Bill Gates, Microsoft’s chairman, on Tuesday said there is an 80 percent chance that the software giant’s long-awaited—and often delayed—operating system, Windows Vista, will launch in January as the company previously stated, the Associated Press reports via the New York Post.
Gates told the news to a group of Microsoft software partners in Cape Town, South Africa, but he also specified that he wouldn’t hesitate to delay Vista’s release again, should beta testing find bugs or other necessary fixes, the AP reports.
“We got to get this absolutely right,” Gates said, according to the AP. “If the feedback from the beta test shows it is not ready for prime time, I’d be glad to delay it.”
Gates also said the Redmond, Wash.-based firm is investing between $8 million and $9 million in the development of Vista and its upcoming Office software suite, which Gates said could be ready in December, the AP reports.
Vista will feature beefed-up security measures, including a shift from simple passwords to visual identification technologies, as well as speech-recognition capabilities, Gates said, according to the AP.
On a separate note, Gates stressed the importance of the company’s recent and upcoming efforts to gain more market share in China, which he predicted will soon be the largest market for both Vista and Office, the AP reports.
Gates is in South Africa for a Microsoft-sponsored gathering of African leaders and others, including former President Bill Clinton, in which the participants will discuss how technology can improve living conditions and competitiveness throughout the continent, according to the AP. Gates is also visiting the country to check on initiatives in which his charity, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, contributes to, the AP reports.
Gates’ foundation works to improve health care throughout the world.
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