Mar 22, 2006

Windows Vista Delay: Good News for Apple?

Delay could prompt holiday shoppers to check out Apple’s wares–and it might force PC vendors to offer incentives to keep customers from straying.

Source: PC World
Written by Yardena Arar

Microsoft’s decision to delay the consumer versions of Windows Vista until early 2007 could encourage some holiday computer buyers to get Macs instead, industry analysts say.

“This gives Apple the biggest competitive advantage they’ve had in history from Microsoft,” veteran technology consultant Rob Enderle, founder of the Enderle Group, said of the delay announced earlier Tuesday by Jim Allchin, co-president of Microsoft’s Platform and Services Division.

Allchin told a hastily convened teleconference that Microsoft would release volume-licensed versions of Vista by year’s end, as previously announced, but that consumer versions–including those preloaded on new PCs–would not be available until January 2007.

Allchin said that Microsoft was not worried about competition from Apple, but Enderle said that Microsoft may be underestimating Apple’s potential, especially since the company is expected to introduce some appealing new products in time for the holiday season.

“I don’t think anybody over there is really taking the Apple stuff seriously,” Enderle said. “That’s a mistake.”

IDC analyst Bob O’Donnell agreed that a Vista-less holiday season would benefit Apple. But he added, “You have to keep it in perspective. Even if they [Apple] gain a full percentage point of market share because of this, that still only moves them to three-and-a-half, four-and-a-half percent market share.”

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