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Delaying Vista's Ship Date Makes Sense, Says Analyst

Microsoft made the right decision when it postponed Vista, an analyst said Tuesday.

"It would have been a very tight squeeze," said Rob Helm, director of research at Kirkland, Wash.-based Directions on Microsoft. "If they were going to miss Christmas, there just wasn’t a good reason to push it for 2006."

Directions on Microsoft, said Helm, had been anticipating a delay because of Microsoft's timeline. It was only three weeks ago that the Redmond, Wash. developer released a feature-complete beta, and based on past experience, it would take at least six months -- meaning late August -- before the operating system was ready to ship to PC makers. That was too late for OEMs to make the crucial holiday selling season.

"It's not a big shock that they're doing this," Helm said, "but it will have some impact. Not a horrific impact -- they were already going to miss back-to-school and Christmas -- but it will depress sales of PCs even more, and for a couple more months than originally."

Earlier in March, research firm Gartner projected that PC sales would slow significantly in 2006, but denied that Vista's release -- late in 2006 until Tuesday -- would play a part in that slowdown.

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