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Report: Vista Delay Won't Impact PC Sales Much

Microsoft's delay of its Windows Vista operating system won't affect PC shipments, which are expected to grow at slightly more then 10 percent a year over the next several years, according to a report released Monday by IDC.

And, while the delay in Vista for its mainstream consumer business is expected to negatively impact sales around the holiday season, Loren Loverde, director of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, said he expects PC manufacturers and retailers to introduce offers and promotions to help stimulate sales.

"I suspect they will come out with some offers -- maybe free upgrades for Vista," said Loverde in an interview. "They aren't going to let the fourth quarter marketing opportunity [get away.]"

The market research firm said it expects PC shipments, which had been growing 15 percent annually over the past two years, to slow to 10 percent while actual value of the shipments are likely to weigh in under 5 percent.

"Some consumers will certainly delay PC purchases until Vista is available, but we expect the delay to shift only moderate volume from the fourth quarter of 2006 into 2007 and will not cause a loss of sales," Loverde said. "The timing of the release will have some impact on when consumers buy, but not so much on whether or not they buy."

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