Gartner: Vista will be late

Gartner: Vista will be late

A Gartner research note has predicted Microsoft will miss its target to ship Windows Vista on PCs by January 2007. According to the analyst firm, Vista won't be broadly available to customers until the second quarter.

The report, written by Gartner analysts Michael Silver, David Mitchell Smith, Stephen Kleynhans and Neil MacDonald, uses release schedules of previous Windows releases to prove its point.

It was 16 months between beta 2 and the release to manufacturing of Windows 2000, according to the report. That process for Windows XP took only five months, which is the same time frame Microsoft has provided for Vista. However Vista marks a major overhaul to the OS, just as Windows 2000 did when it was released, report co-writer, Smith, said. This means it will probably take 9-12 months for Microsoft to make Vista stable enough for final release.

"If you think about what XP is and was, a lot of people said [it] was, 'take Windows 2000 and make it pretty'," he said. "Most of the heavy lifting had been done with 2000. Vista is more like that."

According to Microsoft's current release schedule, Vista should be in manufacturers' hands by October, and available through its volume licensing program by year's end.

"Organisations that are too reliant on Microsoft making shipment dates are leaving themselves open to excessive risk," the report warned.

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