As illustrated by the picture from my side yard, there's still a fence around the "vista". However, its getting closer to moving outside that fence. The Windows Team Blog announced the official release of Windows Vista RC1, including a reproduction of Platforms and Services Co-President Jim Allchin's announcement:
To the TechBeta community:The NYTimes' report, "Rush Testing Is Under Way for Microsoft's New System", put a bit of a negative spin on the release:
It’s official — Windows Vista RC1 is done!
We could not have achieved this milestone without your support. The quantity and quality of feedback and data we received from you has been essential to helping us progress. Thus we wanted you to be the first customers outside of Microsoft to get access to the bits. Next week, a broader set of technical customers will get them via MSDN and TechNet. But you’re the first! We wanted to get it into your hands asap so you can start giving us feedback right away.
You’ll notice a lot of improvements since Beta 2. We’ve made some UI adjustments, added more device drivers, and enhanced performance. We’re not done yet, however — quality will continue to improve. We’ll keep plugging away on application compatibility, as well as fit and finish, until RTM. If you are an ISV, RC1 is the build you should use for certifying your application.
The operating system is in great shape with RC1, but there’s still a lot of testing to do. You’ve come through for us so far, and I’m asking you to once again put the pedal to the metal and send us feedback. Windows Vista is going to touch hundreds of millions of lives all around the world. Thanks for everything you’re doing to help us give them the best experience possible.
By JOHN MARKOFF
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 1 — Microsoft rushed what may be the final test version of its Windows Vista operating system to more than a million testers on Friday, trying to meet deadlines for its long-delayed commercial release.
With pressure mounting to squeeze out final bugs, Microsoft asked testers to give Vista an urgent shakedown — even as they headed into a long holiday weekend.
Microsoft has said publicly that it is hoping to offer the program to corporate customers before the end of November and to the broader consumer market in January.
It will be the first new version of Windows in more than five years, an unusually long time between releases. But Microsoft executives have also repeatedly cautioned that until Vista meets performance and stability standards, the company will refrain from offering it commercially.
On Friday, several analysts said that the Microsoft program might end up slipping further from the November goal. Microsoft has recently been talking about an “end of the year” shipping goal for the corporate version of Vista, according to one analyst who was briefed on Thursday.
A company spokesman disputed the reports of further slippage, saying that the company was still aiming to meet the November and January goals.