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Predictions for 2006: Operating systems

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Microsoft says Windows Vista, its new client operating system, will be out in time for the 2006 holiday season. Given the company's history of ill-fated release predictions, it wouldn't be surprising to see a slip. But I think Windows Vista could make the late 2006 ship date.

Novell and Red Hat will continue to try to crack Microsoft's domination on the desktop, focusing on the cash-strapped public sector. Both have new desktop releases scheduled for next year.

The buzz around virtualisation will grow ever louder among corporate IT managers -- particularly among IT shops that have underutilised servers and are anxious to consolidate their hardware.

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