Although sales of hardware pre-loaded with Windows Vista is on the rise more than a month after the consumer launch here, a lingering supply of XP machines at retail has delayed uptake of the new Microsoft operating system.
Microsoft product marketing manager for Vista, David Rayner, says most retailers brought in at least part of the range of Vista boxes and PCs from day one, but it has taken them a while to sell out of XP.
“They’re starting to do discounts now to clear XP out and the second wave with Vista pre-loaded is coming in now. The multi-nationals will start shipping Vista only.”
Rayner says the best part of a third of all hardware being brought into New Zealand by multi-nationals now has Vista pre-loaded. “That’s quite a quick ramp and we would expect that to escalate.”
IDC analyst Liam Gunson says Vista adoption is being driven by consumers buying new PCs rather than buying the OS as an upgrade, and the launch of the new operating system has helped keep the PC market strong at a time when it normally weakens.
“February’s been quite buoyant because of the launch of Vista helping to keep spending up. It’s been driven by quite a few promotions by Microsoft and by retailers.”
He says many resellers want to offer both XP and Vista as buyers are hesitant to adopt a new operating system until it is proven.
Gunson says IDC doesn’t expect significant uptake of Vista in the medium to large enterprise space until 2008, with the exception of early adopters in the government and education sectors.
He says XP Professional with Service Pack 2 is serving the needs of many medium and large businesses, making Vista a hard sell for CIOs of these firms.
Rayner says Microsoft’s feeling is Vista’s launch was slightly stronger than that of XP locally, because strong market interest has been generated by the longer wait for its release.
Rayner says since the OS’ business launch late last year, Microsoft has been pleased with the number of firms committing to test labs and working with Vista in the beta programme.
A US news report cited market research statistics showing Vista was being used on less than one percent of PCs tracked there in February, with XP leading on just over 84 percent. Another report said first-week retail sales of Vista boxes in the US were nearly 60 percent down on those of XP boxes in the week after it was launched in 2001.