Gartner: Microsoft may delay Windows Vista once again

Windows Vista logo On Tuesday, research group Gartner announced that the long-anticipated release of the upgraded version of the Windows operating system has got even longer, with the minimum delay being of a minimum of three months.

There was a research note which was released to the clients on Monday that read that the new Windows Vista operating system is too complex to be able to meet Microsoft’s targeted November release for volume license customers and January launch for retail consumers.

According to Gartner, Windows Vista is unlikely to ship before the second quarter of 2007, pegging it for launch in April next year, with “broad availability” not expected until at least the second quarter. For good measure, the analyst firm noted that Microsoft “consistently misses target dates for major operating system releases”.

Microsoft said, it disagrees with the Gartner report and it was still on track to meet its launch dates.

Vista is the first major revamp of its operating system, which sits on 90 percent of the world’s computers and accounts for nearly a third of Microsoft’s total revenue, since Microsoft launched Windows XP nearly five years ago.

Microsoft originally targeted a 2005 launch for the new Windows, and then pushed the release out to 2006 before announcing in March that Vista would again be delayed to improve the product’s quality.

Gartner targets a Windows Vista release in the April-June quarter of 2007, nine to 12 months after Microsoft conducts a second major test, or “beta,” release for Vista during the current quarter.

In the report a Gartner analysts wrote, “Microsoft still wants to get it out as soon as possible, but slipping from January to March is nowhere near as bad as slipping from shipping before the holidays to after the holidays.”

Gartner said Windows XP took five months to go from a second test release to the start of production, but the degree of technological improvement in Vista is closer to Windows 2000, which took 16 months between the second test and production.

Once production starts, it usually takes between six- to eight-weeks for PC manufacturers to load the operating system onto new computers, Gartner said.

British columnist Andrew Orlowski adds, “2003 is the next major milestone for us in terms of the Windows release,” Bill Gates told the Microsoft Professional Developer Conference back in 2001.