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5/22/2006
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Microsoft Says Symantec Suit Won't Delay Vista

Microsoft's chief executive said Monday that the lawsuit filed last week by Symantec won't delay Windows Vista from launching later this year and early in 2007.

Microsoft's chief executive said Monday that the lawsuit filed last week by Symantec won't delay Windows Vista from launching later this year and early in 2007.

Symantec's suit of Thursday accused Microsoft of stealing storage technology secrets from its Veritas division, and putting them inside several editions of Windows, including the upcoming Vista. In the complaint, Symantec demanded that Vista not be released until it is cleansed of the appropriated code.

On Monday, Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer said the case wouldn't impact Vista. After a news conference in Beijing, Ballmer was asked whether the lawsuit would impinge on the Vista roll-out.

"I wouldn't anticipate any, but that will go to the courts now," he told the Reuters wire service.

Symantec requested that Microsoft be barred from "the further development, sale or distribution of the 'Vista' and 'Longhorn' versions of the Windows client server operating systems," the complaint read. The court has not yet made a ruling on any of Symantec's complaints.

Vista has been delayed several times, with the latest announced in March. Then, Microsoft said that Vista -- which is to be available to enterprise customers in November, and to consumers in January 2007 -- was pushed back because it wanted to give OEM partners equal opportunity to get their wares to market.

Monday, however, Ballmer struck a different note, and admitted that the company had bitten off more than it could chew.

"We were trying to link too much innovation together in Vista," he told reporters at the news conference, which was held to announced a deal to help China’s Ministry of Information Industry boost economic development in the country's rural areas.

"It was beyond the state of the art of software development," Ballmer added.

In other Vista news, the release of the operating system's Beta 2 -- which will be available to a large number of consumers -- is expected this week at WinHEC, Microsoft's twice-yearly hardware developers' conference, which opens Tuesday in Seattle.

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