So, according to Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Vista's going to be on time after all. Businesses will get their hands on the OS in November, with the worldwide consumer rollout in January.

This is the same timetable Mr. Softy announced a while back, and I had a sneaking suspicion they'd hit the deadlines -- which is why I bought call options a couple months back.

As my colleague Rick Munarriz noted earlier today, this is good news for a host of businesses. I still attribute much of the general tech funk of the past summer to a sluggish upgrade cycle related to Vista-induced toe-tapping. Now I think businesses across the entire PC food chain, including AMD (NYSE:AMD), Micron (NYSE:MU), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), and end sellers like Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), will benefit from the boost.

But before Microsoft shareholders out there begin swaggering, or doing that jump-and-click-their-heels thing, they ought to take note. Yes, today's press release says that Vista will release in Europe and Korea on schedule. The issues in Korea -- reportedly about Media Player integration -- seem to be settled. But I wouldn't count out further headaches from those crazy Europeos, despite what Microsoft called "constructive dialogue."

Remember, security software outfits like Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) and McAfee (NYSE:MFE) recently went to Europe specifically to whine that Microsoft's attempts to make Windows security more robust were horning in on their racket. (My thoughts on the full-page ads in financial newspapers? Boo-friggity-hoo. This is like ibuprofen makers complaining that it's unfair if Nike creates a running shoe that keeps our knees from screaming at us following a 10-mile run.)

But there's a bigger lesson for investors in today's news: Don't believe the hype. Don't believe all those sunny stories, and don't accept unrelenting negativity, either.

I think Microsoft does some bone-headed things, but it is not wrong all the time. Yet last week, I continued to see articles like this one, trying to make the case that Microsoft's "release candidate" testing somehow proved that Vista was off schedule yet again.

Investors who listened to months of Microsoft-hating have given up some opportunities for serious gains from a company that's one of the world's largest and most reliable cash-generation machines. Sure, it may have been more popular to buy Google, but that doesn't mean it was the best way to make money this summer -- or in the future.

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At the time of publication, Seth Jayson was long Microsoft common and calls, but had no positions in any other company mentioned. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. See what he's Digging these days. Fool rules are here.