Microsoft: Vista RTM a Significant Milestone

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-11-08 Print this article Print

Now that the operating system code has finally gone gold, it is up to software developers and PC and device manufacturers to finalize the work on their products and applications, company executives say.

The code for Windows Vista has finally been released to manufacturing, Jim Allchin, co-president of Microsofts platforms and services division, announced in a media teleconference on Nov. 8.

The team had signed off on the final code at around 10 a.m. PST on Nov. 8, Allchin said, adding that "this is an incredible, happy day; its exciting for us. Vista is rock solid and we are ready to ship. This is a significant milestone for Microsoft and our partners."
"The RTM [release to manufacturing] signifies the next phase for Windows Vista. Our development work is done and now the progress begins for the PC and device manufacturers and software developers to finalize the work on their products and applications," he said.
While Microsoft has made some big claims about Vista, Allchin said he truly believes the company would deliver them. Vista also brings a number of firsts with it: the first time that a broad array of customer SKUs, all targeted at different customer segments, will be available on a single DVD image, which is a "significant accomplishment," Allchin claimed. Click here to read more about Microsofts program to let customers who buy a PC over the holidays upgrade to Vista. This is also the first time that Microsoft has been able to release five languages simultaneously at RTM time, two more than it has been able to do before. "The French, Spanish and Japanese versions were, in fact, signed off before English, which is another first," Allchin said. "The product will be available in 18 languages by the January release time. We will ship 36 languages within 100 days of the U.S. English RTM, and when we are done we will have basically 100 languages, which is an amazing accomplishment." To read more about whats inside the six Windows Vista releases, click here. Windows Vista supports more hardware than any other version, with hundreds of OEMs and thousands of system builder partners who will all install Vista. Microsoft expects about 50 percent more device driver coverage at RTM than Windows XP had, with thousands more coming through Windows Update. "So, big claims and I think we are delivering on them," Allchin said, adding that, from a quality perspective, Microsoft thinks about the product in three different categories: performance, reliability and security. With regard to performance, Vista has a number of new technologies, from SuperFetch to ReadyBoost and ReadyDrive, innovations that the company claims will keep peoples machines performing well over time, with their systems continuing to run better. The focus on power management and "sleep" optimizations not only save power and money, but give users the quick "on" and "off" experience they have been wanting for years, Allchin said. Analyst firm Gartner has said Vista will run on just about any PC available today, but it will only show its true colors on about half of them. Click here to read more. There was also "no question" that Vista was the most reliable system Microsoft had ever shipped, having undergone more testing than any product or operating system ever shipped by the company, he said. There have been some 16 technical previews since beta one, with millions of downloads of the pre-release versions of the product. There are also more than 60,000 machines inside Microsoft running Vista, which was more than at any other Windows RTM time. Next Page: Vista customers will be safer.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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