The Vista RC1 build is solid and speedy, although there are still plenty of issues with it. But no matter what, it will ship on time — Paul Thurrott points out a clever way for Microsoft to ship Vista, even if it’s not ready for prime time.
The timeline for Vista ship is this: Code finalizes on October 27, and Windows Vista Enterprise edition ships as a volume-license version by the end of November. Then at the end of January, 2007, Vista ships on new PCs, and is available via retail.
What about all the driver issues, hardware glitches, software incompatibilities, and related problems most likely to still be around on October 27?
No problem. Because Vista isn’t due until January, Microsoft can work on fixes for several more months. Then when someone fires up Vista in January, those fixes will auto-update directly into the OS.
In Thurrott’s words, “This is the software equivalent of pulling a plane away from the gate at an airport and then claiming an on-time departure: It feels deceptive, but it gets the job done.”
Don’t be surprised if this is exactly what happens.