Microsoft Hits Vista RC1

 
 
By Mary Jo  |  Posted 2006-09-01 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Microsoft's Windows Vista Release Candidate (RC) 1 is done. Now it's up to the estimated 6 million testers to which the company is planning to release the code to determine if it really is ready for prime time.

Microsoft has posted the RC 1 build, Number 5600, on its TechBeta Web sites for select technical beta testers, including Technology Adoption Program (TAP) partners, on September 1.

Microsoft is planning to broaden the beta to include up to six million participants, total, some time next week, according to industry sources.

Vista Beta 2 went to more than two million testers. Microsoft officials, contacted on September 1, declined to confirm the six million figure.

RC1 is expected by testers to bear a strong resemblance to Vista Build 5536, the pre-RC-1 build that Microsoft distributed to testers one week ago.

Microsoft Platforms and Services Co-President Jim Allchin announced the availability of RC1 to testers by posting notes to the TechBeta and Windows Vista Team Blog sites.

"As per usual, we're initially rolling out the code to the TechBeta and TAP programs alone, while MSDN and TechNet subscribers will be offered access next week," Allchin said.

Microsoft has asked RC1 testers to install the new RC1 build immediately in order to get feedback more quickly to Microsoft. Microsoft is trying to finalize the Vista code by October, in order to release it to manufacturing and make it available to its volume licensees by November 2006.

Microsoft is still endeavoring to launch Vista and Office 2007 in tandem. Earlier this week, Amazon.com posted the availability dates of both Vista and Office 2007 as January 30, 2007. Microsoft officials declined to comment as to whether January 30 is, indeed, the official launch date for the products.

"As per usual, we're initially rolling out the code to the TechBeta and TAP programs alone, while MSDN and TechNet subscribers will be offered access next week," Allchin said.

"There are only 68 days between now and the last day of October, which I arbitrarily use as the last date they can RTM (release to manufacturing) and still get the bits to volume license customers by end of November, which I believe is the last date possible to make their promise," said Michael Cherry, a senior analyst with Directions on Microsoft, based in Kirkland, Wash.

"Based on the build count, they are still building daily. Stability is coming. Performance is improving. But the clock is ticking," Cherry continued. ""I am not really confident about their making the ship date. (And I) don't really think I am changing my estimates based on this—I think they will RTM in the first quarter of 2007 with general availability 90 days post RTM. That is as close as I could get based on what I am seeing."

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