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Vista On Schedule, Says Wall Street

Windows Vista looks like it's on track for release to businesses next month, an influential Wall Street analyst with a long history of closely tracking Microsoft Corp., said Thursday.

Goldman Sachs analyst Rick Sherlund said in a note to clients that Microsoft may send the final preview version of Vista to testers later this week or early next, giving credence to the developer's promise to ship the new operating system to business customers in November and roll it out on retail PCs in January 2007.

According to articles by the Associated Press and Reuters news services, Sherlund told clients that "The [Vista] team seems to be making great progress in addressing issues of performance, reliability and compatibility."

Rumors of an imminent update to Vista have been making the rounds for nearly a week, with some Windows enthusiast sites pegging Friday as the likely roll-out of what may be dubbed "RC2," for Release Candidate 2. Previously, Microsoft said that RC1 would be the one-and-only release candidate build, but that position may have weakened.

The ActiveWin Web site on Wednesday posted a message it said had been temporarily posted to the official Vista "Get Ready" page on Microsoft's Web site. The message, which has been removed, read in part:

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