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Microsoft Hoping for Vista in January 424

Posted by Zonk
from the happy-new-year-vista-07 dept.
WebHostingGuy writes "Bill Gates said Tuesday there was an 80 percent chance the company's next-generation operating system, Vista, would be ready in January. He is also hopeful that the next version of Office will ship in December. The holdup, he says, is due to constant revisions due to beta tester feedback." From the article: "'We've got to get this absolutely right,' Gates said. 'If the feedback from the beta tests shows it is not ready for prime time, I'd be glad to delay it.' He said Microsoft was investing $8 billion to $9 billion in developing Vista and the company's next version of Office, its key cash-generator. He said the company's software partners, in developing and adapting their own products for the two launches, would invest 20 times as much as Microsoft."
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Microsoft Hoping for Vista in January

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  • by yagu (721525) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [ugayay]> on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @12:56PM (#15699085) Journal

    From the article and summary :

    "'We've got to get this absolutely right,' Gates said. 'If the feedback from the beta tests shows it is not ready for prime time, I'd be glad to delay it.'

    Looks like Microsoft has notched the bar a little higher than usual. Hopefully they really really really mean it this time. (And Lucy isn't going to yank the football back this time.)

    And (emphasis mine):

    He said Microsoft was investing $8 billion to $9 billion in developing Vista and the company's next version of Office, its key cash-generator. He said the company's software partners, in developing and adapting their own products for the two launches, would invest 20 times as much as Microsoft."

    Once again, Microsoft leaves the heavy lifting to others. What a crock.

  • So much buildup (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @01:08PM (#15699182)
    So much buildup for what amounts to, after all the stuff they cut out, a Mac OS X-colored GUI and a fancy new video game engine. And they've been working on this how long?

    Man, I remember 10 years ago when I was making fun of Windows 95 for not having any original ideas. I didn't know how good we had it. At least Windows 95 had some ideas, whether or not they were original-- there was at least a substantial difference from Windows 3.1. But it seems like from 2000 to XP to Vista all Microsoft's really done is move options around in confusing ways and make the window title bars increasingly elaborate.
  • by avirrey (972127) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @01:23PM (#15699299)
    "Bill Gates said Tuesday there was an 80 percent chance the company's next-generation operating system, Vista, would be ready in January." "We've got to get this absolutely right," Gates said. "If the feedback from the beta tests shows it is not ready for prime time, I'd be glad to delay it." *** In other words, we already know we 'again' can't make the January timeline, but I will use the quality pretext to launch it in 2008. We would, although, like to keep 80% of the investors for now... please...
  • Re:Hope... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by CharlesDonHall (214468) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @01:40PM (#15699452)
    Everybody is, because there's a 100% chance that it will become the overwhelming market leader whenever it finally does hit store shelves.

    Unless it's a bloated bugfest like Windows ME and people refuse to upgrade.

    I don't know what the odds of that are, but personally I'm not in a hurry to migrate. I was excited about XP because it fixed the worst of the Windows 98 stability problems. (By making it harder for a misbehaving process to bring the whole system down.) But I don't have any motivation to go from my fully-patched XP system to a new and relatively-untested Vista. There aren't any new features that would make it worth the risk. Maybe I'll think about it in 3-4 years, assuming that a lot of games start requiring DirectX 10.
  • by mgpeter (132079) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @01:43PM (#15699481) Homepage
    Windows is too much of a cash cow for Microsoft to be taking this long between releases - Microsoft is simply stalling until the Antitrust settlement is up, rather than actually change their business ethics. Here is a snip from wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_antitrust_c ase [wikipedia.org]

    Microsoft's obligations under the settlement, as originally drafted, expire on November 12, 2007. [13] However, Microsoft later "agreed to consent to a two-year extension of part of the Final Judgments" dealing with communications protocol licensing, and that if the plaintiffs later wished to extend those aspects of the settlement even as far as 2012, it would not object. The plaintiffs made clear that the extension was intended to serve only to give the relevant part of the settlement "the opportunity to succeed for the period of time it was intended to cover", rather than being due to any "pattern of willful and systematic violations". The court has yet to approve the change in terms as of May 2006.[14]

    The extension will only cover "communications protocol licensing" - if it ever gets approved.
  • by macslut (724441) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @01:47PM (#15699514)
    Here's the problem with Microsoft...they're spending 8-9 billion on Vista, but will only see a very slight fraction of return on the investment. Few people will upgrade to Vista, but instead will adopt Vista when it comes with their new PC. Microsoft could just keep XP and these same people would've paid roughly the same amount for it on a new PC as they would with Vista on a new PC. In other words, Microsoft since becoming the overwhelmingly dominate OS has no incentive to improve Windows unless they can release something so major that it provides an incentive for people to upgrade. The problem is that doing a major release like that would be *extremely expensive* and risk losing customers due to the radical change. This is why the *next* version of Windows after Vista will be even more of a headache for Microsoft.
  • Re:Doesn't matter (Score:3, Interesting)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @01:48PM (#15699516)

    There is no real need for a Vista release anytime soon, really.

    Tell that to the people who bought SA licenses between 2001 and 2003. The paid more so that they could a discount on the next release within 3 years. With 3 years being up, MS does not have to honor those SA agreements.

  • by DarkSarin (651985) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @01:53PM (#15699561) Homepage Journal
    Not so lucrative?

    In perhaps your tiny world, but think how many *nix freaks would love to run OSX on beigebox pcs. I know I would. I suspect that it wouldn't even really damage their hardware business all that much.

    Think about it--how many people would buy the hardware just for the added support, comfort and perceived (and at this point, only perceived) superior reliability? I know a lot of folks would. A good portion of their market wouldn't really even understand what this option meant. Others would, but they are the cost-conscious type who would very likely never purchase a Mac in the first place. They might, however, purchase OSX at a reasonable price (that is, lower than Windows!).

    I think that offering their software could only increase their profits. It would very likely seriously damage their relationship with MS, and that is very likely the real reason that the cost/benefit ratio doesn't quite pay off just yet. One day it will, however, and then MS needs to watch out.
  • by Kaenneth (82978) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @02:04PM (#15699660) Homepage Journal
    Well, the plus side of that is that you CAN recompile your apps.

    Anyway, I recall back in '94 AOL would have stopped working with Windows 95, so MS changed some memory allocation code pretty much just for them, their competitors.

    (I heard that AOL's software was taking a 32 bit Handle (sort of an index to a table of pointers), and only used the lower 16 bits of it: which was all Windows 3.1 really used, with it 65,536 object limit.

    People often think of MS being anti-competitive when they win, but forget things like Bob, Actimates, NetBEUI, PhotoDraw...
  • Re:new scapegoat? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kevin Stevens (227724) <kevstev@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @02:12PM (#15699726)
    You can look at this through two different lenses (well probably more, but these are what come to my mind):

    One: The Vista Beta was so bad from a user perspective that they are racing to fix all the problems found to make it desirable to use.

    Two: MS understands that this is the biggest release in their history, it is a pivotal moment for the company, and they absolutely have to get this right and hitting on all cylinders to ensure their continued dominance.

    Of course, what is really going on is probably somewhere in between. MS knows this release is vital, and the feedback from the beta users was worse (perhaps far worse) than expected. On the bright side though, this means they are probably busy fixing the multiple dialog boxes from hell that people were complaining about. I wouldn't hold my breath for January though, they are missing the December holiday rush, and I don't see what incentive they will have to push it out in January when the next big sales blip is the May/June graduation season. Unless perhaps the OEM's or MS give a free upgrade to Vista with any machine purchased at the end of this year, that would be a smart move.
  • by wealthychef (584778) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @02:32PM (#15699941)
    Clever strategy: "We want to make sure our focus groups are happy." Now, if they don't ship, it's because they care to make it perfect. If by a miracle they actually do ship on time, yeah right, then they have pulled off a miracle. Either way, they look good. Before, it was just do or die. Very effective politics, mr. Gates.
  • Re:Hope... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by misleb (129952) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @03:24PM (#15700352)
    The real question is, who makes plans that involve the early adoption of a significantly renovated Microsoft OS? Granted, things aren't quite as bad as the NT 4.0 days where the OS didn't even approach general stability until around SP4, but one would be wise to wait until at least until SP1 of Vista before widescale deployment.

    -matthew
  • by Procyon101 (61366) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @06:51PM (#15702072) Journal
    But if they did not release Vista, those new PC sales would slowly transition to their competitors (Mac, linux, solaris) as XP became more dated... at which time they would be dead.

    They do have an option of simply releasing early and often and evolving XP... essentially delivering Vista over the course of years to it's customers. That's a very nice and user friendly model, but has the drawback of not having big media fanfare every few years.

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