You have to give credit to Microsoft’s spin-meisters. They’ve managed to find all sorts of reasons why their two flagship products, Vista and Office 2007, must be delayed, or features shed. I can’t begin to tally the excuses, but perhaps the most creative person on Microsoft’s corporate communications staff ought to volunteer to become the next White House press secretary. In any case, as you recall, Office 2007’s release was first postponed to coincide with the updated release timetable for Vista. Now it has been delayed yet again for alleged performance improvements, which means that, in the real world, the beta isn’t going all that well. The same might be said for Vista beta 2, where drivers are still troublesome, among other things. Of course, the situation with Office 2007 now gives Microsoft yet another excuse to synchronize the timelines and postpone Vista too. But there is yet another reason why more delays might come. Microsoft claims to have some 300 employees assigned to produce documentation about its operating system for its rivals as required by European Commission regulators. As of now, the remaining parts of that material are going to be a little late, apparently, which gives Microsoft even more reasons to delay its products. I have to wonder, though, just how messed up Windows must be if it requires months of labor by all those employees to figure things out and explain it to outsiders.
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