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Microsoft Hoping for Vista in January 424

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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  • Will there be (Score:5, Insightful)

    by remembertomorrow ( 959064 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @12:57PM (#15699097)
    a reason to actually upgrade to it by then?

    Last I heard, all the features were being removed, and that it required an insane machine to run.
  • Re:Hope... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Moqui ( 940533 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @12:59PM (#15699119)
    That 80% chance is figuring in the inclusion of a new Microsoft folder game, Duke Nukem Forever. They are taking out minesweeper for it, so they are being extra careful that it will be ready for primetime -- some January.
  • by Explodo ( 743412 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @01:01PM (#15699132)
    Any time a widely used OS is significantly changed, everyone will have to invest some amount of time with testing, and possibly refreshing, their software. Since there are so many companies that might have to do so, there's a significant software expense in doing so. If there's a large shift in KDE, to make it more future-oriented, then a very large amount of time will be spent by a large number of developers to update software. While they may not be getting paid to do it, their time still has value. Ol' Bill apparently realizes that software development is done by lots of people in lots of ways, unlike you.
  • by gravyface ( 592485 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @01:01PM (#15699135)
    Once again, Microsoft leaves the heavy lifting to others. What a crock. What exactly is Microsoft supposed to do, reverse-engineer everyone's applications for them so it will run under Vista? I'm no Windows programmer, but clearly the partners are going to have to make changes if their software is incompatible with Vista.
  • Doesn't matter (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eebra82 ( 907996 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @01:02PM (#15699137) Homepage
    There is no real need for a Vista release anytime soon, really. Judging from what we've heard so far, people complain about the hardware requirements. Microsoft should not have had a public release date on this product and it seems people are upset only because they missed it. Well, guess what, Windows XP is still here and I doubt anyone in here can actually give me a good reason why we HAVE TO get Vista right away. I wouldn't mind waiting another year.
  • Re:Credible odds? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @01:03PM (#15699146)

    HURD shouldn't have to be any more complex than Linux, and Linux is very complete in comparison. The problems with HURD stem from poor project management, not inherent complexity.

  • new scapegoat? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by fermion ( 181285 ) * on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @01:03PM (#15699151) Homepage Journal
    The holdup, he says, is due to constant revisions due to beta tester feedback

    He continues: It is not our fault, the beta testers keep causing problems, which we then have to fix.

    One wonders how all the other software developers manage to get any product out at all. MS Vista is what, two years late. I can understand them saying that the process is crap and we have to retrofit and refactor to make things work. Or the EU requirements mean we actually, for the first time, understand the API. But blaming delays on beta-test? This software was overdue long before the beta testers hit it.

    The sad thing is that MS had some ability to produce in the 90's. They wrote some of the best books in the industry. In the span of 10 years they have gotten to the point when they can't even push out an OS, even when all the major features have been removed. Pitiful.

  • Re:Doesn't matter (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZachPruckowski ( 918562 ) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @01:08PM (#15699181)
    Well, guess what, Windows XP is still here and I doubt anyone in here can actually give me a good reason why we HAVE TO get Vista right away. I wouldn't mind waiting another year.

    Every month that goes by without Vista is another month for Linux to improve, and is another month for Apple to work on Leopard (and maybe beat Vista out with it). Point is, MS has competition, which is picking up speed. MS wants to cut that off as soon as possible, and regulate them back to 1-2 percent each.
  • Re:Vista or Mac ? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by NineNine ( 235196 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @01:15PM (#15699236)
    Thanks for all of that useful information in your post! I'm so happy to know that you like your Mac! Do you have anything substantial to add to this conversation? I wasn't aware that this article was intended to be a manual count of the personal preferences of every geek on the planet.
  • Re:Doesn't matter (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SpaceLifeForm ( 228190 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @01:24PM (#15699322)
    I'm still wondering why anyone had to upgrade to XP from 2000.

  • Sneer if you like (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DysenteryInTheRanks ( 902824 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @01:27PM (#15699345) Homepage
    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

    Right there is why Microsoft is the most successful software company in the world -- respect for developers.

    It's all well and good to laugh at Steve Ballmer sweating like an ape on a stage and shouting about developers. It's fine to feel smug and superior using Mac OS or Linux (I'm using both write now myself).

    But Microsoft has always respected the work of developers coding to their platform. Backward compatibility is a religion at Microsoft, by all accountts. Which is good because they're, um, a platform vendor.

    Sounds simple, but it is amazing how often this is screwed up. Apple is notorious for breaking old programs that didn't interpret the Mac API just right -- or that relied on a technology fad Apple pumped and abandoned (OpenDoc, QuickDraw GX, Publish + Subscribe, etc etc).

    Apache Foundation did the same thing moving from httpd v1 to v2 -- PHP took quite a long time to move over and at one point was telling people not to even try using it with v2.

    Firefox seems to do it on every release with its extensions.

    Backward compatibility might not give warm fuzzies to the systems programmers -- it is hard, inelegant work. But it is a boon to users and application programmers.

    I only use Linux on the server, where I don't run into backward compatibility issues, but from what I understand the drivers often have to be rewritten from release to release.

    I'm not in love with Windows or Microsoft, but I will continue using their OS becase of the sheer range of CHOICES in terms of software and hardware, and the fact that all my old stuff can migrate to a new machine.

    So go ahead, laugh at Microsoft, har dee har, "u r d3layed AG@1N!" For your purposes -- programming, running a server -- Linux may be the best. Or Mac OS X for that plus video editing, publishing, and other tasks and price points that don't require the full diversity of Wintel.

      But for most computer users, Windows offers wins because of its compatibility with an incredibly array of cheap hardware and an incredible back (and forward) catalog of software. Microsoft knows this, and THAT'S why they are going to wait until Vista is just right. Yes they screwed the pooch, but they are attempting something that neither Linux nor OS X can touch.
  • Re:Doesn't matter (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tsiangkun ( 746511 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @01:36PM (#15699411) Homepage
    I personally have no reason to upgrade to vista right now.

    I upgraded to an apple. I'm already enjoying features that microsoft has been promising for years.

    I guess that's the reason it needs to come out quickly, marketing can't hype something that everyone has seen on their friends

  • Re:Credible odds? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @01:40PM (#15699454)
    which he deserves some credit for, regardless as to how people feel about this company

    It depends. Do you think his charity is enough to make up for all the harm Microsoft has done to the economy over the years, between the predatory business practices, viruses, stifling non-Microsoft technologies, etc.? I'd say it's entirely possible that, if Microsoft had never existed, we might be so much more prosperous today that all that money would still be going to charity, and more.

  • by Soko ( 17987 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @01:44PM (#15699491) Homepage
    Your statement is inherently true - Microsoft takes care of it's devs (The VS product line is normally stellar in quality and ease of use) unless, of course, you're a dev in competition with them. Then you get to deal with closed formats, random API changes and, in the case of GPL software devs, licensing that benefits them at your expense. Oh, you can become a compeditor of thiers at any time - as soon as they see you're making some serious money and/or stratecically covet your market segment.

    OK, Microsoft can do ths if they want, but it hurts the industry when Microsoft can tell devs what, for whom and how to develop software, or suffer destruction at thier hands. (Unlees you're IBM or Oracle sized, and have enough resources to fight back.)

  • by MyOtherUIDis3digits ( 926429 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @01:49PM (#15699526)
    Release OSX for generic PC. It'll kill their (perceived) "hardware business" (in practice is just expensive dongles for their OS and software suite) but it would pretty much nail M$ to the wall.

    Now I admit I'm a huge Mac fanboi and would be just fine never touching another Windows box in my life, but Apple would take many tears and years to integrate the hardware support that Windows has. One of the reasons I love Apple, "Don't do it all, just do what you do damn well."
  • by mmell ( 832646 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @01:52PM (#15699551)
    I have to say "Yes" - it does make up for all the times Mr. Gates has used the American free-enterprise system exactly as intended to serve his own best interests.

    You want corporate evil? Look at fellows like Carnagie and Rockefeller. There's a couple of great examples of the "robber baron", and we still name civic centers and auditoriums after them. Gates isn't even a blip on the radar next to those two. Granted, he's beyond obscenely rich, and there's no mistaking his business practices for anything resembling fair, but he really is quite tame by comparison to some of America's more revered/despised business leaders of the past.

    American history is replete with such men. It's the inevitable result of the free-enterprise system.

  • Re:Credible odds? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WilliamSChips ( 793741 ) <full,infinity&gmail,com> on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @02:06PM (#15699675) Journal
    He never said whose good laugh it would be.
  • by Danse ( 1026 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @02:13PM (#15699740)
    I'd say 4 completely redesigned subsystems is a worthy improvement from XP.

    Depends on whether they actually work significantly better or not.
  • Re:Doesn't matter (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Danse ( 1026 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @02:19PM (#15699804)
    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.

    Yeah, but they're all Bill's bitches anyway. They'll pay up, and he knows it. Is this flamebait? I don't think so. I think it's absolutely true in at least 95% of all cases. People just can't seem to ween themselves off of Windows.
  • Re:Credible odds? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tomstdenis ( 446163 ) <tomstdenis@gm a i l.com> on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @02:27PM (#15699885) Homepage
    No no no no no.

    The linux driver situation is not a mess. You just bought a product where the developer doesn't care about you, the customer.

    There is no technical reason why the camera doesn't work in Linux. It's not the job of OSS developers to be on the leading edge of every device on the planet. If your device manufacturer doesn't want to write drivers and doesn't want to document the interface how is this a failing of Linux?

    btw with libgphoto a lot of USB cams work just fine in Linux [including the Canon Powershot series].

  • Re:Pitiful? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Atzanteol ( 99067 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @02:27PM (#15699894) Homepage
    "Fools ignore complexity; pragmatists suffer it; experts avoid it; geniuses remove it."

    - Alan Perlis

    It was as true then as it is today.

  • by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @02:32PM (#15699940) Homepage Journal
    Yeah, software is not lucrative, especially not office suites and operating systems. I mean there has never been ANY company [microsoft.com] which ever succeeded in that market without forcing the software to run only on closed-architecture hardware. Nope, NO one [microsoft.com] has ever succeded at that, and there have certainly never been any people who have become billionaires [wikipedia.org] in that exact market. Nope, it's definitely a losing business strategy, certainly not anything you would ever see result in a Fortune 500 company [cnn.com]. No, you're right, Apple is best off avoiding that market altogether and not focus on software licensing. It's a silly idea. ;)
  • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @02:41PM (#15700007)

    No, what I'm trying to say is that Microsoft -- and Windows in particular -- has harmed the entire world's economy because of all the costs associated with cleaning up after the various and sundry viruses that exploit MS's poor-quality programming, all the costs associated with writing dirty hacks to support Windows' flaws (e.g. the extra effort required to write a web page that works in IE), and all the costs in terms of lack of innovation because Microsoft stifled so many markets due to its monopoly.

    I'm saying that those costs were so great that Bill Gates' charity can't make up for it -- Windows has done more harm than the Gates Foundation can possibly do good.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @03:21PM (#15700326)
    The new Microsoft is more than happy to ship .Net upgrades that break older code.

    As for Apple not having respect for developers, which companies ships every OS with a copy of the development tools? Just because they are a little more agressive API wise does not mean they do not support developers.

    And Linux of course is the original "I liked the product so much I wrote it myself" kind of system that is by developers, for developers. If Linux has a problem it's that it only truly respects developers and other people are allowed to tag along for the ride!
  • by misleb ( 129952 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @03:58PM (#15700719)
    I'm sure Apple does not want to play the "infinite possible hardware configurations" game. That is a support and development nightmare. They just don't have the infrustructure for it. Also, one of the biggest draws of te Mac is that they Just Work. Not only do they Just Work, but the OS is tightly integrated with the hardware. There is no question of compatability. Release OS X for the beige boxes and all that is lost. OS X would most likely go the way of OS/2. Remember OS/2? Wasn't OS/2 significantly better than Windows back in the day? Remember IBM's proprietary PCs? If IBM couldn't pull it off, how could Apple?

  • Re:Credible odds? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cro Magnon ( 467622 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @04:19PM (#15700914) Homepage Journal
    DOS 5.0 was probably the best OS Microsoft ever released. 6.22 wasn't bad, but it was mostly just 5.0 + extra utilities.
  • Re:Credible odds? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IAmTheDave ( 746256 ) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <ds-evademanesab>> on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @04:43PM (#15701137) Homepage Journal
    In other words, you're a troll. Piss off.

    That's how to make any comment that may seem of any degree insightful seem completely foolish and the blabbering of an uber-dedicated fanboy that gets a chubby at the site of Tux.

    It's amazing to me how people are so willing to make themselves look like complete assholes with a single sentence.

  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcrNO@SPAMmac.com> on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @07:44PM (#15702349) Journal
    it would pretty much nail M$ to the wall.

    Like OS/2 or BeOS?

    Been there, evaluated that.

  • by HermMunster ( 972336 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @09:07PM (#15702683)
    Everything I've seen in Vista so far is essentially XP with SP3. This is a no brainer for virtually everyone. I've had it up and running the day after it went publicly beta and have used it extensively comparing the old way and the new way. This is XP with SP3 security. How on earth could this cost them between 8 and 9 billion dollars? The vast majority of this has to be in writing their proprietary DRM systems and all the supporting mechanism. I'm not willing to pay $200-400 for this when it won't even support good old standard hardware found in every day machines. Forget about the AERO interface on the vast majority of notebooks being sold today. The Aero interface doesn't even support most average 128mb video cards. Companies like nVidia aren't going to go back and implement drivers for older cards for XP when they've a policy of removing support from modern drivers. A gforce 4200 ti with 128 mb ram won't work with the AERO interface. Requiring people to double or even quadruple their RAM to run it is way out there. Delay the thing and give us more than just a newer version of XP with more security--when you consider that we already paid for the security to begin with. If Microsoft hadn't been so negligent in the way they designed XP we'd not have the security problems we have today. For goodness sake--9 billion dollars for XP with SP3? That's just outrageous. To demand we spend serious dollars upgrading our hardware for XP with SP3 and a different looking interface (which does exactly the same thing as XP) is a too big of a demand for most people. Let's get real, most people don't need Vista and almost no one needs to relearn the whole interface because Microsoft wants to redesign the interface without menus. XP is here for a long time to come. To arbitrarily cancel it 2 years after Vista comes out is sort of like price-fixing--considering Microsoft is a monopoly.

You will never amount to much. -- Munich Schoolmaster, to Albert Einstein, age 10