Wil Shipley bets Bill Gates that Windows Vista won’t ship by January 2007

“Hey, Bill, you recently went on record saying that you felt Windows Vista had an 80% chance of shipping by January, 2007. Fine, I’ll take that bet. I’ve got $10,000 that says you do NOT ship by then,” Wil Shipley blogs for Call Me Fishmeal.

“You ask why? Because you can’t throw money at every problem to solve it, Bill. You can’t just keep adding engineers and money to a giant, ugly mess and hope that, eventually, it’ll become a polished, tight piece of art. No art was ever created by committee. Nothing great was ever designed by 4,000 engineers. Ever,” Shipley writes.

“You said, ‘If the feedback from the beta tests shows it is not ready for prime time, I’d be glad to delay it.’ Glad? Really? Well, get used to happiness, I guess. Because you know that, if you’re lucky, in January you’re going to squirm and weasel and release a ‘limited version’ that you ‘recommend’ only for, uh, say, professional IT guys who only have one eye, and suicide kings. Then, when you get a bunch of press on how crappy that version of Vista is, you’ll quietly cut more and more features from it until you end up with the ‘home’ version, which will look mysteriously like XP with some new paint,” Shipley writes. “But what do I know? You’re the billionaire, I’m just some dude with a blog and a fistful of design awards.”

Full betting proposition here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Wyodor” and “vitaboy” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Are you with Wil or are you with Bill? Do you think Windows PigLipstick will ship to the great unwashed by January 2007 or will it slip slide away again? Bonus question: Will Apple release Mac OS X Leopard to the general public before Microsoft inflicts Windows Vista?


  1. I dont think it maters one bit if Leopard ships a month before, a day before, a weekafer or 3 months after VISTA does, because Apple has been beating MS for the last 5 years in OS innovation.

    The actual ship date of Leopard is trvial when you look at the big picture.
    Leopard will be better than VISTA, period. The next big cat will be better than VISTA, and so on and so forth.

  2. “Nothing great was ever designed by 4,000 engineers. Ever,”

    I disagree with that statement. I’m sure Apple doesn’t have 4000 engineers working on OSX, but that committee has made plenty masterpieces.

  3. Dirty Pierre,

    Of course you can polish a turd. You can also shellack it, varnish it, encase it in acrylic. You can paint it and wear it on a woven leather necklace.

    It’s just that you really wouldn’t want to.

    But for some reason, Bill still wants to polish Winturd. And he’ll wear it around his neck, like an albatross.

  4. The difference in XP, from first release to SP2, as far as stability and security goes, is just remarkable. In the 5 years since it’s release they have bolted on all of the parts missing at the release date.

    No matter when Vista is released, I predict that in 4 or 5 years after it has been released, it will be quite useable.

  5. Apple lost the OS wars decades ago, and nothing they do now will have much of an impact (.5% to 1%). Don’t believe me. Well, Apple’s newest OSX is going up against old Windows XP, and market share is virtually unchanged. It doesn’t matter if Vista is delayed, because Apple is no threat.

  6. The OS wars are over, yes, but MS is playing everybody and everybody buys in. Even now, Bill cannot tell for sure when Vista will ship. There’s a 20 percent chance it won’t ship, he says. Yeah, if every complany does business like that, there wouldn’t be any business. If it was any other company that makes such a statement, 80 percent chance of shipment, and the intro date slips, they would get very bad press and customers. You can’t make statements like that. Best to just shut up and say nothing until they know 100 percent when it ships. Now they’re simply playing with everybody. 80 percent chance it will ship by January. Oh shut up!

  7. It is unlikely Bill will take the bet. If Bill Gate’s lost the wager, his signing the check would be akin to signing Microsoft’s death warrant. The check itself would be worth more than $10,000 to collectors. Might make a great birthday gift for a guy named Steve.

  8. A friend of mine is on the beta testing team for Vista. According to imbedded docs with his version are indications that release is aimed for the end of February 2007. And that more feature cuts may be coming.

    By the time Windows Stillborn reaches production it will be little more than new desktop pictures and icons.

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