When Microsoft unveiled the long-awaited details of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 on Wednesday, the company also quietly pushed back the release date for another highly anticipated product, Windows Server 2008.
The update to Microsoft's server OS, formerly code-named "Longhorn," had been due for release by the end of the year, but the company said Wednesday in an email that the new target for release is the first quarter of 2008. The email was sent in conjunction with the timeline for and details of the release of Vista SP1, a service pack for the client OS that many customers have been waiting for before they upgrade to Vista.
Microsoft also detailed the delay in a blog entry posted Wednesday on its Windows Server Division Weblog. The entry, attributed to Helene Love Snell, a group product manager in the Windows Server team, cited quality issues with the current build of the product as the reason for the delay.
"Microsoft’s first priority is to deliver a great product to our customers and partners, and while we’re very happy with the feedback we’re getting and the overall quality of the latest product builds, we would rather spend a little more time to meet the high quality bar that our customers and partners deserve and expect," Snell wrote in the post.
Although product delays are par for the course with Microsoft, the company is planning a launch event in Los Angeles on February 27, 2008 for Windows Server 2008 and two other products — SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 — that it's touting as its next major wave of product releases. In fact, when Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner unveiled the February launch at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference in July, he called the products the "big dogs" of Microsoft's enterprise software products, and the most significant product release the company will have in 2008.
The trouble is, not all the products are guaranteed to be available on their official launch date, making it more of a marketing event than anything else. Visual Studio 2008 still is on track to be released by the end of 2008, though a delay of that product is not out of the question given Microsoft's track record. And while there's a chance that Windows Server 2008 will make it to business customers by February 27 (Microsoft has not specified when in the first quarter it will be available), SQL Server 2008 is not due until at least June 30, Microsoft has said.