Microsoft Vista released for sale

Microsoft Vista

As I am typing this post on my blog, Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows Vista, starts its global roll-out on Thursday, being first made available to business customers.

The system, a replacement for the firm’s current Windows XP operating system, will not be available to home consumers until the end of January.With Windows running on nine in 10 of the world’s PCs, analysts agree the new version should be a big success.

However, Vista is two years late and its consumer launch misses Christmas.

A huge but slow success

Last minute delays at Microsoft meant that computer makers would have been able to install Vista only on about half the computers that they were hoping to sell over Christmas, said Al Gillen, a Vista expert with technology consultancy IDC.

Microsoft predicts that Vista will be the fastest-selling operating system to date.

Experts agree, but say this is merely a result of the wider usage of computers compared to five years ago, when Windows XP launched. Corporate customers, meanwhile, will take their time deploying Vista as well.

“Our big corporate customers were the first to test Vista, but will probably be the last to introduce it, because they have the most [hardware and software] to test for compatibility with Vista,” said Gareth Hansford, managing director of Lenovo UK, the company that was IBM’s PC division until it was bought by Lenovo of China.

He expects corporate customers to begin large-scale rollouts of Vista in about a year’s time. IDC’s Al Gillen agrees, and points to a very unusual feature built into Vista, which allows IT managers to “downgrade” the software on new computers and run Windows XP instead.

Once the company is fully Vista-ready, the IT team can simply activate the original Vista license bought with the new PC. Most analysts believe that Vista will dominate computer desktops in about two years’ time.

These are some interesting stats about Microsoft

Founded: 1975

HQ: Redmond, Washington

Staff: 71,000

Sales: $44.3bn

Operating profit: $16.5bn

Windows sales: $13.2bn

Office sales: ~$10bn

Financial year to 30 June 2006 Source: annual report 2006

Now it would be interesting to find out what the Linux biggies like Red Hat, Debian and Ubuntu will try. I am not counting Novell Suse or OpenSuse here, probably due to its partnership with MS. Gazing into the crystal ball, its apparant that comon users will go in with Windows Vista, and XP will coexist atleast for 2 years for now. Interesting facts will pop us soon on the financial aswell as technology markets.

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