Windows Vista delayed

Microsoft's new operating system won't launch widely until January, although some "volume-licensing customers" will still get it this year.

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Microsoft today announced a delay of Windows Vista that will mean PCs with the new operating system won't go on sale until January.

The software maker said it will still wrap up development of the operating system this year and make it available to volume-licensing customers in November. However, Microsoft said that a delay of a few weeks in Vista's schedule meant that some PC makers would be able to launch this year and others would not. As a result, Windows chief Jim Allchin said the company is delaying the broad launch of the product until January.

During a conference call earlier today, Windows chief Jim Allchin spoke to reporters and analysts about the Vista delay.

"We needed just a few more weeks, and that put us in a bubble...where some partners would be impacted more than others," Allchin told reporters and analysts.

The delay is the latest setback for Vista. Microsoft scaled back several key features of the operating system last year in order to try to ensure a 2006 release. The operating system, which has been in development for years, was delayed by, among other things, the fact that Microsoft had to put so much time and testing effort into Windows XP Service Pack 2, a largely security-oriented upgrade to the current version of Windows.

Allchin said that although PC makers were not universal in wanting the delay, there were concerns from some companies that they could not ensure a holiday-quarter launch if Microsoft pushed back its development schedule even slightly.

Analysts have been warning that Microsoft's schedule left little room for error if it was to make a fourth-quarter launch. As recently as January, Allchin expressed confidence that Microsoft would make its deadline, although he reiterated his caveat that quality issues could yet lead to a postponement.

The delay would likely hurt retail PC vendors the most, said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD Techworld. Dell, which sells most of its PCs directly, could probably handle a delay of a few weeks without too much trouble. Hewlett-Packard and Gateway, on the other hand, have to have their PCs ready for retail partners weeks ahead of when they will actually go on sale and can't change gears as quickly, he said.

"It scares you," Baker said, when asked about the impact of the delay on fourth-quarter PC sales. The PC industry's largest quarter of the year always comes around the holiday shopping season, and expectations were high for that period this year, given the expected introduction of the new operating system.

Microsoft does not expect the move to affect this year's overall PC sales, Allchin said. "There's no (change) to the PC forecast from our perspective," he said. "You can ask the partners what they think."

Allchin also said the product will still launch in Microsoft's next fiscal year, which begins in July, meaning that Microsoft's overall business for next year shouldn't be affected.

Allchin said some of the additional time was for ensuring security levels, and the company is also working on ironing out usability issues.

"We're trying to crank up the security level higher than ever," Allchin said. "This came down to a few weeks. We're trying to do the responsible thing here."

Microsoft released its most recent test version of Vista in February. Late that month, the company also announced plans for six distinct editions of the operating system.

Microsoft had hoped to have a massive marketing push around Vista and Office 2007, which is slated for the second half of this year. It is not immediately clear how the delay will affect those plans.

The delay also impacts PC gamers. At the D.I.C.E. Summit last month, the head of Microsoft's gaming division Peter Moore apologized for the company's "dereliction of duty" when it came to PC games and emphasized how the Vista platform would benefit PC gamers. And while the PC version of Halo 2 never had an official release date, it would now seem unlikely to see release this coming holiday season, given that it will only run on the Vista operating system.

CNET News.com's Tom Krazit contributed to this report.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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jonb4play

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its gonna be kick ass when it finally arrives....hmm, and yet its just another OS.

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chibi_robo

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and I was very excited for vista... plus halo 2 for pc...

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phSychO_AtDawn

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okay how much will it cost though i mean the PC with Vista Write Back!!!!!

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unreal6666

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nobody's gonna get their paws anytime soon on halo 2 anyways... it just goes to show bungie that if they had tought with their heads and not bend to the will of microsoft and supported halo 2 for windows xp they would not look like complete idiots now....they have to wait for the company that ordered vista support only just to be shafted by that same company ( microsoft) .... bungie decided to shaft their halo pc fans and now bungie is getting shafted by microsoft..this is called sweet irony ....or what goes around comes around or you reap what you sow....ahahahhahahahhaha i love this.....i got a 360 now and halo 2 for peanuts but i still -blam!- for the poor lads that have only a pc to play with.....ahahahhahahah THE IRONY IS SO GREAT!!!!!!

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Sandman100

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That ok. There trying to get it right, and that ok with me. That has long as you need.

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Merl57

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[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

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Merl57

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um seraphin I do not agree with you. Microsoft has enough money and people that use the same OS on family computers are just sharing the same CD. Windows should not be so expensive becuase you have free OS like linux. I just don't want to take the time to learn that when everoyne will be using Windows anyways. More and more I see delays I think there should be more discipline by management. However this gives the Nvidia nad Ati a change to make a Direct X 10 card DX10 is the only thing I really care about untill Vista becomes more mainstream.

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Kfoss

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umm there still developeing it and its may..and they have had 4 -5 years to figure this out...and they want to release it in january?!?!...useability and security issues!?!?!...WHY am getting the feeling that this thing is unstable as hell....as for a two month delay thats nothing...umm we shall see..in Jan i guess..

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Thanos_of_MW

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Bleh!! ... So I won't be able to put a lot of DRM in my PC until next year? Sounds good :)

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jonnyjd

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A delay? Meh...okay.

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jaefrmbk2k

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i like how it wastes valuable cpu & gpu resources on freakin' eye-candied up windows. i know cuz i'm from the year 3000 and i already have it. viva la vista!

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wolflegresley

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Well hopefully they can work some bugs out out of the software

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Seraphim_24

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Well, in the mean time they can consider increasing security and making the lives of Intellectual Property protectors easier by requiring activation on Volume License products. Activation only takes liek 30 seconds, and would prevent widespread mischanneling of unlicensed volume License product, which is a huge problem in piracy right now. Basically since Windows XP Pro doesn't have to be activated in Volume LIcense the bad guys are getting ahold of and reselling those in drolves, and the poor consumer gets duped into buying them in drolves... all because Volume LIcense doesn't require activation. Come on M$ let's do a better job of protecting your consumers from being ripped off by pirates!

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amirkalloe

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ah, that bad man:(

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slayerofshadows

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couldn't care less

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ReyWing

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Not too excited about Vista or Office 2007. What I have works fine already. The new Direct-X sounds amazing though. Sucks for M$ and its partners. Do you think it's a breach of contract when something like this is delayed and costs your company precious income/time?

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Pharoah6

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Ouch! I wanted to buy a new high end gaming machine as soon as Vista was ready. I was going to go all out too.. Well I guess its just a few months more but my current machine is acting funny. In the words of Han Solo " Hear me baby hold together"

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Phazevariance

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Giggitty Giggitty!

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nohabs

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I'm taking bets on how many delays we will see

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Fatality4u

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Go figure, saw that one coming.

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NeoJedi

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That kinda sucks, was looking forward to upgrading my PC for Vista and new games... oh well.

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decebal

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I thought no one cared. But I guess the MS propaganda works.

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azizrulez

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the worst news about this is that halo 2 gets delayed further

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chrisdojo

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who woulda thought!!!!!

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Raven87

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I was going to hold off buying a new pc for vista, but by now i think ill just go with xp and see if its' worth upgrading later.

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MadonnaProject

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Who cares, theres nothing on vista that i need right now. Not even halo2, since im perfectly happy with halo2 on the xbox and the xbox 360. However i am also glad that i will not be made to change windows xp, anytime soon since upgrading an operating system might be exciting and all, but getting it to work perfectly and getting used to all the countless settings so it fits you most comfortably is something that has taken 2-3 years with windows xp. I am simply not willing to do the same with vista.

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ArmoredAshes

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OH MAN!...now i wont get the new colored I.E tabs and..well thats all that is upgraded hahaha

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Dshenlong

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anyone else read all the comments and laugh at how similar they are? lesse windows vista...windows vista......well...assuming when it comes out that it isnt bugged out it might be alright. otherwise get ready to start swearing as your os crashes and more fun stuff!!! well at least 1st generation buyers...but someones gotta test it huh?

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Hellisunreal

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what the hell does he mean that some will be delayed........NONSENSE

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KiLLer_ba

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Weak I have to wait til Jan to buy a Pc with Vista

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Radius64

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mmmmm...MS did well with the 360. Dont delay like a some other big corporation who makesa little box called the PS3!!! hehehe BTW: Obviuosly Sony will delay the PS3 again, maybe they'll release in say..erm...JANUARY '07!!!! Vista vs PS3 vs Halo 3!!! LOL

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RedBier

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[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

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-Gamebyte-

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Damn that sucks, but i'm not surprised about this.

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eiru

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CRapPPP.... i will have to buy my laptop without vista then??Hmm there is a vista for laptops right??? =P

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runstalker

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They'll ditch the Vista exclusive on Halo 2, in order to make the 06 holiday window. I would bet large sums of money on this. They can turn around an x86 client by November I'm sure, and have the game "Vista-ready" with a full x64 client in the package. So it'll run on XP, and run better on Vista when it appears. You know you need that sweet November, MS!

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RedBier

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we are forced to use M$ because no game developer except ID and Epic make games that work with Linux out of the box, need more reasons???

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Go0pynose

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Meh.....no point in getting a spankin new OS anyway.

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Donald_Duck_Fan

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um, I'm NOT surprised; it IS Microsoft after all. They LOVE to just screw you over anyways. BJ

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Optimusv2

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Funny there are people bashing microsoft and what operating system are you using right now? Oh right... Its better than they delay it to make sure they get it right and with vista delayed that means halo 2 for the pc will only be better.

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RedBier

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vista should land in a garbage can, ....... point

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dusteater

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If you guys want Halo 2 so bad, get the Xbox version!

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DryvBy

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oh well. ive already used the Beta and it was the same as XP with more graphics. nothing else

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ao_bomber

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Oh, come on people, you all can wait. >>; Besides anyone buying a launch OS from Microsoft is completely nuts! Can you imagine all the bugs and security holes that could possibly be in it!?

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Happy_Cloud

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aaawww

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Gmex

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oh well

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yunghoodz

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why cant people launch on time anymore

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Zone_Red

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I'm not buying Windows Vista untill the first service patch comes out,which will now be fall 2007....which sucks!

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mrblah00

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Halo 2 coming out in 2007 is going to be absolutely hilarious. It will probably be something for the history books. Fall '06 was a huge stretch and was met with a ton of skepticism, releasing an old XBOX game in '07 will prove to be one of the goofiest decisions gaming has ever seen. I predict 5/10 or 6/10 scores across the board for Halo 2 PC.

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00Joseph00

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WIndows Vista... I hope it will be way better than this virus-magnet XP...

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966305

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always is the same, at the end, microsoft will sell a beta OS

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