Microsoft is citing customer concerns about product stability and internal dependencies on Whidbey as the primary drivers for the project delays in the Yukon release. The software is now projected to release in the second half of 2004. I'm the last person that would criticize Microsoft for delaying the schedule to ensure that the product is reliable, however I take exception with their claim that customer concern is a factor. If customers were not voicing their concerns over product stability, how would Microsoft do anything differently? The nature of the product, being a database server, is that is must be reliable and secure. I think this is Microsoft's way of responding to perception that they release "beta" quality software without sufficient testing and allow the customers to discover the issues.
In my opinion the Whidbey dependence is the primary driver for the scheduling delays, although without inside knowledge of the product development initiative it is probably not possible to understand the complexities. Microsoft is probably better off citing the new Yukon features and the Whidbey dependencies rather than "customer concerns" over reliability. Security and reliability concerns need to be Microsoft's concerns, not the customer's.