Adoption of Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system will happen at a faster pace than any previous operating system release, says Ovum analyst, David Mitchell.

He believes up to 15 per cent of PC users will move to Vista within the first year of availability, “and that would make it the fastest-moving operating system ever," he said. By comparison, between 12 to 14 per cent of users switched to Windows XP during the first year of its release, Mitchell said.

The argument is that Vista will gain traction in the market from quick adoption by both corporate and consumer users. Companies that participate in Microsoft's Software Assurance licensing programme will automatically get upgrades to Vista, Mitchell said. "On the consumer side, there has been a bit of pent-up demand. Just look at the beta adoption in the consumer space, it's very high."

Vista is due to ship November 30 to business customers, early January to consumers.