Because Microsoft won't comment officially on "Fiji," the expected, standalone update to Windows Media Center, it's tough to confirm a date slip.
But Chris Lanier, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in the digital media arena, is predicting that Fiji won't debut in 2007, as Microsoft and other interested parties had been predicting. Instead, Lanier's betting Fiji is now a second half of 2008 update.
In a blog post dated June 12, Lanier blogged:
"Don’t expect Fiji this year. Don’t expect Fiji early next year. Based on water-cooler talk I‘ve heard, I wouldn’t expect to see it released until around Q3-Q4 2008 which would bring the platform back to Sep/Oct releases as has been customary since 2002. . Date is highly subject to change if things like DIRECTV support are to be included."
(I'm kind of surprised to see this post still up there, almost a week after it originally posted. The Windows client team, as of late, hasn't been too happy about transparency around upcoming products.)
Microsoft kicked off the Fiji beta selection process in April. Lanier said that as of last week, no testers had yet gotten Fiji beta bits.
Update: I asked Microsoft for a comment on June 19. On June 20, I received the following statement from a corporate spokesman:
"Microsoft does not comment on rumors or speculation about product ship dates and it's just too early to discuss future versions at this time. "
(Thanks to Nathan Weinberg on Inside Microsoft for the latest Fiji link.)