Online, everyone has a view on Vista

Reaction to Microsoft's delayed OS launch ranges from warnings of dismal holiday sales to accolades for the software giant.

Michelle Meyers
Michelle Meyers wrote and edited CNET News stories from 2005 to 2020 and is now a contributor to CNET.
Michelle Meyers
5 min read
Tuesday's announcement that Microsoft is delaying the launch of its much-anticipated Windows Vista has spawned some crowded virtual water coolers.

Around the Web, there are some warnings that the new January 2007 release date will put holiday PC sales in serious jeopardy. Other people say retailers are better off getting through the holiday mania and other planned Christmas-time product launches, so they'll have more time to help customers with the new operating system.

Some are critical of Microsoft, saying the move is disappointing consumers, partners and stockholders. Still others commend the software giant for taking the extra time to launch a solid product right out of the box. And that all just scratches the Net surface.

News.com Poll

With Vista unavailable for the holidays, do you expect to buy a PC in 2006 or wait until 2007?

I'll buy when I need one, regardless of Vista's availability.
If PC makers offer a free upgrade for Vista during the holidays, I will buy this year.
I don't want to deal with an upgrade, so I'm waiting until 2007.

View results

From the everyday PC user to the specialized financial analyst, here's a glimpse at Internet reaction to news of the Vista postponement:

"I was upset at missing the back-to-school market. Now we're missing the holiday sales market. All of those laptops and PCs are going to have XP on it. What percentage will upgrade to Vista? Well, I guess that's the little dream that I need to give up on...With the convergence of high-tech media, this holiday season would have been an explosive nodal point to get Vista out for a compounded effect...People need to be fired and moved out of Microsoft today. Where's the freakin' accountability?"

"Since I generally buy a new PC every year or so, and 2006 is the year, the chance that I would upgrade my other PCs (desk and lap) to Vista pretty much is a dead issue. I generally take advantage of the holiday pricing unless something really special comes along. XP it will be for a while to come."
--Crazy D's Spot

"I've learned that dates in the software industry are likely to slip and I'm glad that our management is still paying more attention to product quality and customer and partner feedback than trying to meet some date. Yes, it's painful. Yes, it's embarrassing. But we have been through product slips before (before I was a Microsoft employee I was a beta tester on Windows 2000 which slipped years after the first test CDs arrived) and I'd rather have a slipped date than a cruddy product."

"Novell and Apple are the only commercial market competitors for Windows. They have reason to sprint into the market to attempt to capitalize on this delay by gaining market share. Microsoft however can take its time to make sure the product is amazing because anything less than breathtaking at this point will hurt Microsoft more in the long term than any few sales that will be lost because people couldn't have Windows Vista for Christmas."
--Jerome on Technology

"The delay will likely pummel Gateway the hardest. After acquiring eMachines, the company has been a force in entry-level systems for consumers, a market that usually spikes when a new version of Windows is rolled out. Some folks decide to simply upgrade their operating system and computer in one small purchase, so Microsoft's delay should hit Gateway like the Grinch hit Whoville...Delays are expected in software development. Bugs need to get worked out. New features need to get added. This isn't the first delay for the eagerly anticipated upgrade to Windows XP, and who knows whether it will be the last?"
--The Motley Fool

"At first, my reaction was 'not surprising.' With all the delays Vista has undergone already, user frustration has set in with me as I would like to see what the new OS really has to offer. However, on second thought, I'm starting to think that this is a great move by Microsoft and one that should be applauded. How many times have we admonished MSFT for releasing software that was buggy, unfinished and insecure? Therefore, we should give MSFT the chance to create a solid product out of the box that won't require a Service Pack within a few weeks."

"Net impact? Little on Microsoft. Those that want Vista will wait a few more weeks for it. The real impact will be for the PC vendors who were looking to sell Vista machines for the holiday. Microsoft's going to have to work to provide some mechanism to make sure vendors aren't sitting on lots of inventory while customers wait for the new OS to ship."
--Michael Gartenberg on JupiterResearch Analyst Weblog

"I would argue that the delayed launch of Windows Vista is bad news for Google and Apple. Unlike previous versions of Windows, Vista is not about selling a desktop OS. It is about selling a rich Internet experience positioned to compete directly against Apple and Google. While Apple and Google have built their businesses around vertically integrated Internet platforms such as iTunes and Google Search, Microsoft is taking a step back and delaying its launch so that it can integrate more tightly with its Internet content partners and distribution partners."
--Mr. Wave Theory

"We believe the impact--to PC systems vendors--of the delay in Microsoft's Vista operating system is not material in the long view but is a modest transitory negative for both HP and Dell in late 2006, due to the need to wait an additional quarter before synchronized consumer unit demand and rising ASPs from higher configurations (DRAM, disk, processors) help accelerate growth..."
--Merrill Lynch (PDF)

"Perceived impact of the delay may be the real issue to contend with for semi stocks in the near-term. In order of negative impact, DRAM pure-plays have the most exposure (MU and ISSI in our universe), given the expected doubling of content in Vista boxes. Next, graphics pure-plays such as ATYT and NVDA, however the play on Vista graphics in our view has always been an enterprise Vista play. Lastly, processor companies such as AMD and INTC may get hit slightly as they have been touting "Vista-ready" programs of late."
--Moors and Cabot