Is Vista A Bust?

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USA Today reports that business customers are staying away in droves from Microsoft's Vista operating system. It seems that they are perfectly happy with Windows XP and would just as soon not switch.

"I wouldn't put on Vista if it was free," says Weider, chief information officer for Ministry Health Care. "In the past, there's always been an important reason to upgrade, but XP (the previous version of Windows) is perfectly acceptable."

Even as it pursues Internet icon Yahoo to create a more potent online-advertising rival to Google, Microsoft is facing increasing pressure on its Windows cash cow. Corporate customers such as Weider are staging a rare revolt over upgrading to Vista, which launched with much fanfare in January 2007. Last week, Microsoft reported a 24% decline in Windows sales in the third quarter.

"This year is make-it-or-break-it time for Vista," says analyst Benjamin Gray of market tracker Forrester Research. "Vista is getting hammered right and left in the press, and companies are concerned. I'm getting daily client inquiries about skipping Vista altogether and waiting for the next version of Windows. Microsoft is having a tough time convincing their corporate clients that Vista isn't a risky bet."

Microsoft rebuilt Windows from scratch to create Vista, which has a dazzling interface and improved security tools. But so much computing power is required to run it that many people find their new PCs run slower than older, less powerful XP machines. To spur sales, Microsoft earlier this month said consumers will no longer be able to purchase XP as of June 30. The announcement and pending date have unleashed a firestorm of Vista angst.

Online magazine InfoWorld is waging a Save XP campaign. More than 175,000 signatures have been gathered. "Why pull the plug on XP when there's clearly a lot of people who still like it?" says Galen Gruman, InfoWorld executive editor.

Influential analyst Michael Silver at research firm Gartner calls the Vista launch a "disaster." Other critics have been no kinder. CNet called Vista one of the "biggest blunders in technology." PC magazine chronicles Vista's "11 Pillars of Failure." The Christian Science Monitor likened it to Coca-Cola's disastrous New Coke experiment in the 1980s.

Ouch. Frankly, my daughter's Vista computer is the slowest one in the house, despite a dual core processor and two gigs if RAM. My son's antique Pentium II with 96MB of Ram boots faster. I suspect Vista will be remembered as a bust in years to come, especially since an all-new version of Microsoft's operating system is due out in as little as 18 months.

Oh, and Ubuntu Linux version 8.04 is now available. If Microsoft does kill Windows XP on June 30th as they are promising, a lot of older hardware will be switched over to Linux – that will be a bad thing for Microsoft, I think.

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9 Responses to Is Vista A Bust?

  1. Neo says:

    Maybe Vista was hampered by it’s original codename .. Longhorn.  It takes a long time despite all the noise.On to Windows 7

  2. daveinboca says:

    Vista is the final act of Gates’ long death-spiral from a pre-eminent position in the software market. I’m perfectly happy with my new Apple Leopard. After 20 years of the blue angel of death, I finally wised up and bought a laptop & an iMac.

    And I got an Office Mac to get my old stuff onto my new Apple.

    Free at last!

    To switch metaphors, Vista is swirling around the porcelain receptacle it deserves. Soon it’ll be where Windows belongs.

  3. Jerry in Detroit says:

    I would not have bought Vista except my desktop got fried in a lightning strike.  That said, I’ve seen little to recommend Vista.  Renaming functions & moving them to different menus requires relearning the operating system.  Then there is the issue that Vista may or may not recognize older hardware.  Finally, the plethora of versions (& successively higher prices) is confusing & discouraging.
    Vista runs OK if you turn off a lot of the bells & whistles as well as unload anything not absolutely required.  Mine came with the iPod software despite the fact I don’t own an iPod.  Worse yet, QuickTime kept trying to reinstall the software until I blew QuickTime away & replaced it with an alternative.  Media Player is fouling up my Bluetooth adapter but one can no longer erase this.  I have Vista Basic on a recently purchased laptop.  I like this better than the Home Premium edition I got with my desktop machine.

  4. Andrew X says:

    I’ve defended Vista in a number of forums, and remain happy with it. I has never crashed once. I have had update issues twice, but both times i was able to go to a restore point with no problem. I like it in general.
    Basically, I tell people that: "If you have an XP machine, for God’s sake don’t upgrade to Vista. There is simply no reason to. And if you are getting a new machine, make sure you double the box specs for Vista. Get a 2G processor, 2 gigs of RAM at least, and at least 256 gigs of video RAM.
    I can’t answer Gaius’ comment that his computer with such specs is still slow. Mine isn’t, and others I have worked with with such specs are fine.
    So I would point out where MS went wrong:
    — The multiplex of versions. Dumb. More than two or three is absurd.
    — Pretending box specs of 1G processor, one Gig of RAM, and 128 gigs of video were adequate. Please.
    — Not coordinating with the non-MS environment better. They did a better job on that with Vista’s SP1.
    — Allowing the bad PR to go to long unanswered.
    And lastly, and I think the biggest problem, is that XP IS in fact a really good product. And Vista really doesn’t do a heck of a lot (visibly) that XP doesn’t. And whatever differences there are are chipped away with XP’s SP2 and upcoming SP3. So users are understandibly reluctant to go to Vista, not mainly because "Vista sucks" (thought that media idea has taken root), but because even if it were perfect, it still won’t do a whole lot that XP is not doing, so why am I going through the cost and hassle?
    I think if Microsoft were smarter right now, they would assume that their clients with machines 2006 and back will be using XP indefinitely, and stick with them accordingly. Assume those with 2007 forward machines will be using Vista, which MS will continue to streamline (Vista SP1 was well handled in my view), and Windows 7 (the new puppy) would be designed for 64 bit machines only. That would force both users AND MS to make the Vista they have so much invested in work to the utmost. And with that in mind, Vista can work as well as XP, while new Windows can be the opening to the 64 bit environment, which I assume my next computer will be, as will a lot of yours.
    Just my $.02

  5. Tom says:

    I refuse to upgrade to Vista, or to get a new computer with Vista on it.  What I have seen is not impressive to me (yeah, screen candy is nice, but it isn’t necessary).All the computers at home use XP except one forlorn laptop.  It uses Ubuntu Linux, and just upgraded it from the version 7.10 to version 8.10.  Haven’t used it much since I’m overseas at the moment (I’m NOT carrying two computers!!)  However, I’ve used the laptop for several months, and even though it’s about 7 years old, it does boot faster than any of the XP boxes, and haven’t had any real problems with the operating system (did have a battery die, though).

  6. crosspatch says:

    Microsoft BobApple LisaApple IIIVista is in good company.

  7. Every machine I have has a 64 bit processor, and all but one are dual core machines. XP 64 bit sucks. XP is fine on 32 bit  single processors and Vista on 32 bit processors doesn’t add much but better scheduling and use of multicore processors. But on 64 bit machines, Vista and its server brother, Windows Server 2008, is most definitely the way to go.

  8. Sam says:

    95% of the time spent on my PC at home is in the Firefox browser.  Why I need a humungous operating system like Vista just to run a browser is beyond me.  Therein lies the real problem with Vista – when most what someone does is on the web, a big operating system is just a waste of computer resources.  By the way, my next computer purchase will be an EEE PC running Linux.

  9. Will Weider says:

    Check out my blog for my thoughts beyond the quote that made the USA Story:www.candidcio.comWill Weider

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