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Windows Vista release date in doubt say analysts

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When a company like Microsoft announces a release candidate of a software package like Windows, one imagines that the product is exactly is what the company says it is - a version of the product good enough to be considered a candidate for release. Apparently this is not the case with Vista Release Candidate 1 because it's nowhere near good enough to be released.

According to some leading Microsoft watchers, the software company is pulling a bit of a swifty on users by even naming its latest operating system build Vista Release candidate 1 because the software still has so many bugs and things that need to be done that is really just another beta.

In fact Microsoft itself acknowledges that its product is not even close to market ready, which makes me wonder how the company can make the stretch to apply the tag RC1 to its latest build of Vista.

Analyst Joe Wilcox, of Jupiter Research, wrote on his company blog Microsoft Monitor that he was told in a briefing that Microsoft recognizes that it has plenty of work still to do on Windows Vista and that Release Candidate 1 is not a near final version.

"I presumed--wrongly, it now seems--that Microsoft considers the first release candidate as a near-final version. This is a fairly typical approach in software development, that a RC is near complete," Wilcox wrote in his blog.

Microsoft's explanation to Wilcox is that the company's definition of a release candidate had evolved would be funny if it wasn't so serious. It looks like the software company is no longer even trying to pretend that the RC1 tag is anything more than slick PR to make the Vista project appear to be on track.

At least one other well known Microsoft watcher, Michael Cherry of Directions on Microsoft, told the Information Week site that he had found four new bugs to report upon installing Vista RC1. As he points out, that's not the sort of thing one would expect of a release candidate product. A beta version yes, but not a release candidate.

So what does all this mean? Well for one thing, there is no way that Microsoft is going to bring Windows Vista to market without first evaluating all the reports of testers of its so-called Vista RC1 and then pushing out at least a Vista RC2. In fact, if we're all lucky, Vista RC2 may turn out to be the real Vista RC1 and not just another beta. We can only hope.

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Cheers from your intrepid webreporter book.gif

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We will eventually see Vista, however, there will be another major change to the base code, the installer package is going to be changed (obviously).

"Release Candidate 1" that should be the main clue.

Remember Windows 98? There was 4 major changes to the base code AFTER the initial release, the last change was Windows 98SE.

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