Microsoft's announcement Thursday that Office 2007 would be delayed into "early 2007" rather than the earlier-promised January caused some analysts to wonder if the move presaged another postponement of Windows Vista.
Earlier this year, when Microsoft set the 2007 target as October 2006 (for corporations) and January 2007 (for all others), it had tied the launch of the suite with the release of Vista.
But the wording of the Microsoft Office 2007 delay announcement gives the company wiggle room if Vista does get pushed back, said Joe Wilcox, an analyst with JupiterResearch, on his blog Thursday. "Rather than reaffirm the previously planned January 2007 launch date, concurrent with Windows Vista, Microsoft's press statement says 'early 2007,'" said Wilcox. "And early 2007 could as easily be March as January, which, coincidentally (or not), is when I had been really expecting broad Windows Vista availability."
Wilcox isn't the only analyst to prognosticate a later ship date for Vista. In early May, several Gartner researchers pegged the real release date as the second quarter of 2007.
"I wouldn't go so far as say that today's announcement foreshadows additional delays for both products," Wilcox concluded. "But I would contend that Microsoft's public statement opens options other than January 2007, at least for Office."