Vista, on track or not?

Gartner is saying that Windows Vista may be delayed again. Microsoft reacted, ComputerWorld says in an article that gives both sides of the story (Microsoft says that Gartner is wrong).

More on Memeorandum.

A bunch of people have been emailing me asking for my opinions. I'm staying out of this one cause I've learned over and over that I can't accurately predict shipping dates in the software industry. I will say that I'm enjoying the latest builds of Windows Vista and things are looking good, so I have no reason to doubt Microsoft's spokespeople on this one.

Again, I'd rather pressure the Windows team to get it right, and don't ship unless it's ready. Dana Epp, security expert, says the same thing.

They are talking about it over on Channel 9 too.

Update: Ed Bott says that Gartner isn't very accurate with its own predictions on software dates.

Comments

  1. Allow me to buy (or download) beta copies earlier. That way I don’t have to wait for the final version.

  2. “Vista, on track or not?”

    If you’re going to ask that question, the answer is clearly: NO!

    Just because you want to use the latest revision date for a product that was SUPPOSED to be OUT a year and a half ago with 80% more features to dispel new rumors of further delays… that still wouldn’t put it on track, would it?

  3. Allow me to buy (or download) beta copies earlier. That way I don’t have to wait for the final version.

  4. “Vista, on track or not?”

    If you’re going to ask that question, the answer is clearly: NO!

    Just because you want to use the latest revision date for a product that was SUPPOSED to be OUT a year and a half ago with 80% more features to dispel new rumors of further delays… that still wouldn’t put it on track, would it?

  5. Update: Ed Bott points to statements made by 90% of Microsoft schills and claims there is no evidence to support Gartner without pointing to this lack of evidence… instead he says they have been wrong before. Ed realizes that Thurott has mellowed and wants to be MS Schill #1.

  6. Update: Ed Bott points to statements made by 90% of Microsoft schills and claims there is no evidence to support Gartner without pointing to this lack of evidence… instead he says they have been wrong before. Ed realizes that Thurott has mellowed and wants to be MS Schill #1.

  7. “I can’t accurately predict shipping dates in the software industry”

    “Software industry”? You think you can get away by generalizing this problem to the entire industry as opposed to your own company? Look, nobody’s perfect but compare Apple’s record of shipping software in the last 4-5 years (that would include 4 major OS revs) to Microsoft’s in the same period. The former looks pretty much like clockwork in that comparison.

    So better to say that YOU can’t predict MICROSOFT shipping dates. Nobody can.

  8. “I can’t accurately predict shipping dates in the software industry”

    “Software industry”? You think you can get away by generalizing this problem to the entire industry as opposed to your own company? Look, nobody’s perfect but compare Apple’s record of shipping software in the last 4-5 years (that would include 4 major OS revs) to Microsoft’s in the same period. The former looks pretty much like clockwork in that comparison.

    So better to say that YOU can’t predict MICROSOFT shipping dates. Nobody can.

  9. Anona: when I worked at small startups we didn’t ship on time either. And Apple doesn’t exactly have the best track record when you look over the past 15 years. Also, my brother-in-law works at Apple on the Mac team. They’ve missed quite a few deadlines in the past five years (there’s a reason Jobs switched from IBM chips to Intel ones, for instance). The only difference is you never heard about them cause they don’t talk about deadlines in public.

  10. Anona: when I worked at small startups we didn’t ship on time either. And Apple doesn’t exactly have the best track record when you look over the past 15 years. Also, my brother-in-law works at Apple on the Mac team. They’ve missed quite a few deadlines in the past five years (there’s a reason Jobs switched from IBM chips to Intel ones, for instance). The only difference is you never heard about them cause they don’t talk about deadlines in public.

  11. “there’s a reason Jobs switched from IBM chips to Intel ones”

    Really, now. The reason is for the hardware switch is because Apple missed software shipment dates? What would those apps be?

  12. “there’s a reason Jobs switched from IBM chips to Intel ones”

    Really, now. The reason is for the hardware switch is because Apple missed software shipment dates? What would those apps be?

  13. I hear Vista needs a 60% rewrite so obviously that’s going to take some time.

    A lot of time.

    I must wonder how Microsoft can get away with releasing an OS with half its original announced features 5 years late when their top execs say there’s so much competition in the market. Did you guys change markets somewhere?

    No wonder your stock is down.

  14. I hear Vista needs a 60% rewrite so obviously that’s going to take some time.

    A lot of time.

    I must wonder how Microsoft can get away with releasing an OS with half its original announced features 5 years late when their top execs say there’s so much competition in the market. Did you guys change markets somewhere?

    No wonder your stock is down.

  15. you should have to “predict the date”. I’m pretty sure at this stage of the game the Windows team has a target date they are shooting for and are punting bugs as best they can to make that date. At some point they are only going to take recall class bugs. Granted those things are somewhat unpredictable, but don’t make it out like you can’t find out the date they are tracking towards. Now will they want you to broadcast it is another issue. I’m not saying software projects don’t slip at times, but it doesn’t involve prediction.

  16. you should have to “predict the date”. I’m pretty sure at this stage of the game the Windows team has a target date they are shooting for and are punting bugs as best they can to make that date. At some point they are only going to take recall class bugs. Granted those things are somewhat unpredictable, but don’t make it out like you can’t find out the date they are tracking towards. Now will they want you to broadcast it is another issue. I’m not saying software projects don’t slip at times, but it doesn’t involve prediction.

  17. All I can say is Hell No! Vista is already late! When it is released eventually it will not even include all the promised features especially when you look at the .NET framework.

  18. All I can say is Hell No! Vista is already late! When it is released eventually it will not even include all the promised features especially when you look at the .NET framework.

  19. But seriously. Who cares ?

    Vista now resembles XP service pack 4, with all the added goodness of RIAA-inspired DRM built right in. Checking *my* content to see if they allow *me* to view it.

    Did anyone ever get fired for the bad management responsible for wasting 4,000 developers efforts over three years during the “Vista Reset” ? No ?

    Then I expect no change.

    Look at the stagnant adoption rates in the MS franchises. A very large bank in the UK is *just* moving off NT4 to XP on the desktop. A large tranches of office customers are still on office 97 – hence the highly insulting dinosaur ads. And of course a large tranche of Exchange customers are still on v5.5 – unloved, unsupported and unwilling to move to later versions.

    All “Ripe for Plucking” as Balmer might say.

    Thats what happens when new releases dont actually add much value to the customers, and are a nightmare to deploy. Is it innovation or just plain price gouging ? I suspec if you were party to the adoption rates of MS franches (we certainly are not), you might find that significant numbers of customers have voted with their cash.

    I suspect till Balmer is replaced, the MS stock will still keep stagnant.

    (Here’s a wild idea. You proposed a while back that Blogging helps corporations. That Enron wouldnt have happened if they blogged. Why not pursuade Balmer to blog ? After all, even Ray Ozzie is Blogging – if once every other month with comments turned off is blogging.. Perhaps if Steve got less ass-kissing and more honest feedback for his policies – for instance, all the lawsuits that MS are fighting – he might change his direction ?)

    The share price is a shame for the developers in MS today. Not a shame for the middle management dross, tree huggers, VIP’s, and partners in MS who are finally getting exactly what they deserve for stranging MS.

    —* Bill
    http://www.billbuchan.com

  20. But seriously. Who cares ?

    Vista now resembles XP service pack 4, with all the added goodness of RIAA-inspired DRM built right in. Checking *my* content to see if they allow *me* to view it.

    Did anyone ever get fired for the bad management responsible for wasting 4,000 developers efforts over three years during the “Vista Reset” ? No ?

    Then I expect no change.

    Look at the stagnant adoption rates in the MS franchises. A very large bank in the UK is *just* moving off NT4 to XP on the desktop. A large tranches of office customers are still on office 97 – hence the highly insulting dinosaur ads. And of course a large tranche of Exchange customers are still on v5.5 – unloved, unsupported and unwilling to move to later versions.

    All “Ripe for Plucking” as Balmer might say.

    Thats what happens when new releases dont actually add much value to the customers, and are a nightmare to deploy. Is it innovation or just plain price gouging ? I suspec if you were party to the adoption rates of MS franches (we certainly are not), you might find that significant numbers of customers have voted with their cash.

    I suspect till Balmer is replaced, the MS stock will still keep stagnant.

    (Here’s a wild idea. You proposed a while back that Blogging helps corporations. That Enron wouldnt have happened if they blogged. Why not pursuade Balmer to blog ? After all, even Ray Ozzie is Blogging – if once every other month with comments turned off is blogging.. Perhaps if Steve got less ass-kissing and more honest feedback for his policies – for instance, all the lawsuits that MS are fighting – he might change his direction ?)

    The share price is a shame for the developers in MS today. Not a shame for the middle management dross, tree huggers, VIP’s, and partners in MS who are finally getting exactly what they deserve for stranging MS.

    —* Bill
    http://www.billbuchan.com

  21. sounds like a great question for a prediction market – or a question to throw to a bar fukk of Lite “tastes great, less filling” drinkers.

    I am ex Gartner, and now work directly with many buyer organizations. From their perspective, does not matter whether you or Gartner is more time accurarte – just take your time and get quality as high as possible…

  22. sounds like a great question for a prediction market – or a question to throw to a bar fukk of Lite “tastes great, less filling” drinkers.

    I am ex Gartner, and now work directly with many buyer organizations. From their perspective, does not matter whether you or Gartner is more time accurarte – just take your time and get quality as high as possible…

  23. The whole issue about Vista shipping late has severely eroded my confidence in Microsoft’s other products. I have been using Visual Studio 2005 for a few months and I am not impressed, oh the new features are great, but it’s an unstable mess. Doesn’t play nice with Dual monitors, the pinning and unpinning of panels crashes the app, even closing the application by clicking the “Red X” on the window generates a Crash Report. Microsoft’s saving grace for me has been SQL Server 2005. It has been a pleasure using this incredible software, the only weakness? Visual Studio, crashing while authoring Reports using *Competitors* Databases. I look forward to purchasing another Microsoft OS, it probably won’t be the first version of Vista; My experiences with other MS-software has condtioned me to doubt the quality of all subsequent releases.

    Oh by the way, Live.com, crashes my browser 3 out of 10X and takes forever to load, adding to my love hate relationship.

  24. The whole issue about Vista shipping late has severely eroded my confidence in Microsoft’s other products. I have been using Visual Studio 2005 for a few months and I am not impressed, oh the new features are great, but it’s an unstable mess. Doesn’t play nice with Dual monitors, the pinning and unpinning of panels crashes the app, even closing the application by clicking the “Red X” on the window generates a Crash Report. Microsoft’s saving grace for me has been SQL Server 2005. It has been a pleasure using this incredible software, the only weakness? Visual Studio, crashing while authoring Reports using *Competitors* Databases. I look forward to purchasing another Microsoft OS, it probably won’t be the first version of Vista; My experiences with other MS-software has condtioned me to doubt the quality of all subsequent releases.

    Oh by the way, Live.com, crashes my browser 3 out of 10X and takes forever to load, adding to my love hate relationship.

  25. One thing that strikes me as very interesting about this whole subject is that Microsoft is coming in for the usual cirticism for trying to make sure its’ product gets launched in a perfect state, yet Google can launch any old rubbish, ask us to test it for them and we LOVE to do it! Why?

    Is this success due in part to the fact that nobody ever REALLY intends to replace their MSN Messenger, Yahoo Mail, Exchange Calendar with Google’s products and as a result if it doesn’t work for them, they always have something to fall back on – Microsoft.

    Would Ford be criticised in the same way if Opel launched a new mid-sized car first so Ford launched theirs at the same time yet without having tested if the airbag system worked. I think not.

    Ask yourself the question next time you think of knocking Microsoft…

    Would you rather have a Microsoft Vista that works and is late or one that arrives tomorrow and has glitches in it?

    You’ll no doubt already be using IE or XP anyway so what is your beef?

    p.s. I use Mac OS X!

  26. One thing that strikes me as very interesting about this whole subject is that Microsoft is coming in for the usual cirticism for trying to make sure its’ product gets launched in a perfect state, yet Google can launch any old rubbish, ask us to test it for them and we LOVE to do it! Why?

    Is this success due in part to the fact that nobody ever REALLY intends to replace their MSN Messenger, Yahoo Mail, Exchange Calendar with Google’s products and as a result if it doesn’t work for them, they always have something to fall back on – Microsoft.

    Would Ford be criticised in the same way if Opel launched a new mid-sized car first so Ford launched theirs at the same time yet without having tested if the airbag system worked. I think not.

    Ask yourself the question next time you think of knocking Microsoft…

    Would you rather have a Microsoft Vista that works and is late or one that arrives tomorrow and has glitches in it?

    You’ll no doubt already be using IE or XP anyway so what is your beef?

    p.s. I use Mac OS X!

  27. @20: Seriously? You don’t think maybe the fact that I don’t have to pay for any of that Google stuff means that I’m a little more forgiving of it?

  28. @20: Seriously? You don’t think maybe the fact that I don’t have to pay for any of that Google stuff means that I’m a little more forgiving of it?

  29. I never really expected Vista come January. I think my “trust” in MS announcements regarding Vista dissipated 2 years ago. And smething tells me I’m not alone on this.

    Anona, Robert is right – and I can’t believe you don’t kow it yourself. All software development involve checkpoints where the release schedule are adjusted. Even Apple. (One word: Aperature.) Quit being rude and arguing for the sake of argument. Only trolls do that.

    OTOH Robert, if all Anona would have said is that MS needs to change something in how they communicate release dates and featuresets to the general public – I think even you would agree. MS has dissappointed/underwhelmed the public by missing their [loudly] pronounced product releases more in the last 5 years than probably any other software company.

  30. I never really expected Vista come January. I think my “trust” in MS announcements regarding Vista dissipated 2 years ago. And smething tells me I’m not alone on this.

    Anona, Robert is right – and I can’t believe you don’t kow it yourself. All software development involve checkpoints where the release schedule are adjusted. Even Apple. (One word: Aperature.) Quit being rude and arguing for the sake of argument. Only trolls do that.

    OTOH Robert, if all Anona would have said is that MS needs to change something in how they communicate release dates and featuresets to the general public – I think even you would agree. MS has dissappointed/underwhelmed the public by missing their [loudly] pronounced product releases more in the last 5 years than probably any other software company.

  31. Robert, re: Apple missing ship dates.

    You said: “The only difference is you never heard about them cause they don’t talk about deadlines in public.”

    Which seems, to me, like a smart strategy that reaps dividends for them every day.

  32. Robert, re: Apple missing ship dates.

    You said: “The only difference is you never heard about them cause they don’t talk about deadlines in public.”

    Which seems, to me, like a smart strategy that reaps dividends for them every day.

  33. Robert -

    I can understand you not wanting to comment directly on the ship date, but how about commenting on Gartner’s ability to yank Microsoft and a host of journalists around based on their speculation. If I worked at MS, I think I’d be pretty torqued about being on the short end of this stick. Here’s a company whose only real creation is FUD, and they’re managing to get everyone bent out of shape over something they think *might* happen. Pretty amazing.

  34. Robert -

    I can understand you not wanting to comment directly on the ship date, but how about commenting on Gartner’s ability to yank Microsoft and a host of journalists around based on their speculation. If I worked at MS, I think I’d be pretty torqued about being on the short end of this stick. Here’s a company whose only real creation is FUD, and they’re managing to get everyone bent out of shape over something they think *might* happen. Pretty amazing.

  35. Vista, on track or not?

    At this point it really doesn’t matter when it is released, the important thing is that Microsoft gets it right when they finally do release it.As much as I am an Apple supporter, I think it is vital for the industry that there be competition, and opt…

  36. So no shipping date yet. but he is using a beta copy.

    Wish I was using a beta copy too. I am using IE 7 and discovered a problem with Google Desktop, so maybe that could put me in the beta testing for vista. And maybe not.

    But I will wait, and wait, and wait until next year when Vista becomes available. Nothing like a new OS to play with and see programs breaks, and then you got to figure how to make them work again.

  37. So no shipping date yet. but he is using a beta copy.

    Wish I was using a beta copy too. I am using IE 7 and discovered a problem with Google Desktop, so maybe that could put me in the beta testing for vista. And maybe not.

    But I will wait, and wait, and wait until next year when Vista becomes available. Nothing like a new OS to play with and see programs breaks, and then you got to figure how to make them work again.

  38. Vinnie: “sounds like a great question for a prediction market”

    According to the April issue of Business 2.0, Microsoft has been using prediction markets.
    Link to article:
    http://snipurl.com/pzwj
    Daniel Ling, chief of Microsoft Research, said that it’s something the company “continues to explore.”

    Scoble could create his own prediction market by collecting best guesses from his readership. How about it Robert?

  39. Vinnie: “sounds like a great question for a prediction market”

    According to the April issue of Business 2.0, Microsoft has been using prediction markets.
    Link to article:
    http://snipurl.com/pzwj
    Daniel Ling, chief of Microsoft Research, said that it’s something the company “continues to explore.”

    Scoble could create his own prediction market by collecting best guesses from his readership. How about it Robert?

  40. Question. When Vista slips into a mid 2007 / 2008 timeframe, do all the suckers who signed up for “Software Assurance” get their money back?

  41. Question. When Vista slips into a mid 2007 / 2008 timeframe, do all the suckers who signed up for “Software Assurance” get their money back?

  42. The local time in India is called “Indian Standard Time”, but for some weird reason xp thinks that it is “India Standard Time”. Can you do something?

    Jay, from Bangalore

  43. The local time in India is called “Indian Standard Time”, but for some weird reason xp thinks that it is “India Standard Time”. Can you do something?

    Jay, from Bangalore

  44. “Allow me to buy (or download) beta copies earlier. That way I don’t have to wait for the final version.”

    Don’t worry. The final version will be beta quality.

  45. “Allow me to buy (or download) beta copies earlier. That way I don’t have to wait for the final version.”

    Don’t worry. The final version will be beta quality.

  46. “Would you rather have a Microsoft Vista that works and is late or one that arrives tomorrow and has glitches in it?”

    Or how about c) none of the above?

  47. “Would you rather have a Microsoft Vista that works and is late or one that arrives tomorrow and has glitches in it?”

    Or how about c) none of the above?

  48. True that Apple also misses the shipping dates.

    The only difference is MS is quite transparent to community through blogs, channel 9, msdn events and communities. So every tom dick and harry hears bout beta releases, shipping dates, scrapped features etc. etc.

    Apple talks ’bout a product once it is released. So no one gets to know what actually went behind it.

    In no way, we wud want MS to turn that way… I enjoyed the whidbey days and learning winFX while still in beta.

    Abby
    http://www.baxiabhishek.info

  49. True that Apple also misses the shipping dates.

    The only difference is MS is quite transparent to community through blogs, channel 9, msdn events and communities. So every tom dick and harry hears bout beta releases, shipping dates, scrapped features etc. etc.

    Apple talks ’bout a product once it is released. So no one gets to know what actually went behind it.

    In no way, we wud want MS to turn that way… I enjoyed the whidbey days and learning winFX while still in beta.

    Abby
    http://www.baxiabhishek.info

  50. “The only difference is MS is quite transparent to community through blogs, channel 9, msdn events and communities.”

    Translation: MS’ marketing team works harder than their developer / management team?

    P.S.: See the “website” field in the comments form? That’s where any links to your blog-spam go. Not in the message itself.

  51. “The only difference is MS is quite transparent to community through blogs, channel 9, msdn events and communities.”

    Translation: MS’ marketing team works harder than their developer / management team?

    P.S.: See the “website” field in the comments form? That’s where any links to your blog-spam go. Not in the message itself.

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