Tech consultancy Gartner believes Vista may be slipping further into 2006, but Gartner clients shouldn’t care — the company has been telling them to wait until 2008 before they upgrade from XP.
“Microsoft’s track record is clear; it consistently misses target dates for major operating system releases. We don’t expect broad availability of Windows Vista until at least 2Q07, which is nine to 12 months after Beta 2,” the report said.
Microsoft insists that Gartner is wrong and Vista will still be available to enterprise customers in November and everyone else in January.
Rick Sherlund at Goldman Sachs said the schedule should become clearer after the second beta version of Vista ships sometime by June, but slipping another month or two wouldn’t hurt the stock as much as the last delay that pushed wide release beyond the 2006 holiday season.
Either way Microsoft should perhaps thank Gartner, for giving MSFT stock another blow while Microsoft is accelerating its stock buyback program.