Vista Delay Business as Usual for Channel

The channel took in stride Microsoft’s announcement that it is again postponing the release of Vista. VARs, integrators and system builders have grown accustomed to operating system release delays over the years.

Some said they expected no real impact on their businesses, though others expressed some concern about potential sales delays. Vista will replace Microsoft’s current operating system, Windows XP.

Jake Esh, owner of Esh Computer Center, VAR and system builder in Gap and Akron, Pa., said users who follow technology developments closely will likely delay planned PC purchases because of the Vista postponement.

“It does delay sales,” but those delays will affect no more than about 10 percent of his business, he said.

Those customers are home users who want the latest and greatest on their PCs, many of whom like having a new operating system with a new look.

“It’s a little bit like changing the style of a vehicle,” Esh said.

Business customers, which account for at least 70 percent of Esh Computer Center’s revenue, are another story, he said.

Businesses are more concerned about getting solutions that solve their business problems, and they tend to wait to replace operating systems until they have to.

Ray Morton, director of technical services at Daly Computers, Clarksburg, Md., said he expects no impact at all from the Vista postponement. Special Report: Windows Vista: Microsoft's Longhorn Client

“I don’t think there’s too many people out there that planned to jump on anything that Microsoft rolled out anyway,” he said.

“Microsoft has a habit of postponing, and customers tend to wait until patches come out, anyway.”

Business customers, he said, are more focused on running their day-to-day business than on what new technology is coming to market.

“People just want to run their businesses,” he said.

“This is business as usual for Microsoft,” said Joe Wilcox, a Microsoft analyst at Jupiter Research.

“Windows Server 2003 was delayed three major times. It had four different ship dates and the name changed three times before it shipped. Meanwhile, Microsoft had server 2000 Advance taking it on the chin over security, and it kept saying ‘Wait for 2003.’ It left VARs trying to sell a Microsoft product with nothing to offer.”

Next Page: Vista a non-issue for most customers.

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