Microsoft has confirmed "broad" availability for Windows Vista on January 30, with only business customers on volume contracts receiving product before hand.
Jim Allchin, co-president for platforms and services, today told press that Windows Vista is feature-complete and ready to ship. OEMs will get code in advance of Microsoft's official November 30 launch event in New York.
Responding to questioning from The Register, Allchin promised there would be no major differences or changes to code between copies of Windows Vista that businesses get now and versions that become broadly available in January.
According to Allchin, who announced he had signed off the Windows Vista code that morning, hardware and software partners have got 10 weeks to "fine tune drivers and application compatibility to make sure they are great on Vista.
"In terms of our DVD and what we give computer manufacturers and retailers... [Windows Vista] won't change. If features and drivers are missing they will go on Windows Update. Features in Windows Update let [new] features trickle down."
According to Allchin OEMs will use the next 10 weeks to "take bits, tailor it for their environments and round out any things if ISVs haven't done compatibility testing." he declared himself "super happy" with Windows Vista and claimed 50 per cent more device driver compatibility than Windows XP, saying Windows Vista would run more hardware and applications out of the box.
New features in quality, performance and reliability mean Windows Vista is "substantially more reliable than Windows XP," he added. Microsoft's Windows evangelist believes businesses will jump on Windows Vista because of updates to security.
Consumer demand, he claimed, would be "fast and immediate" especially among gamers. "We'll be hard pressed to find a machine that won't have Windows Vista available [after January 30]," he said. ®