A man in charge of IT at BMW said today that his company had shifted its operating system base from Windows XP to Windows 7.

And BMW has quite a lot of computers, numbered in the 10s of thousands.

Herr Thomas Schmidt did not say why BMW had not shifted to Vista. One wag in the audience asked the question: "If you've used Windows XP successfully for 10 years, why switch now?"

Herr Schmidt said the previous migration - from Windows NT to XP - took a long long time but the move from XP to Windows 7 was very easy, with the IP software it uses successfully disintermediated.

Both Intel and Microsoft are hoping and crossing their fingers that other corporations will follow the BMW lead.

We're assured by a senior source at Wintel that there was no financial incentive for the move. All they get is early access.