How Have Vista's Release Dates Changed In 1 YearVista RC1 is now due in two weeks but I am a little skeptical of whether they will be able to make it. Earlier today I wrote that it might even be better if Microsoft pushed the release of vista back a couple weeks and used the time to release a Beta 3 to the public. At this point Microsoft will probably do just about anything to avoid another delay.

Well, I was browsing the Web and came across an article that Paul Thurrott wrote a year ago about Vista’s milestone release dates. We all know that Vista has slipped considerably but how have the dates changed in the past year? Check it out:

Despite rumors to the contrary, but in keeping with the schedule I first published on the SuperSite for Windows months ago, Microsoft is planning to ship Windows Vista Beta 2 in late 2005, not in early 2006. According to internal documentation I recently reviewed, Vista Beta 2 is scheduled to be “feature complete” by September 29, 2005. Then, Vista Beta 2 will enter lockdown mode between October and November 9, 2005. After that date, Beta 2 will be in escrow. Microsoft now plans to ship Windows Vista Beta 2 on December 7, 2005, about three weeks later than the last schedule I obtained.

What about post-Beta 2? According to a second set of documentation I viewed Monday, Microsoft will ship Windows Vista Release Candidate 0 (RC0) on April 19, 2006, and Windows Vista RC1 on June 28, 2006. Microsoft currently plans to release Windows Vista to manufacturing on August 9, 2006, and make the product broadly available by November 15, 2006.

So it looks like Microsoft delayed Beta 2 by about 6 months and there is no Vista RC0 that I have heard of. They are jumping straight to RC1…probably in hopes to catch up a little.