synchronized. We’re talking about a WinXP version of Office (which couldn’t be based on Vista, because Office still doesn’t have a stable version of Vista to build on), the new Vista OS, and a server 2 years down the road. That’s synchronized? How?

    Compare that with Office 2000: not only a new version of workstation and server within a year of an Office release clearly tied to the new desktop OS, but also a huge round of other server apps (SQL, Exchange, many others) within a few months of the server.