Is Windows Vista out of sync?

All the years in the making might hurt more than help the adoption of Windows Vista, Microsoft Corp.'s next client operating system.

The release of the software giant's new operating system will be one of Microsoft's most important product launches this decade, when it goes live next year. But despite the product's myriad new features and functionality, current market trends could inhibit initial adoption of Vista, PC industry analysts say.

The two main levers Microsoft can use to spur sales—preloading the operating system on new PCs and offering it as a software upgrade—may be compromised to some extent by shrinking PC unit shipment growth rates, which are predicted to slow to single-digit levels in the latter half of this decade, analysts say.

"Our position is that there's no reason for it [Vista] to have a major impact," said Richard Shim, an analyst with IDC. "The days when the OS has the sort of impact that Windows 95 did when it came out are gone. When that happened it was a major change to the OS—just the navigation of it—now you look at Vista and, even for all of its bells and whistles, there's no one thing that people say, 'I have to have it for that.'"

News source: eWeek

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