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Vista Sales Expectations Too High, Office Doing Well 320

Posted by Zonk
from the business-of-windowing dept.
PetManimal writes "A comparison of first-week retail sales of Vista compared to first-week sales of XP back in 2001 found that Vista sales were 60% lower. Steve Ballmer has admitted that earlier sales forecasts were 'overly aggressive,' but at least there is some good news for Microsoft: early Office 2007 sales were very strong compared to the early sales of Office 2003, despite almost no advertising or marketing until the retail launch at the end of January."
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Vista Sales Expectations Too High, Office Doing Well

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  • by mingot (665080) on Friday February 16, 2007 @01:45PM (#18040682)
    Then let's settle into a nice discussion about how vista sucks because it's more of the same and office 2007 sucks because it's not more of the same.
    • by Tackhead (54550) on Friday February 16, 2007 @02:02PM (#18041034)
      > Then let's settle into a nice discussion about how vista sucks because it's more of the same and office 2007 sucks because it's not more of the same.

      You are coming to a sad realization. Deny, allow, or throw chair?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 16, 2007 @02:38PM (#18041758)
      *Open FireFox*

      You are trying to open a web browser, do you want to open it?
      [ Continue ] [ Cancel ]
      *continue*

      This web browser was not signed by Microsoft, operation aborted.
      [ Okay ]
      *click* *Open IE*

      You are trying to open a program made by Microsoft. Good choice!
      [ Okay ]
      *click* *slashdot.org*

      You are opening a port to connect to an external website. Are you sure? It might be dangerous.
      [ Continue ] [ Cancel ]
      *continue*

      You are connecting to Slashdot.org. Are you sure you want to go there? How about MSN instead?
      [ Continue ] [ Go to MSN ] [ Cancel ]
      *continue*

      You appear to be posting to Slashdot. Any comment you write might be read by third parties. Are you sure you want to continue?
      [ Continue ] [ Cancel ]
      *continue*

      You appear to be posting material that is disparaging to Microsoft. This is forbidden by section 66, paragraph 6 of your Windows Vista Super Mega Chair Monkey Team Hyper Force Go! ULTIMATE Edition EULA.
      [ Report Yourself to Microsoft for Being Naughty ]
      *BANG* ...

      For sale: Like-new computer w/Vista. Slightly shotgunned.
    • by ozbird (127571) on Friday February 16, 2007 @03:24PM (#18042494)
      ...and office 2007 sucks because it's not more of the same.

      It's also more of the same, but people haven't noticed yet because of the distraction of the Ribbon.
      ("Look over there - a shiny thing!" <runs away>)
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by spisska (796395)
        In all seriousness, I think this this is a definite trend and will continue.

        I work in analytics for a middling consultancy. Our business runs on information and is almost entirely an MS shop (MS Server, MS SQL, MS Exchange, etc; thank goodness we don't use Sharepoint) but we have no intention of moving to Vista any time in the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, we have no intention of moving to Linux for the exact same reason -- that we have a lot of custom and shared applications that run on XP, and there'
    • by smaddox (928261) on Friday February 16, 2007 @04:13PM (#18043252)
      I personally think the reason sales are low is because not as many people are buying new computers, as they did during the 98-XP switch. The majority of Vista sales is going to be through new computer sales.

      Since XP actually does a decent job of retaining speed (a reformat still does wonders), no one needs to buy a new computer. If all they use it for is web browsing and e-mail, why do they need a new computer/OS that does neither any better than XP (unless you count more flashy as better)?
  • Thing is... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gcnaddict (841664) on Friday February 16, 2007 @01:46PM (#18040704)
    Vista received a huge marketing campaign, but most people who kept track of what Microsoft was doing for the past 5 years know that Vista could've been much better than what it turned out to be due to the development crash in August 2004.

    Office, on the other hand, was praised as something which would make life much easier for people because of the new ribbon. There's even a home and student version for people who can't afford paying for standard edition.
    • Re:Thing is... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MightyYar (622222) on Friday February 16, 2007 @01:48PM (#18040754)
      Replace "most people" with "most people on Slashdot"... Most people have no idea what MS has done in the past 5 years, nor do they care. The NASCAR scandal is all they can handle right now.
      • by StressGuy (472374) on Friday February 16, 2007 @02:07PM (#18041126)
        Seriously..you assume that all non slashdotters are NASCAR fans?

        I would really rip into you if it were not so busy following the Anna Nichole Smith scandal ;)

        • by DrDitto (962751) on Friday February 16, 2007 @02:11PM (#18041212)
          Yesterday I sat in a coffee shop for 3 hours. I heard two groups of people discuss who they thought was the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby.
          • I'd like to apologize on behalf of regular society for the fact we don't visit coffee shops to discuss more meaningful things like Vista sales compared to XP's or Office 2007's ribbon bar. Instead, we discuss fun things like Anna Nicole Smith to blow off stream from the stress of our regular lives.
            • by Rycross (836649)
              Honestly I don't get how Anne Nicole Smith is a fun thing to talk about. But then again, most peoples' eyes glaze over when I start going over the latest in game design.
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by sumdumass (711423)
                The thing about Anne Nicole Smith is a bit of everything to everyone. the "fun to talk about" part is how they conect to it. First it is a cinderella story were a stripper made it big with prince "charming huge bankacount". Next, it represent all that is evil about women who are after your money. It also shows the tug and pull of greedy reletives who aren't willing to share money from a deceased reletive with the people who gave them joy an happyness in their final days But, on the flipside, is shows how be
            • by DShard (159067)
              I would accept your apology, but I won't. Not again. You keep promising to stop abusing my trust, but their you are, doing it all over again. While your busy sipping your mocha-frappa-iced-chino with your buddies, you leave me toiling away in a hot server room. And do I get a thank you? No, just snide condescension about how I have really let myself go. That's it society... you need to find yourself someone else to take your abuse!
      • by erroneus (253617)
        Seriously, what NASCAR scandal?

        Unless you're talking about a realization that the "SC" in NASCAR means "Stock Car" and the cars they race are anything but "stock" being the source of the scandal, then I have no idea what you're talking about. Is Dale Earnhart dead or isn't he?
      • by Knara (9377)

        What? How do you cheat in NASCAR? They using some sort of non-regulation parts or something? Furthermore, as I ask this, I wonder why I care.

        As an aside, that's a pretty cool user number.

        • by gfxguy (98788)
          Well, while I'm guessing most people really don't care, I'll answer anyway. Most were not really "cheating", just subtle violations. The lastest was the car was an inch lower than allowed (sacrifices safety for speed). Another biggie was an "illegal" substance in the fuel.
        • by MightyYar (622222)
          Not as cool as a four-digit user number, oh elder lord and master.
      • Re:Thing is... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Clazzy (958719) on Friday February 16, 2007 @02:19PM (#18041390)
        But the people on Slashdot are the people who buy the operating systems. The average person would never go out to the shops and buy Vista, they'd buy a computer with it preinstalled.
        • by MightyYar (622222)
          Sadly, you'd be mistaken! I've had to clean up a few botched installs of XP now. Yes, you can botch it, no, I don't know how - I've only seen the aftermath. The worst one was my mother-in-law's computer. It had 32MB of RAM (IIRC) and the Windows 98 version of Norton antivirus loaded on to it. Believe it or not, I was not summoned to fix the computer because it took 1/2 hour to start up, but because she couldn't get the Zip drive to work. I remember being surprised about the amount of RAM because I was certa
      • Re:Thing is... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by the_macman (874383) on Friday February 16, 2007 @03:56PM (#18042990)

        Replace "most people" with "most people on Slashdot"... Most people have no idea what MS has done in the past 5 years, nor do they care. The NASCAR scandal is all they can handle right now.
        Actually...you're dead wrong. You are correct most people don't pay attention to MS, but people aren't gonna go out and pay $250 (or however much it costs) for something they don't know about.

        I know for a FACT that people who are clueless about computers already have the idea Vista sucks and do not want to buy it.

        You know why? They ask US for advice and we tell them it sucks. I can personally think of 5+ accounts of average users asking about upgrading to Vista and a horde of geeks respond with a resounding NO! These are some of the things I've heard average users say about Vista...

        1. "It's riddled with anti-piracy locks, why get Vista when my pirated copy of XP works fine"
        2. "XP works great, why should I get Vista?"
        3. "I heard it won't run on my computer"
        4. "Unless your computer is brand new it will run like crap"
        5. "It sucks for games. If you want to game man, stick with XP"

        So don't say people have no idea about Vista, that is simply untrue.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by flibuste (523578)

        The NASCAR scandal is all they can handle right now.

        I'm one of the most people, and have no idea what you're talking about. However, I am well aware that Microsoft was busy releasing security patches for the last 5 years.
    • Re:Thing is... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by eln (21727) on Friday February 16, 2007 @01:52PM (#18040844) Homepage
      Vista had a lot of marketing among the technology industry, but it also had a ton of bad press from beta testers reviewing it (You are posting a comment critical to Windows Vista, confirm or deny?). The mass media marketing did not really get into gear until fairly recently, and by that time anyone who was familiar with technology was already spreading the news that Vista was not very much different than XP except that it broke a lot of things that work under XP without providing a well-known mechanism for backward compatibility (even XP's broken Win95 emulation mode was better than nothing).

      When faced with a new product that works almost the same as the old product except that existing software doesn't work very well on it, I don't see why it's such a shock that uptake has been so slow.
      • by JMZero (449047) on Friday February 16, 2007 @03:00PM (#18042130) Homepage
        Our internal web site uses the DHTML Edit control - which doesn't work with Vista (for no good reason). So we've let all our staff know not to upgrade, at least not for now. We've investigated a number of workarounds, but they're all going to be work for us to implement, provide less to the user, and make development more complicated. This one feature means Vista is a stiff downgrade for us and will keep many of our users off of it at home and at work.

        MS's general legacy of good backwards compatibility is the only thing that's kept us with MS over the years. If they continue to break that, we're not going to stick with them on the desktop. It's that simple. MS needs to understand that the features they push us to use in 2002 don't just have to work until 2006. We have to have some confidence that the feature we use today will be available in 10 years (or longer) especially if there's no real reason to remove it.

        Anyways... just needed to vent a bit there.
    • Re:Thing is... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by spellraiser (764337) on Friday February 16, 2007 @01:57PM (#18040936) Journal

      I'm not surprised at all either. Vista offers nothing substantially new that justifies the price of an upgrade. Sure, it has a fancy new interface and supposedly better security, but at the end of the day it's just a little bit of more of the same. There's only so much you can squeeze out of a desktop system - after all, it's only the bones of the system. The meat is in the applications. If your OS is already quite good enough and does everything you need it to do, why shell out for an upgrade?

      However, Office 2007 at least supposedly offers a revolutionary new way to use the application. It seems that this promise has enormous appeal for people. For instance, I'm having a harder time than ever debating the merits of OpenOffice. It seems Microsoft could have a winner there, loath as I am to admit it. Doesn't change the fact that I'm sticking with OO and Linux, but still ...

      • Re:Thing is... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by gfxguy (98788) on Friday February 16, 2007 @02:43PM (#18041844)
        I was in a "forced" to upgrade to XP situation recently. But that's like 5 years after XP was released. It was one of those situations where the software probably didn't really require anything specific to XP, but the installer did an OS check and wouldn't install on 2K. I can see this from the software company's point of view; 2K is no longer supported by MS, why should the software company waste resources supporting it? Still, they could have just said "it'll install on 2K but we'll only provide support if you have problems on XP."

        Anyway, it was recent enough that MS offered a free upgrade to Vista when it was released. So now I have a free Vista upgrade that I'll hold onto until I run across an application what won't run on XP. So, that'll maybe be five years from now, when a lot of the bugs in Vista have been worked out and a lot of the opressive DRM has been disabled, I'll run across some app that wants Vista and I'll have it.

        Or, if Linux developers can manage to keep up, I'll be able to do what I want in Linux without needing a PhD in Linuxology. I still use Linux for most of my work. Games and video editing are on Windows. That's just the way it is right now.
        • Re:Thing is... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by SEMW (967629) on Friday February 16, 2007 @05:03PM (#18044086)

          2K is no longer supported by MS
          You should consider informing Microsoft that they don't support Windows 2000 any more. They themselves seem to be under the impression that it's supported until June 2010.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by coastin (780654) *
      I thought the campaign was starting to slow down a bit. weak sales would explain that. With 5 years to forget why someone should rush out and buy the next OS, MS has re-trained many of their user base not to need the newest thing. It will take some time for them to re-train the user base to want the newest thing again.
      • MS has re-trained many of their user base not to need the newest thing.

        Only the smart ones. One of our users went out and bought Vista day one because it's the latest and greatest. They actually called it that. Scary.

        Pity the AV software we use doesn't work on Vista yet... Oh well.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Software (179033)
      >There's even a home and student version for people who can't afford paying for standard edition.

      I'm not sure if you know this, but the Home and Student edition has been around for several years. http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Office-Student-Tea cher-2003/dp/B0000C0XT1 [amazon.com]

  • confirm response, accept or deny?

    Vista bugs me too much. I killed it.
    • by SirMeliot (864836) on Friday February 16, 2007 @01:57PM (#18040956)
      I'm not remotely surprised. XP was a huge upgrade from Win 98. In comparison Vista's more like Win Me
      • XP was an entire kernel change. Vista, however, is so rushed and incomplete that SP1 is actually coming later this year. A service pack in the same year of release. Ouch.
        • by SEMW (967629) on Friday February 16, 2007 @05:18PM (#18044300)

          Vista, however, is so rushed and incomplete that SP1 is actually coming later this year.
          5 years in development, and over one and a half years in Beta (that's three seperate complete releases of Ubuntu in the time Vista's been in beta), and you're calling it rushed? You can accuse Vista of being many things, not all particularly complimentary, but I don't think rushed is one of them.

          Re the SP1 thing, IIRC from what I've read that's a combination of bringing Vista up to date with the by-then-released Longhorn Server and pacifying the "Don't upgrade till SP1!" crowd; but I could be wrong.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dachannien (617929)
      confirm response, accept or deny?

      We've come a long way since "Abort, Retry, Fail?", haven't we.
      • by ozbird (127571)
        I assume SP1 will remove these confusing choices and give people the dialog box they really want (apart from no dialog at all, of course):
        Confirm response: whatever.
  • Not Surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rycross (836649) on Friday February 16, 2007 @01:59PM (#18040996)
    Having had access to the Vista RTM for several months through my MSDN subscription, Ive had a decent amount of friends and family asking me if they should upgrade. I always tell them thats its a fairly nice OS but its not worth the money. Take it if its free, but otherwise stick with what you have. There aren't enough feature updates to justify spending $100+.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by aslate (675607)
      Indeed, i'm perfectly happy with Vista and have been running it for almost a month now. It seems to network better with my XP laptop than XP did, runs at the same sort of speed as XP and i've not hit anything that's a problem. I prefer the way things seem a bit more rounded and easier to use. Control Panel has a search, type in screen resolution and it'll link to where to change it!

      I wouldn't pay for this upgrade, but running Vista Business for free from my Uni's MSDNAA scheme means i get the upgrade for fr
    • Re:Not Surprising (Score:4, Insightful)

      by fermion (181285) on Friday February 16, 2007 @03:39PM (#18042700) Homepage Journal
      The price is the key issue. The cheap versions are of confusing fuctionality, and the cost of the full version, often bought by people who don't need it, but hate to buy limited versions, are astronomical. The cost of the OS is now more than the computer it runs on(And don't say that good PCs are $1000, because that is the cost of Apple, and we all know that Apples are at least twice the price of the PC).

      OTOH, cost may only be half the issue. When XP came out, MS did not have a mature mainstream OS. Many were able to NT, but many other were still on 98, or, even worse, ME. Only a limited number of people were on 2000. When XP was released, the market was desperate for an OS that just worked, and, after a couple years, XP did mostly just work. Only the die hards stay with 2000.

      If we go even deeper, we know that Vista should be an inferior product, if not a total failure. MS does come out with consecutive reliable OS. Perhaps Vista 3.11 will meet expectations, but not Vista 1.00.

  • Not surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Friday February 16, 2007 @01:59PM (#18041002)
    People rarely talk about just how viral Office updates are. You save a doc in 2000 format, and suddenly 97 can no longer open it. Save it in 2003 and 2000 can't open it. And so on. A customer/vendor/friend sends you a doc file, and you can't open it. Time to upgrade!
    • People rarely talk about just how viral Office updates are. You save a doc in 2000 format, and suddenly 97 can no longer open it. Save it in 2003 and 2000 can't open it. And so on. A customer/vendor/friend sends you a doc file, and you can't open it. Time to upgrade!

      That's one of the nice things about the free Open Source software in Open Office - you can open and save to all the formats.
    • by Rycross (836649)
      I'm not sure how this is offtopic. I totally agree. I recently had to install office on my computer to send out some documents, and paused when considering the version. Should I install 2k7? I ended up going with 2k3 because I was afraid people wouldn't be able to read my documents.

      Its not out of the question that people would upgrade just to make sure that they can read the latest Microsoft formats.
      • Re:Not surprising (Score:4, Informative)

        by mingot (665080) on Friday February 16, 2007 @02:19PM (#18041394)
        Why? Is saving as "Word 97-2003" document difficult?

        Also, folks using Word 2000 and later can use the new formats with a compatibilty pack [msdn.com]
        • by Rycross (836649)
          Only because I had a brain fart and forgot you could do so.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by gig (78408)
          > Why? Is saving as "Word 97-2003" document difficult?

          Yeah, when you have hundreds or thousands of documents. Yeah, when you know from experience that every conversion that MS Office makes breaks every document in some way.

          Compatibility pack?! You're killing me. You have to install an extra in order to make MS Office compatible with MS Office?

          Word is only a little older than the Web, huh? Word is 1985 and the Web is 1990 and by now Word ought to be compatible with itself out of the box.
          • Re:Not surprising (Score:4, Insightful)

            by mingot (665080) on Friday February 16, 2007 @04:17PM (#18043336)
            Yeah, when you have hundreds or thousands of documents.

            The poster I replied to mentioned he had to install office to "send some documents". I'm pretty sure that "send some documents" does not mean that he wants to convert and send "hundreds of thousands" of documents. For this user I am quite sure that the "save as" function would have worked quite well, and he admits as much in a followup message.

            Compatibility pack?! You're killing me. You have to install an extra in order to make MS Office compatible with MS Office?

            Is it that unreasonable to have to update older versions of a product to consume newer versions of file formats? I mean if I grabbed a copy of mosaic from 1990 I don't think it would do a very good job of displaying PNG files, would it? Or CSS. Or modern HTML. (much like the IE of today, HAHA). It would require a *gasp* update.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by SEMW (967629)

            > Why? Is saving as "Word 97-2003" document difficult?
            Yeah, when you have hundreds or thousands of documents.
            Office 2007 has this incredible new feature called "set as default". It allows you to choose a format to save in once, and it will continue to use that format in subsequent times! I can't believe no-one thought of this feature before Office 2007! Amazing, these Microsoft Innovations, huh?
      • by erroneus (253617)
        You're a rare and thoughtful person. Most people don't think in terms of the receiver. They only think in terms of themselves as the sender... unless of course themselves as the receiver. It boils down to who they think of the most. You don't want to make upgrade decisions for others, so you don't "upgrade." Other people, on the other hand, aren't thinking in those terms. They think, "We have the newest, and we can read all your stuff just fine. The problem is on your end." And so the cycle perpetua
    • True. And the biggest honcho in the company, the CEO or the CFO always replace their laptops every six months or one year and they cant be bothered to change their preferences to save in an older format by default. So suddenly no one in the company is able to open an attachment from the big cheeses. Another round of upgrades for all. The IT department does not care because that is how their budget increases and they wined and dined by the vendor. The working stiffs dont bother because they get a day or two
    • Re:Not surprising (Score:4, Informative)

      by mingot (665080) on Friday February 16, 2007 @02:21PM (#18041442)
      You save a doc in 2000 format, and suddenly 97 can no longer open it. Save it in 2003 and 2000 can't open it. And so on. A customer/vendor/friend sends you a doc file, and you can't open it. Time to upgrade!

      You're misinformed. All versions of office from 97-2k3 can open each others files with no need to do anything special when saving or loading.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by goofballs (585077)
      slashdot crowd's supposed to be informed techies, and this gets modded insightful? he's wrong on all counts- office has had the same format from 97-2003.
    • Re:Not surprising (Score:5, Interesting)

      by arth1 (260657) on Friday February 16, 2007 @02:57PM (#18042086) Homepage Journal
      Someone I Know bought a laptop with Vista on it. She then installed Office 2003 on it, since she already owned that (and the Office EULA specifically allows you to install it on a second portable machine). What happened was that although it runs just fine, Vista throws up requesters every time she starts an office app telling her that she's not using the correct version of Office for running under Vista.

      My guess is that a lot of the Office 2007 sales are due to this -- Microsoft makes it hard for people to continue to use old versions, even though they work. So they give up and buy Office 2007 whether they need it or not.

      Regards,
      --
      *Art
  • Microsoft replaced a hundred menu items with a dozen toolbar buttons. Granted, buttons change with context, but on the other hand, 12 100 and there is no way to see all the program's functionality in one place. They should have just kept a menu bar, then it would be a clever innovation. In IE7, which uses a similar trick, there is no easy way to open a local file rather than an HTTP URL without re-enabling the menu, which is not an option in Office. In Media Player, its totally baffling that the default sc
  • by pla (258480) on Friday February 16, 2007 @02:03PM (#18041046) Journal
    A comparison of first-week retail sales of Vista compared to first-week sales of XP back in 2001 found that Vista sales were 60% lower.

    And of those who did buy Vista, most didn't even want it!

    I've helped four friends/family/FOAFs out so far who just bought a new PC and wanted to know how to get rid of Vista (the major OEMs no longer even give you a choice of XP).

    They all, without exception, had the same set of complaints... They didn't know where to get at all the normal Windows tools, and despite having "upgraded" for a faster computer, their new machines, it felt significantly less responsive (I've translated a bit, and removed the streams of obscenities).

    Short of piracy (or actually buying XP), I explained to them how to make Vista as XP-like as possible. Still not perfect, still a CPU and memory hog, still moved quite a bit around from the XP layout, but at least they could then use it.



    Pathetic. If Microsoft wants to offer a new OS, fine. But they've gone out of their way to make it almost impossible to get a new, legal copy of XP, just so they can boost Vista's market penetration.
    what OS they want?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by amuro98 (461673)
      I was recently shopping for a new computer for my in-laws. I didn't want Vista. All the big-box stores had practically gotten rid of their XP PCs. Best Buy and MicroCenter had some left, but they were marked down.

      What I found most disturbing was that the majority of the Vista PCs were severely under equipped for the job. Sure, they had a plenty fast processor, but most only came with 256MB or 512MB of RAM and integrated video cards that used up to 50% of the system's main RAM! Still, the PC area was pa
      • by PPGMD (679725)
        This problem isn't confined to just Windows Vista. When Windows XP first came out it had the exact same problem, most of the value systems (even until SP2 came out) were 128 MB RAM with on-board graphics that consumed 16-32MB of that precious RAM. Sure it ran Windows, but it didn't run it well.

        A great example of why thats an issue is this, Windows XP SP 2 clean install with just the usual drivers took 70-90MB of RAM on average, lets low ball all the numbers. After 16MB graphics you have 112 MB of RAM left

    • by PPGMD (679725)
      Pathetic. If Microsoft wants to offer a new OS, fine. But they've gone out of their way to make it almost impossible to get a new, legal copy of XP, just so they can boost Vista's market penetration. what OS they want?

      I don't think it's Microsoft that is making it impossible for Windows XP to be available, OEMs like Dell and others still offer Windows XP on their business side. It's likely market economics, the number of people that knowingly WANT Windows XP is going to be much much lower then the users

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by compupc1 (138208)
      First, it sounds more like most of their complaints are not with Vista itself, but that Vista is different from XP. I guess I don't understand this. The point of an OS upgrade is that things change, hopefully for the better. And people here complain that not enough changed to justify an upgrade. Well it doesn't work both ways. Changes (in anything in life) do incur a learning curve, but the idea is that once you get used to the change, you're better off.

      Secondly, you claim that Vista is a memory hog.
    • by westlake (615356)
      I've helped four friends/family/FOAFs out so far who just bought a new PC and wanted to know how to get rid of Vista

      and while you helped four friends get rid of Vista, how many others have chosen to stay with Vista?

      the geek vastly overstates his impact on the mass consumer market.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday February 16, 2007 @02:09PM (#18041172) Homepage
    People upgrade to keep current and compatible. I find little to no software that doesn't run on Windows 2000, forget about XP and Vista. They have XP because all the computers they bought came with it. Little incentive really came into play to upgrade to XP just as little incentive exists for upgrading to Vista.

    People upgrade MS Office to ensure that when they are doing business with people, they will be able to open up the documents sent to them. MS Office is probably the ultimate achievement when it comes to viral marketing. (Or maybe I'm not using the term correctly?) But what I'm trying to say is that it has nothing to do with new features or new UIs and everything to do with supporting new file formats. And while end-users don't understand that it's a practice that is abusive to consumers and the marketplace in general, they understand that if they don't upgrade, they will run into problems such as not being able to open documents critical to their business activities.
    • by bigpat (158134)

      And while end-users don't understand that it's a practice that is abusive to consumers and the marketplace in general, they understand that if they don't upgrade, they will run into problems such as not being able to open documents critical to their business activities.

      Wait ... uh ... what? You think they do that on purpose? I mean think about all the new features that those new document formats support! Like ummm... fonts... err... umm... inserting an image or wait hold on, well don't you worry it is all very technical and complicated. Just rest assured that Microsoft isn't just trying to squeeze every last drop from its customers by extending a monopoly it lucked into 20 years ago!

  • Hardware? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ArcherB (796902) * on Friday February 16, 2007 @02:11PM (#18041214) Journal
    Could it be that no one has the hardware to run Vista with all of its features turned on, and to make such an upgrade after purchasing Vista would invalidate the license, forcing another purchase of Vista?

    People will wait until they need to purchase a new machine that it comes with Vista.
    • i don't know about vista (haven't made the switch yet), but i have been using office 2007 at work on a 3 gig P4 with a gig of ram and it's visibly slower than o2k3. not unsuable by any stretch, but not nearly as snappy as i had become accustomed to with XPpro/o2k3pro

  • by chaboud (231590) on Friday February 16, 2007 @02:14PM (#18041274) Homepage Journal
    My mother in law saw Vista on my laptop, saw me searching, using the start bar, and using Office 2007. She was very eager to upgrade, and she asked how she could do that.

    I explained that she could buy the disc at a place like Office Depot, Best Buy, or wherever else she likes to get software (she's always just stuck with the OS on her machine from birth->death), but I also warned that she should make sure that the software she wants to run on her machine will run without problems before she bothers to do a big upgrade.

    Quickbooks, some realtor software, and something her office uses have notes about compatibility problems with Vista. She stopped looking after that.

    This is the first Windows release that I've used in which roughly half of the things I install have had some compatibility issues, noted in advance or discovered by me. It doesn't keep things from being usable in the general case, but it's more than just media FUD at this point.

    They/we will fix it with OS/software updates over time.
  • No surprise (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday February 16, 2007 @02:15PM (#18041290)
    A new OS is a much bigger commitment than a new Office suite. You generally are going to have zero compatibility problems with old documents and that's all you really need to worry about. If you end up not liking it, it's also not a big deal to replace it with your old version. A new OS is much more serious, and there are many more compatibility issues to worry about. It's not the kind of thing most want to rush in to.

    I've been testing Vista at work and it's a good OS, but not ready for deployment yet. It's not Vista itself, it's apps and drivers. There's still plenty of hardware with drivers that aren't up to snuff, and a number of apps need to be updated to work on Vista. It's not the kind of thing I'd recommend most users walk in to yet. In another 3-6 months I'll probably look at deploying it to some of our labs.

    Office, on the other hand, we are installing for anyone that orders a new copy. The volume keys are valid for either 2003 or 2007 so we are installing 2007 and will revert to 2003 if they don't like it. So far, nobody has asked to revert. There's just not really any technical issues. Yes there's a new interface and all, but all your documents open and that's the real concern.
  • by Bullfish (858648) on Friday February 16, 2007 @02:26PM (#18041570)
    Thing is, MS has the legs in terms of cash to wait for Vista to mature into a market force, even if all of us wait for Vista to mature into a better OS. People howled when XP came out, and now people don't want to give it up. When Win95 came out, it sold very well despite all the Win95 = Mac 88 jokes. Within three years expect Vista to the dominating operating system. Today's expensive hardware required to run the fancier parts of Vista will be next year's cheap hardware. The drivers to run everything will come and DX10 games will eventually show.

    I will wait until I need to/want to upgrade, but I expect Vista will grow in usage even if I never adopt it. Whatever adoption rate regarding Vista is happening today, don't expect it to stay that way. Also don't expect MS to be crying that everyone isn't picking up a copy today.
  • Amazing! (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheOldSchooler (850678) on Friday February 16, 2007 @02:28PM (#18041606)
    It's almost as if the crappy product with very little innovation is selling poorly, while the well thought out product that has some innovative features is doing nicely. Who woulda thought.
  • by donutello (88309) on Friday February 16, 2007 @02:33PM (#18041678) Homepage
    Ballmer didn't "admit that previous sales forecasts were 'overly aggressive'".

    The implication of that statement is:
    - Ballmer/Microsoft issued a sales forecast in the past
    - They were pressured on the accuracy of said forecast
    - They admitted that their forecasts were overly aggressive.

    However, that's not what happened here. The sales forecasts in question were made by external analysts. In this case, it's Ballmer and Microsoft disagreeing with the forecasts. The word "admit" implies that you are conceding something that you tried to conceal before.

    Why does Slashdot need to spin every story to try and make it sound even more negative than it is?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Ballmer didn't "admit that previous sales forecasts were 'overly aggressive'".

      Yes, he did.

      The word "admit" implies that you are conceding something that you tried to conceal before.

      No, it's just admitting bad news. If I admit Matrix Revolutions sucked ass, it doesn't mean I was praising it before. It just means I'm saying something I wish wasn't true, but is. Admit means "confess to be true or to be the case, typically with reluctance" according to the Oxford dictionary built into OS X.

      I seem to recall t

  • Unless you need more than 256 columns for excel, why on earth would anybody pay for such a worthless "upgrade" ? I suppose, eventually, you will get office-2007 docs that you need to open, but that will not happen for time yet.
    • Office 2007 impresses me. It's the first innovative thing I've seen come from them in years. The ribbon is actually pretty fun to use, and it gets rid of those stupid taskbars on the side that were in XP and 2003. Word probably benefits the most from the ribbon. Excel also gets the cool page view that Mac Office has had for years now.
  • by rasper99 (247555) on Friday February 16, 2007 @02:47PM (#18041900)
    It's interesting that Dell doesn't sell XP on the low end machines but it's still available on the mid and high end. Their consumer calls go to India and business calls don't. Are they turning the home users into a large beta test group using the cheaper support resources?

    They also have a laptop for $499 which they haven't had in quite a while. It's only available with Vista. Maybe M$ is giving it away (or almost giving it away) to Dell to infect the market?

    A quick check of the HP site doesn't seem to have any XP options even on the high end.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rycross (836649)
      I'm guessing the high end would more for gaming, which apparently has issues under Vista at the moment. Also, could be that they sell more high end stuff to businesses, who usually aren't eager to adopt a "new" technology like Vista.
  • Because of the nature of Vista (Graphics Hardware acceleration being one), it's unlikely for us to see a lot of OEM/Upgrade copies of Vista. I think most people wanting to try Vista will either already have a powerful computer (a minority among most people), or will have Vista packaged in with a new PC.

    I'm a Mac guy, and personally don't see anything compelling about Vista at the moment and am happy with dual booting into XP, but I think it's too early for people to claim that Vista is a failure.
  • What surprises me is that XP has been almost completely removed as an option for consumer-level machines. In the past, such as when XP came out, you could often still get machines with 98/ME or 2000 during a transition period. Some even had both on the disc (and dual license keys on the sticker.) With the exception of business machines, XP is rapidly disappearing from retail machines.
  • I hate MS as much as anyone (I'm a Mac Fanboy if ever there was one) I have to say, though, the new features in Sharepoint 2007 are good enough to perhaps entrench microsoft in the coming onslought of office products from Google and others. It's a solid collaboration tool. The new slide library tool is going to be a big hit with office like mine that have about 2,000 slides to manage. Sharepoint may be the only MS product I've ever been excited for.
  • I think it's funny to hear these exceutives couch their phrases behind action packed verbs!!!

    Replace "Overly agressive" with "too hopeful" to get back to a normal person.

  • by Sloppy (14984) on Friday February 16, 2007 @03:19PM (#18042412) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft would be nothing without the preloads. But they have the preloads. Anyone who thinks Vista sales won't take off, must have forgotten this.

    Just be patient. As brand new machines are sold with Vista on them, the number of Vista users will grow. Then people can start running apps that only work with Vista. Then those people will want to exchange information with people who aren't running Vista yet. And then people will start to "upgrade," even if they're not buying a new machine.

  • Xp actually is proficient at what it does. If it isn't proficient in the last 5 years someone has produced an add on to it. Let's not pretend Vista is doing better or worse on it's own merits. The PS3 sold out the first week so even if something is flawed it can sell X amount of copies if the need is there. There was a need for 98, 2000, XP, you can even argue there was a need for ME (that wasn't filled). But there is yet to be a need for Vista.
  • by westlake (615356) on Friday February 16, 2007 @04:15PM (#18043310)
    There is something to be said for reading the fine article:

    First-week retail sales of boxed copies of Windows Vista were almost 60% below sales of boxed copies of Windows XP in the week after its 2001 release

    Retail sales of PCs, virtually all of them sporting the new Vista OS, were up 67% over the same week in 2006. While that is hardly an apples-to-apples comparison -- many stores were clearing out their XP inventory in the weeks leading up to Vista's launch -- "it still reflects a fair bit of growth"

    The good news for Microsoft: Consumers who are upgrading to Vista on their older machines are opting for pricier, higher-end versions of it. The average selling price of Vista was $207.13, up 66% from the average selling price of XP. That was due in part to the fact that more than 30% of the copies of Vista sold were the Ultimate version, which lists for $399. Early boxed retail sales of Vista down nearly 60% compared to XP [computerworld.com]

    One might, of course, have expected boxed sales of Vista to be somewhat depressed by the distribution of free upgrade coupons distributed with PCs sold over the holidays.

It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. - W. K. Clifford, British philosopher, circa 1876

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