A significant disappointment this year was the arrival of Microsoft's Windows Vista, says Canalys, which specialises in providing market data, analysis and advice for the world's leading technology vendors.
"Vista has been successful in the consumer segment, as most of the PCs are sold with Vista on board. But most of the small- and medium-sized businesses and corporates are waiting, as many of the third-party applications do not run on Vista properly. This has really delayed the uptake of the product," Steve Brazier, president and chief executive officer of Canalys, said on the trends in global IT industry in Madrid.
He said many of the customers are buying PCs with Vista on board and then downgrading them to Windows XP.
Many of Microsoft's large corporate customers are waiting for the release of the first "service pack (SP1)" - a software package of fixes, updates and improvements - before implementing a new Windows operating system. Right now, the number of corporate users are nil.
In a post on the company's website, Microsoft said it aims to ship the first service pack to computer manufacturers in the first quarter of 2008.
According to reports, Microsoft had said that the first service pack was not as significant as in the past, because the company can now send out patches and fixes to the product through online updates.
Microsoft had said that Windows Vista SP1 should improve the operating system's security, reliability and performance, but it will not change the product's look or add any major features.
SP1 is expected to offer performance boosts, including the speed to copy and extract files, time to become active from hibernate and resume, CPU utilisation within Internet Explorer 7 and CPU utilisation in laptops, thereby reducing battery drain, and shortening the time when browsing network shares.
CNET reported after testing SP1 that it "lacked wow". It said the enhancements to security and reliability fail to provide a compelling reason for users to wait for it and likely won't light a fire under business to adopt Vista.
Despite these glitches, Microsoft claims to have sold 60 million Windows Vista licences globally by the end of June, including 20 million copies since mid-May. The world's largest software maker introduced Windows Vista in January 2007.
Brazier said Microsoft has a major challenge and "they need to upgrade certain applications, which I hope they will do in the near future. And I am sure the product will become as successful as Windows XP in the future."
The whole world is awaiting the release of SP1 to see how Microsoft can improve the performance of Vista and see how the corporate sector implements the new operating system. ( Gulf )