Last week on Friday Microsoft promised that beta 1 for Windows Vista would be available by 3 August. On Wednesday the company started shipping the code a week too early.
Technically the software vendor didn't lie: the code will actually be available on 3 August. But why did Redmond decide to publish it this week?
The first reason that comes to mind is be PR. After missing numerous development deadlines for Windows Vista, it must have felt good to beat a deadline for once. If anything it could give a morale boost to the Microsoft developers who weren’t told about the pending PR stunt.
Another, more mundane reason, would be that the "software is ready when it's ready". It may sound weird, but this is a very common approach in open source projects where you never know what speed bumps you'll hit. Microsoft might have more control over the number of developers that work on the Vista code, it too faces unexpected difficulties. In this scenario the date of 3 August was merely a worst case scenario to have a buffer for any last minute snafus.
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