Well, Microsoft's Windows Vista should today feel like the lagging runner in a race, where the guy leading the race two laps ahead, just took a stumble.
The blame is cryptically being put on shifting "key software engineering" resources on a rush campaign to ensure the delivery of the iPhone this June.
This will obviously be viewed as a disappointment as notable for Apple both in terms of it's customers and Wall Street, as the various delays on the Vista upgrade were for Microsoft.
And the silver lining for Apple users hopefully is that the get a much more robust new OS, with MATERIALLY new features over it's predecessor, than the customers of Microsoft Vista, where a lot of features and material improvements are missing months after launch.
But as Paul Kedrosky correctly puts it, all this reminds us that software is hard.
And Apple is not immune from gravity, even though expectations for it's products and services tend to be so much higher than it's peers. Their engineers put on their pants one leg at a time (or don skirts), just as Microsoft's do.
And while there will be much tea-leaf reading amongst Apple followers to figure out exactly why Leopard is delayed, and what the REAL reasons for the slip might be, the reality is that robust and material upgrades to the two consumer major operating computer operating systems today, won't be seen until the second half of the year.
It remains to be seen if Microsoft will ship it's much expected and needed Service Pack revisions to Vista by the second half. Certainly, they're confident of Vista enough to announce the end of OEM availability of Windows XP by the end of the calendar year.
But the yellow flag is out in the operating system race. All contestants have some breathing room. The race resumes in earnest in the fall, hopefully in time for the critical Holiday shipping season.
DISCLOSURE: I hold securities in both Microsoft and Apple.