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Vista to Generate $3 Bln for Illinois IT Industry

The Illinois IT industry is expected to experience a significant financial impact as a result of the launch of the Windows Vista operating system. According to a research study recently completed by IDC and commissioned by Microsoft Corp., within the first year of the Windows Vista shipment, Illinois' IT industry will begin seeing considerable increases in new jobs and revenue.

The study's findings indicate that Windows Vista will provide a foundation for the IT market, with more than 17 percent of total IT employment being related to Windows Vista. In addition, total Windows-related employment in Illinois is expected to jump by more than 5,000 new jobs.

Windows Vista, together with the 2007 Microsoft(R) Office system, was made available on Nov. 30 to Volume Licensing customers and became broadly available on Jan. 30.

"Windows Vista will create additional revenues for Microsoft in Illinois, but will also create even bigger economic ripples throughout the ecosystem that sells products and services in Illinois that run on or work with it," said John Gantz, chief research officer and senior vice president of IDC. "Windows Vista's footprint in the state will be wide, as original equipment manufacturers sell PCs that run on it, software companies sell applications that run it, and services and distribution firms deliver, install, support and train on it. We expect that in the first year of Windows Vista shipments, this ecosystem will sell more than $3 billion of Windows Vista-related products and services in Illinois."

Microsoft partners -- companies that sell hardware, write software, provide IT services or serve as IT distribution channels -- will also feel the impact of Windows Vista because it will drive substantial revenue and growth for Microsoft-centric companies. According to the study, the release of Windows Vista will help strengthen the more than 7,000 Illinois IT companies that will produce, sell or distribute products and services running on Windows Vista. The study also forecasts that each dollar of Windows Vista-related revenue earned by Microsoft in 2007 will generate more than $18 in revenue for the ecosystem beyond Microsoft.

"Microsoft is proud to bring products to market that help infuse economic growth here in Illinois," said Janet Kennedy, Midwest District general manager at Microsoft. "This launch is generating economic opportunities in Illinois and across the nation by creating jobs, enabling organizational efficiencies and helping solve business challenges for our customers, partners and the IT industry as a whole."

Microsoft's ecosystem is making a sizable investment to prepare for and roll out Windows Vista worldwide, according to the IDC study. Between now and the end of 2007, IDC expects Microsoft partners to invest approximately $450 million in Windows Vista-related products and services.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.