There's no denying that Microsoft's decision to delay shipping Windows Vista until January 2007 will deal a blow to the PC industry. But the move could end up paying off on the PR front.
Shipping Vista in 2007 will cause PC vendors to miss out on the holiday shopping season. And more importantly, consumers will likely delay purchasing new systems – even if Microsoft offers free updates to recent purchasers (which it typically does).
Investors certainly paid attention. Microsoft announced the software delay after the major stock exchanges had closed. Shares of Dell this morning opened slightly lower (1 per cent) Gateway fell nearly 3 per cent and HP 2 per cent.
But Windows Vista not being the hottest item on this year's Christmas wish lists could be a blessing, eWeek's David Morgensterm speculated, because it will prevent a lot of clueless new Vista users flooding bulletin boards during their Christmas holidays complaining that the application sucks.
A January launch instead will create an early market of technology enthusiasts and slowly ramp up Vista computer sales over time. Much better on the helpdesks, and the negative PR.
Windows Vista gets 8 seconds to catch its breath - but that might be enough to make it win the fight.
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