Microsoft Updates Windows Vista Road Map

It looks like Microsoft has once again delayed the general release of Windows Vista. The bad news for them on this one? They are going to now miss another Christmas season, where it's reported that up to 30% of all PC's for the year are sold. This gives Linux (and Apple with OS X) more time to improve their product and gain some more footing before the marking blitz swings into full gear. This had to be a really painful decision and leads be to presume that something was seriously wrong with the product. OR, maybe Microsoft has learned from past mistakes – anything is possible I guess. Either way, this really is a critical release for them. After working really hard to convince both companies and consumers that XP was the way to go, they now have to convince them that Vista is a compelling upgrade. The easy part for them though, is that a short time after Vista is released it will be the default preinstall option for almost any PC you see in any store. It's almost hard to fail with that setup, isn't it. If the preinstall situation wasn't like it was (and that's a big if…I know), the computer market really would be such a different animal. How much longer can they keep the kung-fu death grip on the OEM market is the question that Microsoft has to be asking themselves. Once they aren't the default no choice option, they're going to be in a world that looks so much different…a world where there is competition that's based on features, security and stability. At least they'll have their marketing budget to fall back on.
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