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If yet another Windows release date falls by the wayside, would anyone care?

That’s the question that Microsoft watchers are asking, as Microsoft comes into the home stretch with its Windows Vista release.

Researchers with the Gartner Group issued a customer note on May 1, claiming that Microsoft will ship Windows Vista in the second calendar quarter of 2007, rather than in January, as Microsoft recently promised.

Premium versions of Vista could mean big bucks for Microsoft. Click here to read more.

Microsoft officials are denying Gartner’s report, claiming the company is still on track to deliver Vista to volume licensees in November and make the product available through all channels in January.

“We respectfully disagree with Gartner’s views around timing of the final delivery of Windows Vista,” said a Windows spokeswoman. “We remain on track to deliver Windows Vista Beta 2 in the second quarter and to deliver the final product to volume license customers in November 2006 and to other businesses and consumers in January 2007.”

More pressing than questions as to exactly when Microsoft will roll out Vista are others about the effect—if any—another delay would have on Microsoft’s various constituencies. Would consumers, business customers, PC makers, software vendors, channel partners or even Microsoft’s competitors actually be affected if Vista slips another quarter or more?

Read the full story on Microsoft Watch: Would Another Vista Delay Matter?