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Gartner: Don't Expect Vista Until 2Q 2007

Research firm Gartner Inc. on Tuesday said it doesn't expect Vista, the next major upgrade of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system, to be generally available until the second quarter of next year.

The projection is several months later than the software maker's plans to have all versions of Vista available in January. But in analyzing the development timeline for other versions of Windows, Gartner believes Vista won't be widely available until nine to 12 months after the Beta 2 version, which the analyst firm expects in late May or early June.

"Microsoft's track record is clear," Gartner said in a research note. "It consistently misses target dates for major operating system releases. We don't expect broad availability of Windows Vista until at least 2Q '07."

There are several reasons behind Gartner's projections. First of all, the firm believes compatibility with applications running on older versions of Windows will be a problem because of a prominent security feature in Vista called User Access Control. UAC gives companies more control over PCs in the workplace.

Also, since Microsoft acknowledged in March it would miss the holiday shopping season, the urgency to get Vista on PCs has been greatly reduced. Gartner, however, believes Microsoft will be under pressure to get the OS out before the end of its fiscal year in June.

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