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Sunday, September 03, 2006

A new OS for the holidays

Jae C. Hong/Associated Press
An electronics show where Windows Vista was
featured. Microsoft hopes to release the commercial
version of Vista by November.

Rush Testing Is Under Way for Microsoft’s New System
Published: September 2, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 1 — Microsoft rushed what may be the final test version of its Windows Vista operating system to more than a million testers on Friday, trying to meet deadlines for its long-delayed commercial release.

With pressure mounting to squeeze out final bugs, Microsoft asked testers to give Vista an urgent shakedown — even as they headed into a long holiday weekend.

Microsoft has said publicly that it is hoping to offer the program to corporate customers before the end of November and to the broader consumer market in January.

It will be the first new version of Windows in more than five years, an unusually long time between releases. But Microsoft executives have also repeatedly cautioned that until Vista meets performance and stability standards, the company will refrain from offering it commercially.

On Friday, several analysts said that the Microsoft program might end up slipping further from the November goal. Microsoft has recently been talking about an “end of the year” shipping goal for the corporate version of Vista, according to one analyst who was briefed on Thursday.

A company spokesman disputed the reports of further slippage, saying that the company was still aiming to meet the November and January goals.

Because most large corporations may wait as long as 18 months before deploying the program widely to employees, a relatively short further delay is unlikely to have a significant revenue impact on Microsoft.

“Corporate adoption will be relatively slow,” said Roger L. Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates, a computer industry consulting firm. “It could be 2008 before many companies actually deploy in volume.”

Over the summer, Vista has been tested by several million developers and ordinary users and has received less than stellar marks. Complaints have ranged from repeated crashes to an irritating user interface that constantly force users to click on warning boxes.

A recent version being used by a smaller group of technical experts has been given much higher marks for stability and for using less computer memory.

Friday’s version, called Release Candidate 1, or RC1, is a crucial last trial needed to tell the company whether it is on track.

posted by Steve @ 1:32:00 AM

1:32:00 AM

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