As the first year of Vista draws to a close, the full effect on retail sales is starting to show. Many are reporting the poor performance and complaints of European retail giant DSG. From the DSG report itself:
PC World delivered good sales performance against a tough prior year comparative in the back to school period. The reduction in laptop stocks that arose out of disappointing sales of VISTA related products and a changing sales mix have reduced gross margins by around 2% in the computing division, impacting Group profits by around £20 million in the first half. Stocks are now at normal levels and we expect to recover some of the lost margin through the second half.
In other words, they had to dump hardware to get people to buy software they don't want. We shall see if they have done anything different to back their optimistic projections.
I expect results like this and worse to be reported by all the major retailers. DSG did not mention sales of Vista itself, which should have been even worse than hardware sales. The channels were stuffed and no one wanted it. That costs money.