REDMOND, Wash. — March 21, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. today confirmed that Windows Vista™, the next generation of the Windows® client operating system, is on target to go into broad consumer beta to approximately 2 million users in the second quarter of 2006. Microsoft is on track to complete the product this year, with business availability in November 2006 and broad consumer availability in January 2007.
Windows Vista will deliver great value to businesses by seamlessly connecting people to information, enabling increased mobile and remote productivity, significantly reducing deployment and support costs, and providing a more secure and compliant desktop platform. For consumers, Windows Vista will bring clarity to the world of personal computing, enabling people to more safely and easily accomplish everyday tasks, instantly find what they want, enjoy the latest in entertainment, and stay connected at home or on the go.
More than half a million customers have received the latest community technology preview for Windows Vista, and have been providing consistent and positive feedback.
“Product quality and a great out-of-box experience have been two of our key drivers for Windows Vista, and we are on track to deliver on both,” said Jim Allchin, co-president for the Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft. “But the industry requires greater lead time to deliver Windows Vista on new PCs during holiday. We must optimize for the industry, so we’ve decided to separate business and consumer availability.”
Because of the way businesses test and deploy software, it makes sense for Microsoft volume licensing customers to receive windows Windows Vista starting in November of this year. Availability for consumers and on new PCs will follow in January.
“We strongly support Microsoft’s decision to prioritize quality in determining the schedule for Windows Vista,” said Todd Bradley, executive vice president of the Personal Systems Group at Hewlett Packard. “A January launch of Windows Vista allows us to execute in a consistent way throughout the holidays, and will provide the right opportunity for a large, exciting launch industrywide after the New Year.”
Said Ron Boire, executive vice president and general merchandising manager at Best Buy, “When people come to our stores to buy a new PC or new software for their PC, we want to be able to offer them a broad set of choices, immediate availability and a great retail experience. We agree with Microsoft that it’s best to do this right — and in this case it’s delivering Windows Vista-based PCs with confidence in January 2007.”