Microsoft May Finger EU For New Vista Delay

Gartner analysts say Microsoft may be setting up the European Union to take the rap for another Windows Vista delay.
Another possible strategy Microsoft might implement, said the two analysts, would be to ship Windows Vista to volume-licensing customers before the end of the year so companies could start testing, but withhold the OS from consumers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). There's less risk of running afoul of regulators under that plan, said Smith, because enterprises won't be deploying Vista on production machines any time soon.

As they had argued earlier this year, Gartner's analysts said a March or April 2007 general release of Vista might be Microsoft's best move. That would give OEMs and retailers time to promote Vista, and keep its impending release from interfering with the 2006 holiday sales season.

All this creates a reasonable doubt in the legitimacy of a January 2007 roll-out, and prepares the market for another slip, they said.

"It all comes down to how much is Microsoft bluffing [with the EU]," Silver said.

In other news associated with Vista, the development team blog posted an entry Sunday asking users to vote on whether they think the most recent edition -- Release Candidate 1 (RC1) -- is ready for prime time. A special "Is Windows Vista Ready?" section of the user evaluation site "Windows Vista Scenario Voting" has been established, the blog went.

"We want to take your opinion into account when we decide to ship Windows Vista," Microsoft said.

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