Vista shortages help retailers

By Sarah Falson

SUNSHINE, Vic: Sales of Windows Vista software is “atrocious” while hardware containing the program is selling out, with not enough stock supplied to replace those units sold, according to one Victorian retailer.

The Sunshine Retravision store in Victoria’s outer-Melbourne is a new concept superstore for the retail group, which opened its doors nine weeks ago during the pre-Christmas rush. 

According to store proprietor, Michael Maaser, he has been “lucky to have three people ask for the [much-awaited] software since its launch [on 29 January].”

The launch of the operating system was delayed several times and analysts in the USA have blamed this wait for the less-than-anticipated sales.

Maaser also blames manufacturers who have been “slow getting the stock out,” due to the hundreds of personal computers containing the software on back order.

“Computer sales would be ok, if we could get the stock,” he said.

“All the hardware we’ve had has sold through. Everything we’ve been getting – Toshiba notebooks and HP notebooks and desktops – we’ve sold. Fortunately for us, they’re going as fast as they come in, so we’re retaining a margin.”

According to Maaser, distributors like HP and Ingram Micro (who supplies the Toshiba notebooks) have up to 600 computer units on back order, yet are shipping only 50 or 60 at a time.

“People want the hardware but they can’t get it,” said Maaser.

The PC market in the USA was tipped to grow by 12 to 15 per cent in the financial year ending June, due to Vista’s introduction.

Microsoft chief executive, Steve Ballmer, suggested during an analyst conference broadcast on the internet that people would not rush to upgrade their computers with the Vista format.

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