Redmond (WA) – Reuters is reporting this afternoon that Microsoft is confirming a discovery made by Microsoft Watch, the independent news service run by veteran journalist Mary Jo Foley, that certain details of product release scheduling for Windows Vista was indeed prematurely posted to its Web site, and has since been removed.
According to the information Foley saw, and posted a link to while it was available, Vista will be available in six North American editions, plus two extra editions for the European market, to comply with an EU antitrust directive to make versions available without Windows Media Player. There will be two home editions and two business-class editions (three each for Europe), plus a “Starter Edition” probably for pre-installation, and an “Ultimate Edition” which will probably be marketed toward the top tier of the company’s forthcoming WSPR scale. A Microsoft spokesperson told Reuters (curiously, not Foley) that the information it had inadvertently posted was incomplete, and was “for testing purposes only.” If the company was testing the sensitivity of certain intrepid journalists, it was successful.
There is general consensus among industry observers that Windows Vista build 5308 will be the company’s next Community Technology Preview, probably due to be released to exclusive testers tomorrow.