After several delays, the long-awaited update to the Windows client OS, Windows Vista, is expected to be on its way to manufacturers Wednesday.
The IDG News Service reported several weeks ago that the Vista's release to manufacturers (RTM) had been pushed from Oct. 25 to Nov. 8 because a last-minute bug in one of the last builds of Vista had to be repaired. Microsoft Corp. has now called a conference call about Vista with Jim Allchin, co-president of Microsoft's Platforms & Services Division for 2 p.m. EST. It's likely Vista's RTM will be the subject of the call.
Once Vista is in the hands of manufacturers, hardware vendors can begin installing it and configuring it on computers that will be sold via retail channels beginning in January 2007, according to Microsoft's current schedule.
Microsoft also plans to have Vista in the hands of business customers by the end of November, and is hosting a launch event in New York on Nov. 30 to mark that occasion. The company also will launch Office 2007 and Exchange Server 2007 at that event.
Vista has been a long time in the making, and was originally scheduled to hit retail channels this month in time for the busy holiday shopping season. Microsoft is offering coupons through its hardware channel to encourage customers to buy Vista-ready PCs during that time so they can upgrade to Vista when it's available generally.
Business customers have said they likely will not upgrade to Vista immediately after its release, but will probably wait until a first service pack for Vista is available.