March 21, 2006 5:05 PM PST
Vista delay could sting PC makers
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graphics system....It is not as attractive to buy a consumer upgrade for that in, let's say, 12 months, because it won't have the graphics acceleration to take advantage of Vista."
Microsoft would not say if it had any plans to help cushion the blow, say by offering Vista upgrades to those who buy PCs this year.
"We'll provide more later," Allchin said. "More details."
In the mix
Attendees at the Mix '06 Web developer conference expressed surprise that Microsoft pushed the date out for Windows Vista.
Microsoft partner BT, for example, was planning on starting to create prototype applications using Windows Vista for its clients in the late summer. Now that plan has to be pushed back, said Steve Konya, project director at the British telecommunications company.
"I am surprised. Particularly with the stuff they're showing here, which is real impressive, people got really excited with what can be done, and it made me think it was close to being here," Konya said.
Others said that with the delays Microsoft has already had with Vista, one more change to the schedule is perhaps not unexpected.
Randy McClure, development engineer at consulting firm Telligent, said his company uses Web-based desktop systems, so the delay won't affect it significantly. But he said he was disappointed.
"It's a little disconcerting. But better that they have it right than they rush it," said McClure. "That's always the problem with these guys--if they're late, we beat them up over it."
Though the delay is a big deal for consumers, Gartner analyst Michael Silver said a slight push-back should not affect businesses, which are likely to take their time moving to the new OS.
"For most enterprises, it will take them 18 months for testing and planning before they can start deploying Windows Vista anyway, so this delay won't affect their plans all that much," Silver said in an e-mail.
Ironically, under Microsoft's new plan, businesses will get access to the code this year, while consumers will have to wait.
Silver said he doesn't think many businesses will start to look at alternatives, but Linux sellers will certainly try and use the delay as a marketing opportunity.
"Novell is showing a beta of their new desktop Linux OS at BrainShare this week," Silver said. "It has some of Vista's look and will now beat Windows Vista out the door."
CNET News.com's Joris Evers, Ina Fried, Tom Krazit and Martin LaMonica contributed to this report.
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