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Research: Microsoft Windows Vista Worth $120 Billion To Economy

The Microsoft-sponsored report from IDC estimates that for every $1 of revenue coming in to Microsoft, around $18 will be available for "as many as 200,000" other companies to divvy up.
Leave it up to an analyst firm to come up with some mind-boggling figures for people to parse. According to new research by IDC analysts, the total market around Windows Vista and the newly christened Windows Server 2008 will be more than $120 billion by the end of next year, including software and hardware designed for those operating systems.

"While it is easy to think of Microsoft as simply the world's largest software company, it is more than that," the Microsoft-sponsored report says. "It is an economic force that has a direct, positive impact on the economies in which it operates." That's positive without a value judgment, as in cash flow.

IDC estimates that for every $1 of revenue coming in to Microsoft for sales of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, around $18 will be available for "as many as 200,000" other companies to divvy up. There are a number of opportunities, from services to software to hardware to retail jobs selling and re-selling software and services. However, according to IDC, more Vista-related money will find its way into the hands of hardware companies than software and services companies. That seems the natural order of things, as many consumers and businesses will soon find themselves getting Vista with their next PC upgrade.

Not only will the ecosystem be big in terms of money, but IDC expects IT employment related to the new operating systems -- at least at vendor and services companies -- to eclipse the one million mark next year. "It is growth IDC believes would not occur if were these operating systems not in the market," the report notes.

The report estimates 240 million units of Vista will have shipped by that time, and that Windows Server 2008 will be on 3.5 million servers worldwide, with 30% of all software sold ending up on either platform.

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Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
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