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Ballmer lets slip Vista slip

Slip of tongue or schedule?

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Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer said the launch of operating system Windows Vista could slip back even further.

Vista was originally due for release in late 2002 or 2003, under the Longhorn name. It was then delayed until Christmas 2005, another deadline that slipped past. In March this year, Microsoft said the software would not be ready until January 2007.

And today Ballmer said this date may move again: "Certainly, when Windows Vista comes to the market next year, and it will be next year, we will make sure that we make a high quality product, ship a high quality product, when it's ready.".

Having missed the Christmas target, Microsoft is in discussions with computer manufacturers about the best time to ship the software.

Ballmer said: "What we are discussing ... with hardware partners is when they would really like it - early January, late January, February. We are on track for shipping early in the year,"

He was speaking at a press conference held with NEC in Japan. The two companies are to license each other's patents, work together on enterprise networks, high-end servers and cluster servers. More details from NEC here.

Analyst house Gartner earned Microsoft's ire back in 2003 by predicting substantial delays. Gartner now predicts Vista will not be widely available until the second quarter of 2007.

More from AFP here. ®

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