News.com's Ina Fried writes about the potential fallout from the Vista delay:
With all the setbacks, it will be more than five years between Windows XP and Windows Vista. And for even that delivery schedule, Microsoft had to scale back many of the major advances that were planned for the new operating system.
Although Windows has largely maintained its dominant share of the operating system market, the software maker's inability to regularly update the product poses a growing risk to its cash cow.
"Microsoft is going to be feeling more pressure, especially as applications get to be more OS-agnostic," or not tied to a particular operating system, Gartner analyst Michael Silver said.
And that's why you will see Microsoft put more focus and resources into Window Live, which will have a much faster and more consistent "twitch" schedule. Gates and Ozzie have been telegraphing this as they talk about marrying the rich desktop client and OS (Vista) and the Web. But both Vista and Live are still at the station, and won't get a head of steam in the marketplace until next year--which gives OS agnostics more time to turn up the heat on Microsoft. On the other hand, Microsoft's massive installed base is slow to upgrade, which is also a problem for Microsoft, not just financially, but also from the point of view of planting the seeds of Vista Live Windows and Office around the world...