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Microsoft has apparently put a date on the release of the next version of its Windows client, Windows Vista.

Users can expect Windows Vista to ship by November 15, 2006 - just in time for the 2006 holiday shopping season, according to WindowsITPro. Microsoft will no doubt hope to cash-in on a consumer PC buying frenzy during the run up to Christmas.

Microsoft has previously pinned the Windows Vista release at the fourth quarter of 2006, while speaking at the company's annual partner conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, earlier this summer.

The Windows Vista server companion, still codenamed Longhorn Server, is expected in 2007 with a release to manufacturing (RTM) date pinned at January 10, 2007. The server is expected to fork from the Windows Vista release schedule during the summer of 2006, with a Longhorn release candidate (RC) 2 due on October 18, 2006.

News of the dates came as Microsoft this week slipped out the first full beta of its delayed WinFS storage subsystem, which had been billed as appearing in Windows Vista by Microsoft's chief software architect Bill Gates in 2003.

Microsoft removed WinFS from Windows Vista in order to help the delayed operating system hit some kind of realistic shipment date. Among its advances, WinFS is expected to introduce a type of replication to the file management system that would update all relevant data fields in a file if one item is changed.®

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