The outlook for Microsoft's next generation operating system, Windows Vista, is looking more optimistic following testing of the latest release candidate, RC1.

The Redmond Wash.-based company released a test-version of the Windows platform on a special website, allowing the company to collect feedback and isolate problems before its official release.

Software analyst at Goldman Sacs, Richard Sherlund, said that while his previous financial models have anticipated a delay for Vista shipment, he now says that a second delay is looking less likely.

Feedback on Vista RC1, has been positive overall,” he says. It might be closer to February or even late January if all were to go well over the next two and a half months. A delay is possible in Europe depending largely on the EC, but this is not likely material to our estimates.

Goldman upped their price target for Microsoft to $33 from $30.