Will replacing Vista kick up PC sales?

U.S. software giant Microsoft's Japanese unit displays the packaging of the company's new operating system Windows 7 at a press conference in Tokyo.

TEXT OF STORY

Stacey Vanek-Smith: Meanwhile, Apple's longtime rival, Microsoft, is updating its operating system this week. Replacing Vista with Windows 7. Microsoft has had a lot of issues with Vista.

Will saying hasta la vista to Vista help boost PC sales? Marketplace's Bob Moon filed this report.


WINDOWS '95 COMMERCIAL: Tonight only! In celebration of the release of Windows 95!

BOB MOON: A decade and a half ago, crowds lined up for the new Windows, at "midnight madness" sales nationwide.

COMMERCIAL: You can get your copy of Windows '95 while there's still stock!

Microsoft can only hope its latest Windows launch makes a splash more like that, over the yawn that met Windows Vista in 2007.

The PC market counts on new Windows versions to spur sales, but Gartner Research's Steve Kleynhans remembers how Vista wasn't ready in time to lure in holiday shoppers.

STEVE KLEYNHANS: Windows 7 is incredibly well-timed. It's arriving just as we see the economy starting to pick up, and right in time for Christmas sales.

So what could go wrong?

KLEYNHANS: Today, I don't think people are really all that excited about operating systems.

Kleynhans says the new software won't make old computers and other hardware obsolete as much as past releases did.

KLEYNHANS: The operating system has become less of a driver in the sense of requiring people to move to a new platform.

PC sales are starting to bounce back, but they could use some sizzle -- sales of Macs have bounced back stronger.

I'm Bob Moon for Marketplace.

About the author

Bob Moon is Marketplace’s senior business correspondent, based in Los Angeles.

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