The availability of the Windows Vista OS has been pushed back to next year, Microsoft Co-President of the Platform and Services Division Jim Allchin announced Tuesday.
However, the company plans to release Vista to business partners through its volume licensing program in November 2006.
Mr Allchin said on Tuesday that Microsoft wanted to give customers a firm date for when the company could deliver Vista broadly, and so decided to push back the release to January of next year.
The delay in the release of Vista was expected. Microsoft revealed last January that the company would delay the launch of the new OS in case it did not reach a standard of quality.
Microsoft still plans to release to manufacturing all of Vista's core editions, of which there are six, at the same time in November. But PCs with the consumer versions pre-installed will not be for sale until January.
The consumer editions of Vista are Windows Vista Starter, Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Ultimate. The business editions are Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Enterprise, and they will be available through volume licensing in November.
According to microsoft, the reason for Vista's delay is a quality issue and that it was something partners requested.
Microsoft plans to release another Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Vista by the end of June, a completion of the Beta 2 process of the OS.
Microsoft also said that Vista's delay does not affect the release of Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP in the second half of the year. IE 7 will ship as a feature of Vista, and Microsoft had said the version of IE 7 for XP was to be released at the same time as the OS.