updated 01:55 pm EDT, Thu May 24, 2007
Little Vista Effect on PCs
The launch of Windows Vista hasn't created a significant increase in PC sales, according to a new report by In-Stat. The new Microsoft OS is said to have primarily shifted customers' purchases rather than accelerating them, as the reported sales spike was chiefly the result of a backlog of delayed purchases while experienced users waited to receive a preinstalled copy. Few customers actively sought out a Vista PC outside of their normal upgrade patterns. This was attributed in part to the lackluster appeal of the software itself, which hasn't been seen by many as a significant improvement over Windows XP.
"As a motivating factor to go buy a PC, Vista is not enough," said In-Stat analyst Ian Lao. "[But] it's not the scenario like [the rivalry between] Coke and Coke Classic. There isn't a big revolt going on."
The report calls into question Microsoft's claims of success for its sales figures, which reached 40 million in the first 100 days after Vista's appearance. The adoption rate is significantly higher than for the 2001 debut of XP but may be roughly in line with the growth of the PC business itself, suggesting that users are being forced to upgrade through new systems rather than as a conscious choice.
Similar statements from NPD Techworld also downplayed the significance of Vista. Analyst Stephen Baker from the group argues that the Microsoft interpretation requires a leap of faith to accept that software is more important than hardware. "It would require you to believe that on the consumer side, people actually buy their PC based on what operating system is inside," he says. "And I really don't believe that is the case,"
The situation may improve towards the end of the year, when PC builders will have had more time to design Vista-specific systems such as the SideShow-equipped ASUS W5fe and HP's all-in-one TouchSmart desktop. [via News.com]