[FoRK] Visto = Toasto

Ian Andrew Bell (FoRK) < fork at ianbell.com > on > Wed Mar 22 11:21:44 PST 2006

The real losers are the PC Manufacturers.  5 consecutive holiday  
seasons without a new OS?  Are you kidding?  Say goodbye to the  
consumer market ... IF somebody steps up to the plate and delivers an  

Steve Jobs should be phoning them right about now to offer them OS  
X.  Does he get it?



Microsoft Shares Slip 3 Percent on Delays

By ALLISON LINN, AP Business Writer1 hour, 35 minutes ago

Shares of Microsoft Corp. fell Wednesday after the software maker  
delayed the consumer release of its new operating system until  
January 2007, after the holiday shopping season.

Shares of Microsoft dropped 76 cents, or almost 3 percent, to $26.98  
in early trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

The Redmond, Wash.-based company made the announcement about its new  
system, dubbed Vista, after financial markets closed on Tuesday.  
Analysts said the delay would hurt computer makers and retailers most  
of all, since they were likely looking forward to a new operating  
system to boost holiday sales.

"It's a much bigger deal for the computer makers than it is for  
anybody else," said David Smith, a vice president with Gartner Inc.

Windows Vista is Microsoft's first major update to the company's  
flagship operating system since Windows XP was released in late 2001,  
meaning partners will be left with a fifth major holiday season  
without a new version of the operating system to promote sales.

"It's not the optimal situation, to be launching the next-generation  
version of Windows right after the big holiday sales season," said  
analyst Joe Wilcox with Jupiter Research.

A spokesman for Dell Inc. declined to comment on how the delay might  
affect sales. Shares of Dell fell 25 cents to $30.02 in early Nasdaq  
trading. In a statement released by Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard Co.  
said it supported Microsoft's decision to make "quality" a priority  
in scheduling the operating system's release. Shares of HP fell 54  
cents, or 1.6 percent, to $33 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Microsoft will release some versions of the new operating system for  
big businesses in November as planned, but the consumer version will  
be postponed until January, said Jim Allchin, co-president of the  
Microsoft division that includes Windows.

Wilcox said releasing the system in November to businesses would  
likely help Microsoft — since its business sales are highly  
profitable — while the delay in the consumer release would be most  
harmful to its partners.

"You can play semantics and say that the operating system is shipping  
in 2006, but if consumers can't buy it until 2007, PC manufacturers  
don't have it to sell to them," Wilcox said. "This blow falls on the  

Allchin said the decision to delay the Vista release came after  
Microsoft realized that Vista would be completed several weeks later  
than originally planned, largely because of efforts to improve  
security in the new system. Microsoft's Windows operating system has  
been an immensely popular target of Internet attackers, leading to a  
major companywide initiative to improve security in all its products.

That delay was enough for some retailers, computer makers and other  
corporate partners to say they would have trouble preparing for the  
holiday season. Allchin said troubling factors included the time it  
takes to literally get computers from overseas manufacturers onto  
store shelves.

"The fact is that we wanted everybody in the industry to be ready for  
this," Allchin told journalists and analysts in a conference call.

In an interview, Allchin said he suspects some computer makers may  
give consumers who buy a new PC during the holidays a way to easily  
upgrade once Vista becomes available. But he said he couldn't predict  
how the delay might affect holiday season computer sales.

Analyst Matt Rosoff with independent research firm Directions on  
Microsoft said he suspects computer makers are likely displeased with  
the situation, but with Microsoft's strangle hold on the operating  
system market they have little control over it.

"Certainly PC makers aren't going to be happy about it, but I don't  
know exactly what they're going to do. They'll wait," he said.  
"There's not a whole lot of choice at this point."

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