Reports yesterday only served to confirm our sister newspaper Client Server News story on Monday that Microsoft’s much-touted NT clustering software Wolfpack has slipped its April revised shipment date and may not actually see the light of day until the third quarter. A second beta, replacing one that became available over Christmas, is due in a few weeks, the paper is saying. A story in Computer Reseller News adds that Microsoft executives have been quietly telling several PC companies involved in the effort that the June shipment date is inoperative. Wolfpack was originally due for the first quarter, for which substitute summer, is the consensus. The question as to whether this is simply Microsoft standard operating procedure – delay product for as long as bearable to forestall competitive retaliation, then pass the slip off as due to a renewed (and wholly Motherhood) commitment to quality control – or something else is unanswered. However, CSN suggests this is a symptom of underlying softness in the whole NT clustering movement. Secret work is underway to define a SAN (strategic area network, an acronym we have to thank Tandem for apparently) to hold the thing all together, viz a mysterious gathering in Phoenix at the end of January of around 50 relevant companies. Another snag is a slip by Oracle, which should have had its Parallel Server for NT out now but which has now inked it for mid-to-late second quarter. Seems like the sheep are safe for a while longer, then.