Bug puts off Vista RTM to Nov 8

PC manufacturers that expected to get their hands on the final version of Windows Vista on Wednesday have to wait a couple more weeks for the OS, according to sources familiar with the company’s plans.

Microsoft Corp. originally targeted Wednesday for Vista’s release to manufacturing, but a last-minute bug that “took most of the Vista team by surprise,” caused an unexpected delay, said Ethan Allen, a quality assurance lead at a Seattle high-tech company that tests its products for Vista. Allen also oversees the website.

Allen said the Vista team discovered the bug, which “would totally crash the system, requiring a complete reinstall,” in Vista Build 5824 on Friday, Oct. 13. The team fixed the bug a week later in Vista Build 5840, he said, but it delayed the delivery of the OS to PC makers.

The team is now targeting a new date of Wednesday, Nov. 8, for Vista’s release to manufacturing, Allen said. He also said that the business release of Vista, which Microsoft recently said is track for release next month, “will barely make the end of November deadline.”

A story in DigiTimes Wednesday first reported the delay of Vista’s RTM, citing Taiwanese PC makers.

Microsoft’s public relations firm said Wednesday that the business release of Vista has not been delayed, and that the OS is still expected to be generally available in January 2007.

Vista’s RTM isn’t the only thing for which Microsoft is keeping people waiting. Consumers concerned about the change in Windows client licensing that will allow them to transfer a Vista license only once are still wondering what happens when they switch out the motherboard and other components of computers. Some power users, who like to build their own computers from scratch and rebuild PCs frequently, have wondered whether they will have to purchase a new Vista license every time they do this.

Microsoft is in no hurry to give them an answer. A week after users first raised the issue, Microsoft on Wednesday declined to comment on the issue, according to a representative from its public relations firm.

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