During the quarterly earnings call with analysts, Microsoft CFO Chris Liddell said that a slip in Vista's release to Q2 2007 would cost the company hundreds of millions.
Currently, Vista is on track for a November release to corporations with volume licensing agreements in place, and a January debut for all others, Liddell said.
Analysts, however, have been skeptical of Vista's timing since March, when Microsoft first announced the delay to November and January. Several, including analysts from Gartner and JupiterResearch, have pegged second quarter 2007 as more realistic.
If that's the case, Microsoft could lose out on $200- to $400 million in sales.
It was unclear from Liddell's comments Thursday if the estimated loss included some of the planned sales and marketing money -- estimated at $900 million total for fiscal 2007 -- that Microsoft plans on spending to launch Vista and Office 2007.
Microsoft is currently projecting an 8 to 10 percent increase in fiscal year 2007 revenues for the Client division, the one which sells Windows. The $200 million to $400 million loss in revenues would account for from less to half a percent to just under one percent of Microsoft's estimated total income for the Client group in 2007.