We're not sure how much we trust the "Microsoft insider" that apparently spoke to Australia's Smarthome
News, but the site claims that the source told them that up to 60% of the oft-delayed Windows Vista's code will
have to be rewritten over the next several months. Additionally, the company has apparently pulled developers from the
Xbox team in order to meet an internal deadline to launch the operating system at next year's CES in early January.
Smarthome also claims that Microsoft will also offer Media Center as an "optional package" with Vista, though
we suspect that this isn't a new development, but rather refers to the Vista Home Premium version of
the program, which will include Media Center and other goodies. We certainly hope that Smarthome's source is wrong
about the 60% rewrite; although Microsoft has reorganized its Vista team, bringing in Steven Sinofsky from the Office
group, rewriting that much code would take a lot longer than the nine months between now and CES (unless they're
talking about CES 2009, that is). Then again, the company could always hire narf and blanka; they seem to work pretty quickly, and certainly know
their way around Windows.
Update: Microsoft's Robert Scoble has checked in with the company's PR people, and says that the Smarthome article is "hogwash." Microsoft's PR agency, according to Scoble, says the article is "absolutely not true," and that, in addition to Vista not requiring a major rewrite, none of the Xbox developers are moving over to the Vista team. Separately, Microsoft said that, although the next version of Office will be done in October, and will be made available to corporate customers before the end of the year, retail versions will ship in January to coincide with the Vista release.