Shock the Monkey, No High Def From Microsoft Until 2007

Microsoft just gave TiVo a huge gift in the high end HDTV DVR space. Until yesterday, the release of new CableCARD capable Media Center machines due out before Holiday season this year (the same line that TiVo’s been using) have been thought to be neck and neck with TiVo’s upcoming Series 3 model. Now Microsoft has announced no retail Vista based PCs until 2007. CableLabs certified PCs could potentially take longer as the entire finished PC will need to be CableLabs certified.

This sucks if you are a high end early adopting tech geek but it has got to suck even more if you are a retailer selling PCs. Missing the Holiday Season is a tough one. There are a lot more smarter people than me commenting about what this means and why.

JupiterMedia Analyst Joe Wilcox writes: “During today’s conference call, Microsoft seemed to suggest that PC manufacturers would prefer to be ready for Windows Vista, rather than rush or get hardware out later. Based on my presumed timeline, I wouldn’t say Microsoft partners really had a choice. And I can’t imagine why any PC manufacturer wouldn’t want to have Windows Vista systems to sell for the holidays. For if nothing else, they lose the benefit of massive Windows marketing, let alone a brand, new operating system to dress up PCs.”

Ed Bott adds that it’s ironic that Microsoft would still release a version of Vista for corporate users in 2006 but not the more Holiday sensitive consumer market: “The irony, of course, is that most corporate customers have no interest in being on the bleeding edge of a new operating system. They’re especially not interested in undertaking a mass software deployment during the holiday season, when the people using the PCs and the people managing the deployment are attending parties, taking time off, and generally distracted from work.”

JupiterMedia Analyst Michael Gartenberg adds the quip, “It will also be interesting to see how the competition in Cupertino capitalizes on the delay.”

Scoble puts his more positive Microsoft spin on it: “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.”

You can follow the news and blog coverage at this link at memeorandum.

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  1. Aaron says:

    They’re especially not interested in undertaking a mass software deployment during the holiday season, when the people using the PCs and the people managing the deployment are attending parties, taking time off, and generally distracted from work.

    Hehe, and those who aren’t taking time off are the finance and sales people who are tasked with making a company’s year-end numbers look good. I doubt they’re interested in deploying a new OS during a mission-critical time.

    I’m saddened by this….. coming from someone who’s really looking forward to CableCARD support.