Clarity on Windows Vista Milestones
In the ever-changing release schedule for Windows Vista, nothing stays constant. But according to internal Microsoft documentation, the following dates are correct for the next several major milestones in the product. Currently, Microsoft plans to ship the feature-complete internal build on January 31, 2006, and then ship a near-feature-complete Community Technology Preview (CTP) build to testers on February 17. (To date, more than 50 product teams have submitted code for the feature-complete builds.) Windows Vista Beta 2 is due on April 12, followed by a release candidate (RC) build in July and release to manufacturing (RTM) in August. Assuming this last date is met, the general release of the product will occur in October.
About that XP SP3 Confusion
It seems like every time I go away, some Microsoft release jumps up to bedevil me when I can't get online easily and figure out what's going on. This week, it wasn't a release per se but the delay of the Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) release. Microsoft didn't announce the delay, it just updated a service pack life cycle page on its Web site. What's curious is that after various Web sites began posting information about the delay, Microsoft's Web page was temporarily changed to remove the XP SP3 references. This happened while I was on an airplane, of course, but by the time I got online, the correct page had been put back on the site. Fun, fun, fun. Anyway, I wish Microsoft would just fess up to the delay: The company is now claiming that no one ever promised XP SP3 before Windows Vista, but in reality a 3-year break between SP2 (which shipped in 2004) and SP3 (now due in late 2007) is unprecedented, especially when you consider today's security climate. I hope Microsoft gets the message that such long delays are unacceptable, because they are. In fact, XP SP3 should have shipped last year. What ever happened to predictability?
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