Friday, March 24, 2006

Windows Vista Shipment Delays

Microsoft in its latest release with respect to the Windows Vista has said that the business availability for the product would happen by November 2006 but the broad consumer availability has been postponed to early 2007. This is a major setback to the plans of Microsoft and its associate partners in the launch of Vista. It seems that the OS would go for broad consumer beta to approximately 2 million users in second quarter of 2006.

Analysts say it’s a smart move, given the products' importance and longevity — but disappointing and harmful to PC manufacturers, Intel, and retailers expecting a Q4 lift in PC sales. However, Intel gets an unexpected bonus: the opportunity to make Viiv the digital home brand that matters in 2006.

Microsoft has said that VISTA needs more fine-tuning, especially on security features – a core selling point of the new OS and it said that most of its partners said that the launch should wait till 2007. Given Windows' history as buggy and unsecured, it's just plain smart to delay the release rather than ship a flawed product. However, five years and counting between operating system releases and a steadily diminishing feature list does make Microsoft look a bit foolish. Ongoing sales of Windows XP, and the fact that Microsoft's fiscal year ends in June rather than December, protect the company financially.

Most of the PC retailers and companies like Dell, HP, Intel are real losers in all this. As the consumer spending peaks around the holiday season when the initial launch of Vista was planned. It will so happen that consumers wont be able to buy Vista powered PC and this will hamper the sales considerably. It is suggested that consumers be promised to buy the PC in the holiday season with a Vista upgrade coupon attached to the purchase. But a large administrative cost could have been avoided if the release would have happened at the scheduled time.

Since the launch is delayed Intel has a big opportunity to showcase their new technology VIIV as the centerpiece of the digital home, outcasting Vista. Launch of Vista with VIIV was considered to be a dual branding strategy by the market leaders. But then Intel will have a good opportunity to leverage on an early launch and make an impressive start before Vista comes into the market.

For the unknown, VIIV is Intel's new platform designed for the enjoyment of digital entertainment—Intel® Viiv™ technology—delivers the multitasking power of a dual-core processor and enables sleek new designs that fit your lifestyle.Key components of the VIIV technology are Intel Dual Core 64 bit processor, Advanced Chipset, and Microsoft Windows Media Center Edition.

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