Jack Writes: Microsoft has begun warming up its marketing machine with information bits and pieces about its Windows Vista operating system. The public this week learned about the different version of the operating system while product partners apparently have received a time frame for the launch of the software, TG Daily has learned. According to sources, Microsoft will introduce Vista between in the week of 2 October.
The Vista timeline indicates that the February beta of Vista concludes the beta phase for the operating system. Microsoft will continue on its roadmap with two release candidates RC0 and RC1, which are due in the week of April 10 and June 26, respectively. Microsoft is confident that it can prepare Vista within eight weeks of the release of RC1 for mass production: A release to manufacturing (RTM) is scheduled for the week of 14 August.
Microsoft apparently will miss some expectations of a third quarter release of Windows Vista. Sources told TG Daily that Microsoft is aiming for a global rollout in the first week of October (2 - 6 October). At launch date, Microsoft will also introduce DirectX9L (formerly named Windows Graphics Framework 1.0), the Vista upgrade for the multimedia driver, as well as DirectX 10 (WGF 2.0) and the Media Center Edition (MCE) of Vista. An update for DirectX (v10.1) will be released in the second half of 2007.
The server variant of Vista will follow slightly behind the client software, with RC0 and RC1 currently indicated to be available in the second half of 2006, while RTM is scheduled for the first quarter of 2007. Users of Windows XP will see one more Service Pack (SP3) in December of this year.
Microsoft yesterday announced that there will be a total of six Vista versions: Microsoft will launch two core versions of the operating system for home users, and two core versions for business users. The product line will be capped off by a new low-cost Starter edition at the bottom tier and an Ultimate edition at the top tier, which will bundle together all features built into the upper-level home and professional classes.