Seattle Times reporter Ben Romano got a glimpse of a countdown clock in Building 9 at Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond. If the clock doesn't get reset, Microsoft will release to manufacturing the Windows Vista operating system next week, on October 25.
Still unknown: The dates of the business launch of the product (I guessed November 9 a while back, but Microsoft still hasn't confirmed or denied) and the date of the worldwide launch, which many are expecting around mid- to late January 2007.
The Seattle Times is guessing the worldwide launch will be at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on January 7. I'm doubtful; Vista would just get lost in all the (literal) noise at that event. I'm still predicting January 30, the day that Amazon.com leaked back in August.
In other Vista-related news, Microsoft has upped substantially its own predictions as to how many applications will be Vista-ready in the coming months. Microsoft officials say there are 300 applications that already work with Vista; 2,700 more coming by January; and another 4,000 within 12 months of launch.
Just a few months ago, Microsoft officials said 1,000 apps would be Vista-ready within three to four months of the January launch.
Wonder how many of the thousands of newly-found applications will be brand-new ones that are optimized for Vista vs. existing apps which ISVs will tweak in some way to get them to be 100-percent compatible with Vista?