Here we go again: The topsy-turvy, crazy release schedule tradition continues at Microsoft as the company announced today that it is delaying the release of Windows 98--yet again--this time until mid-1998. The delay will help Microsoft cobble together a Windows 3.1-to-98 migration plan, an idea the company stumbled upon only recently. The original plan was for Microsoft to release a 3.1-to-98 migration kit 90 days after the Windows 98 launch.

"Feedback from our channel and from our corporate customers indicated that they wanted only one release with migration support for both operating systems \[Windows 95 and 3.1\] in it," said Phil Holder, a Microsoft product manager. "We have had to make some tradeoffs and felt we had to do the right thing for our customers."

Likewise, the "Platform Preview Edition" of Windows 98 (previously known as "Beta 3") has been delayed as well, and is now expected in November. In each major beta release, the number of testers has risen sharply. Beta 1 had 10,000 testers; Beta 2 has 15,000. The Platform Preview Edition (Beta 3) will have over 20,000 testers