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9/15/2006
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Study: Vista Will Create More Than 50,000 New Jobs

But a European opponent to Microsoft counters the Microsoft-released IDC report, saying that without the Microsoft monopoly, Europe might do even better.

Locked in a tug of war with the European Commission over its Vista operating system, Microsoft has released a market research report that claims Vista would create 50,000 new jobs as well as sustain more than 1 million jobs in six European country markets in Denmark, France, Germany, Poland, Spain and the UK.

IDC said the new operating system will be a major revenue driver, reaching 32 billion euros ($40.6 billion U.S. dollars). Microsoft has said it plans to release Vista to retail stores in January and to corporate IT customers in November.

"Windows Vista will be an important launch for Microsoft," said IDC's Marcel Warmerdam in a statement Thursday. "But it will be an even more important launch for a much larger and more extensive community around the world." Warmerdam is research director, IDC European IT markets.

The report drew a quick response from Florian Mueller, a German software developer who has led anti-patent campaigns against Microsoft.

"IDC's figures may be right from a certain angle," said Mueller in an e-mail Friday, "but it's a very one-sided and incomplete picture: if there weren't the Windows monopoly, Europe might do even better."

Microsoft and European regulators have been parrying for months over a broad swath of issues. In recent days, the EC has warned Microsoft that Vista could create a new monopoly. The EC has urged Microsoft to avoid tying features like security software into Vista, for instance.

IDC predicted that 30 million computers would be installed with Vista in the six cited countries with the result that the base will provide a healthy market for application developers, systems integrators and other companies. "IDC's research predicts that for every euro of revenue Microsoft makes, companies within the IT ecosystem will, on average, make over 13 euros ($16.49 U.S. dollars)," according to the market research firm.

However, Mueller said it is more important to increase productivity and save costs in the IT sector. He said: "Revenues for one sector, in this case the IT industry and its resellers and service providers, are generally less important than increasing productivity and saving costs across the economy at large more competitive pressure on Microsoft would certainly be desirable for that matter."

Mueller said he doesn't entirely support the European Commission's regulatory positions on Microsoft. In the past, he has been a vigorous critic of some of the EC's stances on software patents.

The IDC report said Vista's economic impact will ripple far beyond the IT industry. The market research firm predicted that Vista will account for just one percent of the euro 214 billion the six countries will spend in 2007 and about five percent of packaged software there.

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