According to ZD news, Microsoft has slipped Vista Beta 2 well into 2006. Additionally, having issued just one CTP (and having cancelled a 2nd allegedly due to poor quality) MS is apparently chopping the CTPs totally. I find this a shame as CTPs were a good idea to show progress.
At the same time, MS is still sticking to their plans for Vista's RTM by next summer. Details on how they will achieve this remain unclear. Earlier rumours were that a RC would be skipped but I've see nothing to indicate that this is actually the case.
In MSF, we have what some refer to as the iron triangle - this balances features, timescales and cost. Given the current schedule slips, the iron triangle suggests that if you want to keep to timescales, you have to either drop features or increase costs. MS seem to be trying to keep timescales, reduce cost (or not increas it) yet still keep all the features. Something has to give.
By slipping B2 to the new year, MS is putting real pressure on the team to hold end-dates. And without either removing more features, I can't see how they can do it. I don't see how putting more resources in now would do any good. The only alternative is to ship a buggy product, which would be a great plan.
We live in interesting times.