Microsoft Ship Dates Falling Like Dominoes

ANALYSIS: It's not just Longhorn that's a long way off. Now the 'Yukon wave' is receding into 2005.

Its hard to get excited about yet another Microsoft slip date.

But the fact that both Yukon (the next version of SQL Server) and Whidbey (the next version of Visual Studio) are now looking like mid-2005 products is a big deal. Heres why:

Yukon and Whidbey are the crux of what Microsofts been calling since last year its "Yukon wave." Waves, in Microsoft parlance, are more than just individual products. They are entire interrelated families of products.

Consequently, when a wave recedes, it drags out to sea more than just a single product. Whidbey and Yukon are entwined like seaweed strands. When one drifts, so does the other. But other Microsoft (not to mention third-party) products that were set to take advantage of Yukons features—say, the various enterprise server products (such as BizTalk Server, Systems Management Server, etc.)—are now impacted, too.

Then theres the domino effect: When one wave prematurely recedes, the next one takes a hit by default. In this case, the wave set to follow Yukon is Longhorn. The Longhorn Windows releases already have been slipping. But if Yukon doesnt hit until 2005, can Longhorn possibly hit in 2006?

Maybe those rumors of Longhorn in 2007 that we started hearing a couple of weeks ago are more fact than fiction. If so, it wont be just Windows that is delayed. The rest of the Longhorn wave, which includes a new version of Visual Studio (code-named Orcas), a new version of Office (code-named Office 12) and other core Microsoft products, will be set back as well.


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