Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer hedged his bets, saying that Windows Vista could be delayed beyond that January ship date stated by the company earlier. Ballmer said at a news conference in Tokyo today:
"We think we are on track for shipping early in the year. We've talked about the month, but we get a chance to critically assess all of the feedback we'll get from this beta release then confirm or move [the launch date] a few weeks. ... The other thing, frankly, which we are discussing with NEC and other hardware partners is when would they really like it — early January, late January, February — so it depends on when the next roll-over, the next turn of the machine cycle will be and that would be the best time to ship it based on beta feedback."Microsoft launched beta 2 of Windows Vista yesterday, and this was the time analysts at the Gartner Group said we would find out what's really going on with the new Microsoft operating system. They predicted earlier this month that the release could be shifted into the second quarter of next year.