“Microsoft Corp. said on Tuesday it plans to delay the consumer launch of its much-anticipated Windows Vista operating system to January 2007 from its earlier target of the second half of 2006, sending its shares down nearly 3 percent,” Reuters reports. “Microsoft plans to launch a product for corporate customers in November and then roll out Windows Vista for consumers after the holiday shopping season, Jim Allchin, co-president of the company’s Platforms & Services Division, said on a conference call.”

“Microsoft said Vista is delayed because it wants to improve overall quality, particularly in security, and that PC makers didn’t want the operating system introduced in the middle of holiday sales, because a new version would create instability in the market,” Reuters reports.

Full article here.

“‘It’s not the optimal situation, to be launching the next-generation version of Windows right after the big holiday sales season,’ said analyst Joe Wilcox with Jupiter Research,” Alison Linn reports for The Associated Press. “A spokesman for Dell Inc. declined to comment on how the delay might affect sales. In a statement released by Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard Co. said it supported Microsoft’s decision to make quality a priority in scheduling the operating system’s release. Microsoft will release some versions of the new operating system for big businesses in November as planned, but the consumer version will be postponed until January, said Jim Allchin, co-president of the Microsoft division that includes Windows.”

Linn reports, “Wilcox said releasing the system in November to businesses would likely help Microsoft — since its business sales are highly profitable — while the delay in the consumer release would be most harmful to its partners. ‘You can play semantics and say that the operating system is shipping in 2006, but if consumers can’t buy it until 2007, PC manufacturers don’t have it to sell to them,’ Wilcox said. ‘This blow falls on the partners.’ …Analyst Matt Rosoff with independent research firm Directions on Microsoft said he suspects computer makers are likely displeased with the situation, but with Microsoft’s stranglehold on the operating system market they have little control over it. ‘Certainly PC makers aren’t going to be happy about it, but I don’t know exactly what they’re going to do. They’ll wait,’ he said. ‘There’s not a whole lot of choice at this point.'”

Full article here.

“Considering the amount of resources being thrown at the Vista project, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer now face unyielding embarrassment. How could things go so wrong this late in the process? For years, Microsoft fought to shed a reputation for being perennially late shipping big projects like Windows and Windows NT. Tuesday’s announcement only makes those questions front and center again,” Charles Cooper writes for CNET News. “Microsoft is downplaying suggestions that today’s news suggests anything fundamentally wrong with the company’s internal processes. Still, you have to ask whether the company has grown so large that its ability to undertake a project this complex is inevitably going to be hampered by its own bureaucratic sloth.”

“Recall that last year Microsoft dropped several important features in order to not slow down the shipment plans. Microsoft even removed WinFS, a key piece of Longhorn, so that PC makers could plan around a holiday release… [now] Vista will miss the entire ’06 holiday shopping season… Time was when Microsoft could get away with a product slip, shrug its shoulders and promise a ‘new and improved’ version sometime soon… [but] 2006 is not 1996, and Microsoft’s customers have other alternatives,” Cooper writes.

Full article here.

“Now that Windows Vista has been delayed, it’s time to ask a once-unthinkable question: Can the Macintosh finally take back business from Microsoft? [Today’s news] may hold at least a glimmer of hope for those Mac faithful who have dared dream of a day when Apple could again reign supreme in the world of personal computing. And they are not shy to point out that Apple has released many new features and upgrades in the years that Microsoft has worked on an operating system that has yet to see the light of day. If nothing else, momentum certainly seems to be on Apple’s side,” Mike Yamamoto blogs for CNET.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft still can’t get Windows XP SP3, er, Vista, out the door? And, what haven’t they cut out of the list of promised “innovations?” There’s nothing left on the list that they can junk in order to ship the thing. This company has gone from joke to sad even faster than we thought possible.

Come one, come all! Witness the decline of a never great OS maker! How badly do you have to go today?! “Windows ME 2: The Sequel” – coming to a dull box near you, January 2007 (maybe). Soundtrack by Paul Simon.

Advertisements:
Apple’s brand new iPod Hi-Fi speaker system. Home stereo. Reinvented. Available now for $349 with free shipping.
Apple’s new Mac mini. Intel Core, up to 4 times faster. Starting at just $599. Free shipping.
MacBook Pro. The first Mac notebook built upon Intel Core Duo with iLife ’06, Front Row and built-in iSight. Starting at $1999. Free shipping.
iMac. Twice as amazing — Intel Core Duo, iLife ’06, Front Row media experience, Apple Remote, built-in iSight. Starting at $1299. Free shipping.
iPod Radio Remote. Listen to FM radio on your iPod and control everything with a convenient wired remote. Just $49.
iPod. 15,000 songs. 25,000 photos. 150 hours of video. The new iPod. 30GB and 60GB models start at just $299. Free shipping.
Connect iPod to your television set with the iPod AV Cable. Just $19.

Related articles:
Thurrott: Microsoft going to get eaten alive over Windows Vista’s resemblance to Apple’s Mac OS X – March 09, 2006
Microsoft gears up for massive Windows Vista launch campaign – March 08, 2006
Microsoft to offer six versions of Windows Vista – February 27, 2006
Windows chief Allchin: Buy Windows Vista for the security – January 30, 2006
Windows boss Allchin: ‘We have no plans to move Vista to Macintosh hardware’ – January 30, 2006
Forget the iPod’s halo; the real Mac sales will come when people face Windows Vista upgrade decision – January 16, 2006
Episode 2 of Microsoft Windows Vista, Bill Gates CES keynote video spoof now online – January 07, 2006
Microsoft Windows Vista, Bill Gates keynote video spoof debuts online – January 06, 2006
NY Times’ Pogue on Gates’ CES demo: Most of Vista features unadulterated ripoffs from Apple Mac OS X – January 05, 2006
Analyst: Windows Vista may still impress many consumers because they have not seen Apple’s Mac OS X – January 05, 2006
Microsoft’s Gates shows Windows Vista photo, search features; plans to fight Apple’s iPod dominance – January 05, 2006
Gates: ‘People tend to get overfocused on one of our competitors’ – January 05, 2006
Microsoft Vista: long-delayed and pared-down – December 14, 2005
Microsoft Windows Vista compared to Apple Mac OS X – December 05, 2005
Gartner: Ignore Microsoft Windows Vista until 2008 (why not just get Apple Mac OS X Tiger today?) – November 12, 2005
Microsoft’s Windows Vista strives to deliver what Apple’s Mac OS X already offers – October 10, 2005
Thurrott: Microsoft’s Windows Vista Beta 1 vs. Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger – August 29, 2005
Apple to unleash Leopard on Microsoft’s Windows Longhorn; Mac OS X 10.5 due late 2006 – early 2007 – June 07, 2005
Thurrott: many of Windows Vista’s upcoming features appeared first in Apple’s Mac OS X – September 26, 2005
Microsoft’s Ballmer: It’s true, some of Windows Vista’s features are ‘kissing cousins’ to Mac OS X – September 19, 2005
Microsoft suffers from malaise, key defections, Windows Vista struggles, lack of towels – September 16, 2005
Microsoft’s Bill Gates’ prediction of Apple iPod market share decline fails to materialize – September 18, 2005
PC World: Microsoft innovation – an oxymoron – September 15, 2005
Microsoft debuts Dashboard Widgets, er, ‘Microsoft Gadgets’ – September 13, 2005
Microsoft appropriates Apple’s ‘brushed metal’ look for Office 12 for Windows – September 13, 2005
Hackers already targeting viruses for Microsoft’s Windows Vista – August 04, 2005
Apple to unleash Leopard on Microsoft’s Windows Longhorn; Mac OS X 10.5 due late 2006 – early 2007 – June 07, 2005
Windows tech writer Thurrott: ‘In many ways, Mac OS X Tiger is simply better than Windows’ – May 07, 2005
Bill Gates jokes about Mac OS X ‘Tiger’ and calls Apple ‘the super-small market share guy’ – May 03, 2005
Thurrott: ‘Longhorn is in complete disarray and in danger of collapsing under its own weight’ – April 27, 2005
Windows czar Allchin says Apple copying Microsoft’s Windows Longhorn – April 27, 2005
Thurrott: Longhorn ‘has the makings of a train wreck’ – April 26, 2005
Thurrott: Longhorn demos ‘unimpressive, fall short of graphical excellence found today in Mac OS X’ – April 26, 2005
Microsoft employees leaving due to (and blogging about) malaise smothering company – April 25, 2005
eWEEK Editor Coursey: Longhorn so far ‘looks shockingly like a Macintosh’ – April 25, 2005
Due in late 2006, many of Windows Longhorn’s features have been in Mac OS X since 2001 – April 25, 2005
Microsoft’s new mantra: ‘It Just Works’ ripped straight from Apple’s ‘Switch’ campaign – April 22, 2005
Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Microsoft’s Longhorn: ‘They are shamelessly copying us’ – April 21, 2005
Microsoft’s Windows Longhorn will bear more than just a passing resemblance to Apple’s Mac OS X – April 15, 2005
The Age: ‘Apple’s Mac OS X at least a generation ahead of Windows XP, iMac G5 clearly the best’ – December 15, 2004
Silicon Valley: Apple CEO Steve Jobs previews ‘Longhorn’ – June 29, 2004
Apple CEO Steve Jobs: Mac OS X Tiger ‘is going to drive the copycats crazy – June 28, 2004
Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs previews Mac OS X 10.4 ‘Tiger’ to ship in the first half of 2005 – June 28, 2004
Apple takes dead aim at Microsoft, ‘Longhorn’ with WWDC Mac OS X 10.4 ‘Tiger’ ads – June 28, 2004
PC Magazine: Microsoft ‘Longhorn’ preview shows ‘an Apple look’ – May 06, 2004
Microsoft concerned that Longhorn’s look and feel will be copied if revealed too soon – August 25, 2003
Windows ‘Longhorn’ to add translucent windows that ripple and shrink by 2005 – May 19, 2003
Apple leads; Wintel follows as usual – November 11, 2002