Microsoft officials have confirmed that the new Windows Vista operating system will not now receive a full launch until January 2007, although some OEM versions of the software may ship this year from PC suppliers.
The new operating system has already been delayed several times, with many key features being removed in order to meet a 2006 release date. As quoted by C|Net News.com, Windows chief Jim Allchin has commented that "We needed just a few more weeks, and that put us in a bubble... where some partners would be impacted more than others. ”
Apparently some of the calls for a delay have come from PC manufactures themselves, who were concerned that Microsoft’s margin for error in meeting the previous release date meant they could not guarantee a Christmas launch for PCs loaded with the software.
Since Windows Vista will still launch in Microsoft’s next financial year, beginning this July, the company’s overall business and financials are not expected to be adversely affected. It is unclear, however, how the delay will affect the launch of Office 2007 in the second half of 2006, with which Vista was originally supposed to coincide.
Disruption to the PC games market is likely to be minimal, with Allchin indicting that Microsoft was not predicting lower PC hardware sales as a result of the delays. The only Vista-only games title so far announced is Microsoft’s own Halo 2
, which although expected to debut at the same time as Vista, has never been given an official release date.