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Is It Really “News” When Microsoft Delays Office Again?

Seriously, isn’t this something we all come to expect? I guess this one hurts a bit more than usual, mostly because it means the “Microsoft Law” I noted earlier needs to be recalibrated a bit.

I know they’ve got to deal with analysts and others who insist on being told when the next release of Windows or Office is going to hit, but is Microsoft ever going to learn not to commit to a release month until they’re 100% sure it’s really going to happen?  After all, they always hedge their bets by saying things like “well, we’re on track for an October release, but we’ll delay it for quality purposes if necessary.” Just be honest and say “we hope to release it in October, but things could easily move to December or later, depending on how this next beta release goes.”

Some folks used to accuse Microsoft of pre-announcing and/or leaking release date information as a way to stunt the growth of a competitive product on the horizon. What? WordPerfect is coming out with a new version? Let’s hurry up and tell the world ours is coming soon too, only ours has these 17 extra features… Even if that was the reason behind some of these early announcements, what products are Microsoft feeling threatened by for Office 2007 and Vista? It used to be that “nobody got fired for choosing IBM.” That’s pretty much the case for Office and Windows today; in fact, making a switch to an Office/Windows alternative is often considered highly risky.

Dear Microsoft: Please stop letting the world kick you around for one delay after another. I respect the fact that each of these products has zillions of lines of source code, loads of interdependencies and has to run on every hardware combination known to man. Be more like Apple and others and don’t speculate so far in advance of the likely release date. Please?

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