Even though Nvidia Corp. has managed to leave ATI Technologies several weeks or even months behind with the roll out of the GeForce 8800-series hardware, the demand towards such graphics cards will be limited, believe industrial sources. However, as soon as the new Windows Vista operating system arrives, the demand for graphics cards will increase in the retail, it is believed.
Industrial sources quoted by DigiTimes web-site claim that the overall demand for DirectX 10 hardware before Windows Vista launch would not be too high. However, once the new operating system (OS) is released, the demand for add-in graphics cards will raise by 20% - 30% in the retail market, which would mean sales increases for both ATI Technologies and Nvidia Corp.
While the demand towards GeForce 8800-series hardware might be higher if DirectX 10 has been released, it would disputably be significantly higher. Nvidia GeForce 8800 models GTS and GTX are offered for recommended pricing of $449 and $599/$649 respectively and not a lot of end users are willing to pay such sums for a graphics board.
By they time Windows Vista is released, not only ATI may launch its code-named R600 graphics processing unit, but also Nvidia may release new GeForce 8 flavours, which are likely to become popular among mainstream/performance-mainstream customers. Nevertheless, given price constraints for the vast majority of computer users, it is more than likely that the demand will be especially high in the $149 - $199 price segment.
Microsoft Windows Vista is expected to be launched on the 30th of January, 2007.