Microsoft has finally conceded that the release version of Memphis, the next version of Windows, will occur in 1998, not late this year as planned. Until this week, officials had hoped for a Christmas 1997 release. Even if the Memphis code is finalized before year's end, retailers and OEMs will not see it until early 1998.

"We are going to get Memphis out as quickly as we can toward the end of the year, but realistically we will get it out in the first quarter of 1998," said product manager Phil Holden.

Meanwhile, the next public release of Internet Explorer 4.0, which Microsoft is called a "preview release," is due next week. The previous release was called a "platform preview release" and it was meant only for developers, not end users. The new version is geared toward a much wider audience and it will support Channels, Java Package Management, and J/Direct, the new Java/Win32 API. Microsoft is still claiming that IE 4 will ship by summer's end