The prospect that Windows NT 5.0 may be even later getting to market has barely raised an eyebrow with Australian resellers, now accustomed to Microsoft's delays.
Microsoft has just added a third beta cycle to the testing of NT 5.0, which the company originally planned to have on shelves by now.
Release of Beta 2 has also been postponed from the first half of the year to the third quarter.
Rob Sale, director of Abacus Data Systems, said it is "absolutely no surprise" to him that NT 5.0 may again be delayed.
However, he expects the impact on his business to be minimal because he was not planning to migrate customers to the platform immediately anyway.
"From what I can gather, NT 5.0 is bug-ridden and we will be waiting until at least the first service pack to recommend it to our customers - and they are certainly not banging down the door to get it," he said.
That plan of action is supported by the Gartner Group, which has begun advising customers to put off the installation of NT 5.0 until 2000.
According to Michael Gartenberg, a US-based analyst at the Gartner Group: "You do not want to be the first kid on the block to deploy NT 5.0, so you should wait six or nine months for the first service pack, then wait for that to be proven stable."
The actual release date for NT 5.0 will not severely impact Infocomp customers either, according to the company's systems integration manager, Nicholas Carter.
"In a nutshell, the main thing NT 5.0 is giving is Active Directory, and that doesn't matter too much to us because most of our large clients are running and stable with Novell NetWare which has directory services anyway," Carter said.
While he believes "multiple betas should lead to a more stable product", Carter admits he too will probably wait until NT 5.0's first service pack is released before he starts recommending the platform to his customers.
Microsoft officials insist the addition of a third beta cycle does not mean the ship date for NT 5.0 has slipped, but they will not commit to a time frame, saying the OS will be released when they believe it is ready.
"We had always planned to release an interim build after Beta 2, so we simply decided to call it Beta 3'," said Mike Nash, Microsoft's US-based NT group product manager.
However, according to a document posted on Microsoft's Web site recently, the delay in releasing Beta 2 will have "a direct impact on the final ship date of Windows NT 5.0".