A slow year for the PC industry got a lot worse Tuesday, after Microsoft ( MSFT) announced that it was delaying its consumer version of the Vista operating system until January 2007. Though the move postpones Vista's release date by only a few weeks, it means that PCs won't be available with the new OS during the all-important holiday season. Shares of most major PC-related stocks lost ground on Wednesday, with Dell ( DELL) and Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) down 12 cents and 27 cents, respectively, in midday trading. Intel ( INTC) was up 2 cents at $19.80, while Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD) was down 13 cents at $34.31. The announcement added negative sentiment to what was already looking like a gloomy year for the PC industry. Earlier this month, industry research firm Gartner projected that PC sales in 2006 would grow 10.7%, compared with 15.5% the year before. And on Monday, Lehman Brothers reduced its own PC forecast for 2006 to 9.8% growth vs. a previous estimate of 12.4% growth. Yet Lehman Brothers, along with several other Wall Street analysts, did not pare back its expectations about the PC industry further in the wake of the Vista announcement. While the Vista delay clearly doesn't help business in the PC market, it seems that expectations surrounding Microsoft's biggest operating system upgrade in years were somewhat restrained from the outset. The Vista delay "does not change our view on any of the computer (Dell, H-P) or PC-chip (Intel, AMD, Micron ( MU)) stocks we follow, as we had not incorporated any assumption of a better-than-expected surge in PC demand from Vista in the second half of the year," wrote A. G. Edwards analyst David Wong, whose firm owns long and short positions in Dell and has provided noninvestment banking services to H-P in the past 12 months. Consumer PCs account for only a small portion of Dell and H-P's profit, said Wong, adding that only 9% of Dell's operating profit and less than 7% of H-P's operating profit came from consumer PC sales in the January 2006 quarter.