Gartner is at it again, with a report that predicts Microsoft will miss its end-of-year ship date for Windows Vista. The teaser copy reads:
Microsoft's track record is clear; it consistently misses target dates for major operating system releases. We don't expect broad availability of Windows Vista until at least 2Q07, which is nine to 12 months after Beta 2.
I don’t feel like ponying up $195 to read the whole thing, so I’ll rely on this MSNBC report for additional details:
Microsoft Corp.'s long- awaited release of the upgrade to its flagship Windows operating system will likely be delayed again by at least three months, research group Gartner Inc. said Tuesday.
The research note, released to clients Monday, said the new Windows Vista operating system is too complex to be able to meet Microsoft's targeted November release for volume license customers and January launch for retail consumers.
A Microsoft spokeswoman said the company disagreed with the Gartner report and it was still on track to meet its launch dates.
I’ve lost count of the number of times Gartner has been off with similar predictions. This is the same company that called Windows XP “a minor service release for Windows 2000” and predicted that Microsoft would deliver an interim release of Windows (XP Reloaded) in the second half of 2005 (they weren’t the only ones to blow that call, of course). Gartner’s crack analysts, working hand in hand with Microsoft also were the first to report that Microsoft's enterprise server products would be released in late 2001 under the name Windows 2002. Oops. They got that right except for the name and the date.
Of course, it's hard to go wrong predicting a delay in any release of Microsoft software. But this one doesn't seem grounded in too many cold, hard facts. So let’s call this “prediction” by its real name: a WAG. Or maybe a SWAG.