Microsoft has wrapped up the development of its forthcoming Windows Vista operating system and released the software to manufacturing.
The software will be in stores and on new consumer PCs on 30 January 2007, Microsoft has revealed.
"The development work is done. Now the process begins for PC manufacturers and software developers to finalise their products and applications," said Jim Allchin, co-president of Microsoft's Platform and Services Division, in a conference call.
Windows Vista will be available in 18 languages at launch, with an additional 18 languages set for release within 100 days.
The operating system will be unveiled to businesses on 30 November and released to volume licensing customers "on or before" that date.
Allchin claimed that security is at the top of the software's feature list. Windows Vista is the first Microsoft product to go through the company's Security Development Lifecycle unveiled in 2003.
The security programme included outside code and penetration testing which Allchin claimed was the "largest effort ever done".
"I hope that this operating system will be remembered for the huge progress that we've made with security," he said.
Windows Vista is expected to be bundled with new consumer PCs from the launch date. Industry analysts, meanwhile, have given conservative projections about adoption in the enterprise market.
Gartner predicted last year that enterprises will take at least a year to test all their applications and systems for Vista compatibility issues before they start rolling out the software on production systems.
But Allchin is bullish about the expected adoption rate for Vista, maintaining that adoption will be "fast and immediate".
Consumers and businesses buying new computers between now and Vista's launch on 30 January will be offered coupons that entitle them to a free or discounted upgrade, depending on the version of the operating system that ships with the new hardware.
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