Bug causes Microsoft to push Vista RTM to Nov. 8

The bug caused a crash that required a complete reinstall of the OS

PC manufacturers that expected to get their hands on the final version of Windows Vista today will have to wait a couple more weeks for the operating system, according to sources familiar with Microsoft Corp.'s plans.

Microsoft originally targeted today 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 hotfix.net.

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

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

A story in DigiTimes first reported the delay of Vista's release to manufacturing, citing Taiwanese PC makers.

"We aren't discussing a specific date in public for RTM, though we are in the final stages of development and we are on track for Vista's availability to businesses in November and general availability in January," said a Microsoft spokeswoman. She declined to comment on what timetables Microsoft has given to OEMs and other partners.

Vista's release to manufacturing isn't the only thing that Microsoft is keeping people waiting for. Consumers concerned about the change in Windows client licensing that will allow them to transfer a Vista license only once are still wondering what would happen if they switched out the motherboard and other components of a computer. Some power users who like to build 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 declined to comment on the issue, according to a representative from its public relations firm.

Computerworld's Eric Lai contributed to this report..

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon