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Windows Operating Systems Software Microsoft

Vista Sales Rate Fell Last Quarter 449

Posted by kdawson
from the peaked-too-early dept.
Microsoft is not directly mentioning Vista demand while they brag about how much money they made last quarter, because sales fell. "[Microsoft] shipped approximately 28 million copies of Vista in the latest quarter ended September, or 9.3 million copies per month. Though the Windows developer pointed to 27 percent growth in business licenses and noted that many home users were buying the more lucrative Vista Home Premium or Ultimate editions, the rate represents a decline from the 10 million per month reported early in summer."
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Vista Sales Rate Fell Last Quarter

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  • XP Sales? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by reaktor (949798) on Sunday October 28, 2007 @12:04PM (#21148881)
    What about sales of Windows XP?
    • Re:XP Sales? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hackstraw (262471) on Sunday October 28, 2007 @12:56PM (#21149303)
      What about sales of Windows XP?

      I don't understand the play by play of each sale of Vista. The above is a fairly relevant question. Along with the summary "they brag about how much money they made last quarter". That is the bottom line. Most computers come with Microsoft software, even if the user does not intend to use the software. At work, most of the desktop and laptops PCs come with windows preinstalled (~90+%), and we either put Linux on them or a site licensed version of Windows XP.

      Where I work, like 70 or more percent of the users prefer Linux as the OS. So, today in 2007, regardless of whether we use Windows or Linux, Microsoft gets a cut. How does Vista even come into the picture?

      Another thing is that desktop OSes have stagnated. AFAIK, there is nothing significantly different between Windows 2000 and Vista (I'm not a Windows person, so give me some leeway here). That is 7 years of supposed progress. Sure there may be driver updates, and I believe that directX for games is limited on 2k, but the core features are about the same.

      My point is that MS has to keep doing _something_ to stay somewhat current, but when it comes down to it, they have established themselves almost like the government in that they simply get a cut of everything anyone does. So Vista might be like Bob or ME. They are still in business.

      • Re:XP Sales? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by LurkerXXX (667952) on Sunday October 28, 2007 @01:06PM (#21149349)
        Actually there are significant differences between 2000 and Vista. There are many nice new features in XP.

        The problem is for myself and many many others, the downsides of Vista (hardware requirements, bugs in a zero revision OS, etc, etc) outweigh the benefits.

        As time goes on and new patches/service packs come out, and people move to new faster hardware, those downsides will become somewhat less, and more people will likely switch to Vista that currently wouldn't consider it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by LurkerXXX (667952)
          er, make that nice new features in Vista.
        • Re:XP Sales? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Thangodin (177516) <elentar@sympQUOTEatico.ca minus punct> on Sunday October 28, 2007 @03:01PM (#21150327) Homepage
          I've heard that the problem with Vista is not one that can be patched; the kernal has built in DRM, and the DRM is performing background checks every time you stream or play anything (even while you play games.) In other words, the flaw is by design, and will never be fixed. This would certainly explain the problem where playing music drops network bandwidth to ten or twenty percent. Apparently, if you buy Vista, you get to be screwed by the RIAA at clock cycle regularity.

          Can anyone confirm this?

          I'm looking to buy a new computer, but at the moment Vista is a deal breaker. I'd even be willing to buy a legit copy of XP for it, but the copy protection is too onerous--I can change my hardware configuration on a desktop machine five times in five minutes, and I'll be damned if I'm going to call Microsoft at 2:00 AM to ask permission to use MY computer. (It's not a problem on my laptop.)

          By the way, I'm a little suspicious of some of the pro-Microsoft apologists here, especially after reading posts on discussions about the XBox 360 vs. PS3, which bear no relation from what I'm hearing from owners of those consoles (in some cases with the 360, former owners.) I suspect we have a few people from Microsoft's marketing department lurking here, so take at least some of the glowing reviews of Vista here with a grain of salt.
          • Re:XP Sales? (Score:4, Informative)

            by Johnno74 (252399) on Sunday October 28, 2007 @08:31PM (#21152811)
            I can confirm that the DRM stuff is pure FUD. You are thinking of the paper written by peter someone at Auckland University. He used such worthwhile sources of information as anonymous posts on online forums for his data. Lots of places use his paper as evidence that vista is crap, but more serious analysis has shown just how shoddy his paper is.

            Vista does have more bells and whistles which do slow the system down somewhat. Also ATI and NVidia have had issues getting drivers to perform as well as they do in XP - their developers have had to learn a whole new architecture. Only recently are they catching up...

            Yes, vista does throttle the network somewhat when media player plays MP3s. This is a silly, silly design decision to compensate a problem some users may sometimes have. And to compound that a bug means the network is throttled much more than is necessary. This bug is fixed in SP1 (I beleive) and due to the bad press they got I wouldn't be surprised if MS revisit the while network throttling. I hope they do.

            I use vista, and there is plenty I don't like about it, but the DRM FUD pisses me off. Yes, vista does support some new DRM features. No, those DRM features are not applied to any of the media you are using today. Vista has performed as well or better than XP for me when ripping, downloading, playing and copying movies.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by drsmithy (35869)

            Can anyone confirm this?

            I can confirm it is wrong. If you aren't using DRM-encumbered media, none of Vista's DRM systems will be active.

      • Re:XP Sales? (Score:5, Informative)

        by realdodgeman (1113225) on Sunday October 28, 2007 @01:14PM (#21149403) Homepage
        You should reclaim money for every single licence you don't use.
        1. To save money
        2. Not to fund MS.
      • My point is that MS has to keep doing _something_

        Without trolling, I could think of a few things:

        1. How 'bout delivering a more robust file system, ala Relational FS (or something) so that the OS knows where all files are at all times? Desktop search is a joke. The search is for me, not for the OS.

        2. How 'bout making a quantum leap as far as the architecture of the OS itself. Create a VM to support legacy software, but completely do a top/down sweep of the past 27 years. There are still relics from the MS-DOS days still in Vista. Let them die, alr

  • ...What? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Who Cares? We all know what vista is and what it is not. Just purchase or use what meets your needs. Why is this article even posted?
  • 27 percent growth in business licenses? It's real easy to have a 27% growth on near-zero. I hate statistics.
  • Actually Vista was a secret plan to increase the value of Apple stock he quietly bought several years ago. He's wringing his hands at the thought of all the money he's going to make off the next service pack, cue evil laugh.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by MightyYar (622222)
      That stock was apparently sold off before 2002. The shame of it is, that $150 million investment would be worth about $6.5 billion today!
  • by thanksforthecrabs (1037698) on Sunday October 28, 2007 @12:12PM (#21148925)
    Ubuntu sales remained flat...
  • I assume those numbers also include the copy I received (and promptly wiped) when I bought my new Thinkpad.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by canuck57 (662392)

      I assume those numbers also include the copy I received (and promptly wiped) when I bought my new Thinkpad.

      Yes, you know it does. You also know it includes those that got wiped for XP or Linux. What would be a good indicator is how many have shipped versus how many "called home" last week for updates. The actual numbers of running Vista instances is greatly exaggerated.

      My guess is Microsoft will keep that number very very quiet. If Vista was a car, it would be known as an Edsel.

  • Vista Ultimate (Score:2, Insightful)

    by paulhar (652995)
    I'm running Ultimate on a few computers and can't for the life of me think what features are worth paying the extra for.
    Bitlocker - would love to use it but my laptop has a RAID-0 set of drives so bitlocker just hangs.
    Dreamscene - movie instead of wallpaper. Shame I have to open windows that then obscure it *cough*
    Texas Holdem - rarely play it
    Language packs - yeah - dead useful

    err... that's it.

    Looking towards the ultimate site - nothing happening of note: http://windowsultimate.com/Default.aspx [windowsultimate.com]

    Yawn.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by SEMW (967629)

      I'm running Ultimate on a few computers and can't for the life of me think what features are worth paying the extra for.

      Presuming you're comparing with Home Premium rather than Business, the most obvious things which come to mind are dual processor support (*cough*Artifical-Market-Segmentation*/cough*), and Volume Shadow Copy (i.e. Windows' version of Leopard's Time Machine, sans fancy interface). VSC can actually be pretty damn useful even if you have a proper backup system, if only for its ability to be used as an ad-hoc file versioning system.

      Then there's the enterprise & semi-server stuff like ability to join a do

      • Re:Vista Ultimate (Score:4, Interesting)

        by MrKevvy (85565) on Sunday October 28, 2007 @03:45PM (#21150715)
        Artifical-Market-Segmentation

        Interestingly, "Microsoft Vista" is an anagram of "Cost Favoritism", and "Microsoft Windows Vista" is an anagram of "It Wows Avid Conformists." I believe that these are original.

        I think the latter needs an animated GIF, and is a great comeback to the "well everyone else is upgrading so you should too" nonsense. ;^)
    • They actually make you buy the ultimate version to get multiple languages!? Thats INSANE! Especially in this world of increased globalization. I have used 4 different languages on my mac in the past month, and it's so easy and above all free. I haven't really messed around much with multiple languages on Linux, but from what I understand its not all that hard and of course free. Languages aren't the only thing thats free in the rest of the world but not windows. Other examples include ssh clients and
  • > many home users were buying the more lucrative Vista Home Premium or
    > Ultimate editions...

    Obviously. The "Basic" version (which is still considerably more expensive than Mac OS X Leopard or certainly Linux) is crippled to the point of ridiculous. It doesn't even come with the ability to play DVD's; instead it will take you to a Microsoft page where you can buy the necessary plug-ins.

    This is the way it should be:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RsOIdF_DdY [youtube.com]
    • by SEMW (967629)

      Obviously. The "Basic" version ... is crippled to the point of ridiculous. It doesn't even come with the ability to play DVD's...

      No version of Windows XP came with the ability (i.e. a codec) to play DVDs. Nor does any version of Linux that remains simultaneously free and legal. That doesn't mean Windows XP & Linux are "crippled to the point of ridiculous", it's just a licensing issue.

      BTW, I don't know what strange maths you use to reach the conclusion that "The "Basic" version ... is still considerably more expensive than Mac OS X Leopard":

      Vista Home Basic upgrade: List Price - $100; Amazon.com price - $59.
      Leopard upg

  • Not news. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by W2k (540424) <wilhelm@svenselius.gmail@com> on Sunday October 28, 2007 @12:15PM (#21148949) Homepage Journal
    Vista is no longer "new", so obviously there is less demand. Those who want it already own it, those who don't aren't going to buy it, but it's still being shipped on millions of new PC's. This goes for pretty much any product, sales are strong at the beginning then gradually fade. I would expect Vista sales to continue dropping, with another spike after SP1 is released and more people feel like trying it out.

    Apart from not being new, this also says nothing about the relative merits of Vista as an OS. In fact, if Vista sales had continued to increase right when people are saving up for the holidays, that would be extremely impressive, and quite unexpected.
  • by norbac (1113477) on Sunday October 28, 2007 @12:18PM (#21148979)
    Why is it not surprising that this is how the quarterly earnings report makes it onto Slashdot? The title could have read "Microsoft Reports 27% Revenue Growth; Fastest First Quarter Since 1999", or that Microsoft stock has reached its highest point it over 5 years. It might be notable that the Entertainment division was this quarter profitable, or that income in the client division still grew 25% (claims of slowing Vista sales notwithstanding).

    As much as folks here love to think that MSFT is a sinking ship, it's having its healthiest growth in years.
    • You know, you're not going to get very many mod points thinking like that. Try working on your delivery a bit.
    • by canuck57 (662392)

      As much as folks here love to think that MSFT is a sinking ship, it's having its healthiest growth in years.

      It will be short lived. People are running out and buying XP to replace Vista, and many are not happy about it. Am I glad I bought my last PC just before Vista came out.

      • by tjstork (137384)
        It will be short lived. People are running out and buying XP to replace Vista, and many are not happy about it. Am I glad I bought my last PC just before Vista came out.

        No, its because X-Box is kicking ass.
    • As much as folks here love to think that MSFT is a sinking ship, it's having its healthiest growth in years.

      Stocks "...have reached a permanent high plateau." (Irving Fisher, October 1929).

  • by MichaelCrawford (610140) on Sunday October 28, 2007 @12:23PM (#21149031) Homepage Journal
    Even the Windows driver guy where I work says Vista is awful. I haven't heard one good thing about it since it shipped, and I've heard a lot of bad things. I've never tried it, but I understand that it breaks a great deal of software.

    Now, some of that breakage is the result of improved security, but our Windows driver guy tells me that the disruption caused by the security causes a lot of users to just disable the security.

    Also, I understand that MS provided a version to a few top-tier OEMs that didn't require product activation by end users, so as not to annoy them. This resulted in a crack being written by the w4r3z community that doesn't require activation at all! (look for it on a p2p network near you.) The product activation is very sensitive to hardware changes, more so than XP, so that legitimate users get no end of hassle from Vista, while pirates aren't inconvenienced at all.

    Surely Microsoft must have had some regular people beta test Vista. And surely some - maybe all - of these people must have told MS that Vista shouldn't ship in the state it's in.

    My wife is thinking about getting a new laptop. I said to her "Make sure you don't get Vista, it's really screwed up" and you know what she said? "Oh, yeah I know. Apple runs these TV ads with a young guy who's supposed to be a Mac, and a guy who looks like Bill Gates who's supposed to be a PC. And whenever they try to talk to each other, this Secret Service agent interrupts them to make sure it's OK."

    Remember the Twiggy drive? Apple tried to manufacture their own floppy disk drive for the Apple II. They were never able to get it to work. There was a big shareholder lawsuit. I could really see a shareholder lawsuit coming from Vista. Corporate officers have a fiduciary duty - that means they're legally obligated - to look after shareholder interests. And Billy and Steve Balmer really screwed up.

    • by SEMW (967629)

      My wife is thinking about getting a new laptop. I said to her "Make sure you don't get Vista, it's really screwed up" and you know what she said? "Oh, yeah I know. Apple runs these TV ads with a young guy who's supposed to be a Mac, and a guy who looks like Bill Gates who's supposed to be a PC. And whenever they try to talk to each other, this Secret Service agent interrupts them to make sure it's OK."

      You mean that Apple advertisments claim Vista is bad? Really? Say it isn't so! Ah well, that settles the issue then: everyone knows that marketing and advertisments never lie.

      • by Bryan Ischo (893)
        You missed his point completely. He's just pointing out how his wife has formed her opinion on what more secure alternatives there are to Windows based on the Apple advertising she has seen. Whether the advertising is accurate or not, or Apple's motivations in making it, are not even up for debate here. The point is that his wife perceives that Microsoft Vista has difficulty of use due to its security band-aids (all those dialogs) and that the Mac is much simpler. The implication is that for many non-te
    • by DAldredge (2353)
      Vista brings in 300 million to 750 million USD per month. That isn't the definition of failure. Look at it another way - Vista brings in more for microsoft in 2 months then Redhat and Novell gross on Linux per year.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Sunday October 28, 2007 @12:27PM (#21149069) Homepage
    Something really does feel different from previous Windows OS introductions.

    My nontechnical friends and acquaintance do make light conversation about things they've heard of in the news, and will ask me, as a "computer genius," what I'm using at work. Previous Windows upgrades got mentioned in casual talk. Usually there are a least a few people who want to be the first kid on the block with it.

    Not this time.

    People talk about the iPhone, they talk about their newly-installed Verizon FiOS, their iPods, what brands of Wintel computers I trust, whether they can run Windows on the Intel Macs.

    I don't detect any consumer excitement about Vista. Nobody has asked me if they should upgrade. And a couple of people have asked me whether I agree with friends of their who told them to avoid it.

    Unscientific sample? You bet.
    • by moosesocks (264553) on Sunday October 28, 2007 @01:07PM (#21149359) Homepage
      I would peg this on a few different things:

      1) Vista was late. Really late. Many of the 'killer' features were torn out, leaving an OS that had very little new to offer. Apple's list of improvements between OS versions is very specific and tangible, addressing individual concerns. Time Machine sticks out as being a good example of this.
      2) Unlike Windows XP, which was a significant upgrade, and replaced an OS (98/Me!) that many consumers were unhappy with, people are generally still happy with XP. For the most part, all of the complaints people had with 98/Me were solved by XP.
      3) It was marketed poorly, and as I've already mentioned, it didn't have all that many tangible selling points. They could have put a huge emphasis on its supposedly improved resistance to viruses and spyware, but this would be admitting that XP was deeply and fundamentally flawed, which probably wouldn't sit too well with consumers either. This was a lot more noticeable against the backdrop of Apple's marketing campaigns. Apple's had arguably the most successful marketing campaign of any company in any industry over the past few years.
      4) Many consumers felt abandoned by Microsoft, after they stopped improving IE, and did virtually nothing to stop the pandemic proliferation of viruses and spyware until it was far too late. The fact that they strongly urge customers to purchase a 3rd-party AntiVirus reeks of incompetence, even to ordinary consumers.

      Come to think of it, Vista is probably the best thing that's ever happened to Apple.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Shados (741919)
        point 1) also has a twist to it. When XP came out, a lot of businesses (and even some home users) were still -considering- or planning switching to Windows 2000. XP came quite early, so people were not ready to switch.

        Thus, even though XP was uther garbage when it came out, no one noticed, no one really cared, and by the time anyone was really considering switching, SP1 was out, and -then- XP was good.

        With Vista, people were ready a LONG time ago and were WAITING. So the usual trick that Microsoft pulls off
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Bryan Ischo (893)
        > Come to think of it, Vista is probably the best thing that's ever happened to Apple.

        I think Apple's share price agrees with you.
    • I wonder how many people remember that MS is cooperating so that SD DVD's and Blue-Rays will play in low res or not at all.

      That sure must have taken the wind out of "media edition" sales. And made everyone hate Microsoft.

      Cool, my new OS will refuse to play movies for me, and won't let me copy DRMed mp3s. I'm feeling the love.
  • For lack of space in the title, I should also add illegal downloads of (Windows and Leopard).

    I think a fair assumption to make is that a large majority of Vista sales are on new computers. I think the interesting 'statistic' will be the number of Leopard sales in coming months as compared to Windows purchases (and downloads!). These purchases will likely be a part of a new PC purchase (or with some MS products) the purchase of hardware + OEM license .... who'd pay full retail for the OS?

    Anyways, with the ne
  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Sunday October 28, 2007 @12:44PM (#21149215)
    is the home market, where there is little choice. If you buy a PC, you pretty much get Vista installed.

    The business market has a little more choice available (XP is still being sold to businesses), and Windows XP is still the big seller.

    So what does this tell us? When there is a choice, XP is purchased instead of Vista. Microsoft tis so desperate to make it appear as if Vista is selling, that they are counting the Vista->XP "downgrade" as a Vista license in use.

    • by Shados (741919)
      While still fairly far from Windows' market share, Mac OSX is now a solid competitor in the home market, so there definately is a choice, and people are now well aware of Macs and that they are alternatives. In business, MacOSX is harder to get through, but in home market, there's no issues. People are just afraid of change, or (more rarely) don't want it.

      I'm in the later, I really dislike Apple, so its not like I'm a fanboy trying to push his favored OS... but this isn't 10 years ago... There IS a choice,
  • by LingNoi (1066278) on Sunday October 28, 2007 @01:03PM (#21149331)

    Journal written by twitter (104583)
    Twitter the troll [slashdot.org] made slashdot main page? WTF?!

    and posted by kdawson
    Oh right, nm.
  • by Toreo asesino (951231) on Sunday October 28, 2007 @01:20PM (#21149447) Journal
    Vista helped Microsoft, yet again, beat wall-street expectations (the people that are paid to know about these things) - http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/news/2007/10/26/microsoft-q1-profits [theinquirer.net] ...and it's sold 88 million copies so far. Not bad for an operating system that "doesn't work".
    • by Shados (741919)
      Indeed. The thing is Vista's a self fullfiling prophecy. People, especially in the geek world, did NOT want it to do well, and have a short memory. They claimed it would fail before it would even come out, and when it came out (and while it wasn't MacOSX quality, it was better than most other Microsoft's OS at launch), they found everything they could and went "SEE?!! TOLD YOU SO!!", including things that were not true whatsoever, or things that were no different in the XP days. In other words, "FUD".

      Now, i
  • Fall Sales - 7% (Score:3, Informative)

    by DavidD_CA (750156) on Sunday October 28, 2007 @01:51PM (#21149685) Homepage
    So basically, sales volume dropped 7%. They *only* sold 9.3 million copies, instead of the 10 million they sold in summer. While this article is an attempt to go "ha ha" to Microsoft, I think that's pretty darned good.

    Also consider that a rather large shopping season is right around the corner. Consumers will be rushing to upgrade their computers for the family, and businesses will be looking to spend some cash to get bigger tax breaks.

    Microsoft also cooled it on the advertising for the last quarter. They have a new campaign which is just now starting, and I predict the money they *didn't* spend last quarter will be given to the Q4 advertising budget.
  • They shipped more copies of Vista in the last QUARTER than there are TOTAL number of users of OS X combined. Not too shabby for an OS that "nobody wants".
  • by ThinkFr33ly (902481) on Sunday October 28, 2007 @02:14PM (#21149861)
    If Vista sales were really as bad as Slashdot and its readers would like you to believe, then Microsoft would have been hammered by Wall Street.

    Think about it. A massive percentage of Microsoft's revenue comes from Windows. (With most of the rest coming from Office.) If Vista sales were bad, or even a just a little under what was expected, Microsoft's stock would take a hit.

    But, funny enough, that's exactly the opposite of what happened last week. Microsoft's stock is up about 10% [yahoo.com]. And that's a HUGE deal for a company as mature and with such a huge market cap as Microsoft.

    Now, granted, Vista sales aren't the only thing that can affect Microsoft's stock price. There was lots of good news for Microsoft. Windows Server market share is increasing (at what just so happens to be almost exactly the pace at which Linux server market share has decreased in recent months), their "entertainment" group (aka Xbox) posted their 2nd profit (thanks to Halo 3), and Office sales are awesome.

    But the fact remains that Vista sales are meeting or beating expectations. Virtually all Vista sales happen via new PC purchases, and those were higher than expected for most of the year... thanks to, you guess it, Vista.

    Since we're just pre-holiday season right now, PC sales tend to drop a bit... and that's what happened. (And please note that the sales RATE dropped, yet overall sales are still higher than last year at this time.) To say that this drop was caused by Vista is, put simply, retarded.

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