The release of Windows Vista will have little impact on PC sales, according to Gartner.

Despite being the first new version of Windows for five years, its release early next year will not do anything significant to affect the growth of PC sales, said the analyst firm, although they do expect sales to be up 10.5 percent in 2006 over 2005.

"While we think the Vista marketing campaign will attract people, we don't see enough there to attract a mass movement or a big growth spurt," said research director George Shiffler. "We don't think it will encourage enough people to replace their PCs right then and there."

Moreover, he said, PCs in general are not top of consumers' minds with Xmas approaching, and Vista missing its original November deadline. "There are lots of things people can spend their money on," Shiffler argued. "What are PCs going to have going for them? Vista's not going to be out."

Microsoft pushed back its release date to consumers until January 2007 this March. Some analysts predict the operating system will be out later than that.

In lieu of Vista, Microsoft will have a new consumer electronics product on retail shelves in time for the holidays: its Zune digital music player.