A couple of weeks Microsoft announced that Windows Vista would be further delayed. The oddity of this announcement was that it stated that enterprises and other volume customers would get the new OS in November while consumers wouldn't get it until January of '07. Many correctly observed that enterprises will be the last to deploy Vista due to testing and rollout plans and thus wondered why the schedule. I have yet to hear anyone give the reason I am pretty sure of. That reason is the Software Assurance plans that Microsoft got everyone to buy into a few years ago. If the product launches in '06 a whole lot of large customers will be happy because the upgrade fee will essentially be zero since they already paid for software assurance. If it slips to '07 a good portion of those customers will be upset since they will have gotten nothing for three (or more) years of software assurance that they paid for. As long as it is available in some form by December 31 2006 then those customers will get it under their software assurance plans and not feel royally ripped off.
Why Vista will ship this year to Enterprises and volume customers
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