The Microsoft countdown clock was wrong. (Yeah, maybe it's running Windows Vista and blue screened. Teehee.)
Vista is not on track to be released to manufacturing on October 25, according to Jim Allchin, co-president of Microsoft's platforms and services division.
"We won't RTM (release to manufacturing) in a week," Allchin told me on October 18. "We are in pretty good shape. And there are still months before (the January 2007) launch."
Allchin said Microsoft is looking at Vista across five categories right now to determine whether it's RTM-ready.
The five: Reliability, security, performance, driver coverage and application compatibility. While some of these categories -- such as driver coverage and app compatibility -- may not be as robust as many would expect in order for Vista to RTM, Microsoft looks at things a bit differently, Allchin said.
"We have to be done with Vista before the ecosystem can finish the rest," Allchin said.
In other words, while many Vista drivers are still MIA and a number of applications are still not 100-percent Vista-compatible, vendors are giving Microsoft assurances that they will be by certain dates. And Allchin said he's feeling good about those targets.
Allchin would not say when Vista will RTM. But my new guess is early November. And like CRN, I am now hearing that the business launch of Vista and Office 2007 is looking like the very end of November. So I am revising my November 9 business launch guesstimate to November 30.
Any other guesses (educated or not)?