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Microsoft Windows

Vista Shipped On 39% of PCs In 2007 321

Posted by kdawson
from the another-massive-success-could-sink-the-company dept.
Stony Stevenson writes "Vista is proving far less popular than XP did with new PC buyers during the earlier OS's first year on the market. This conclusion follows from statements by Bill Gates at this week's Consumer Electronics Show. Gates boasted that Microsoft has sold more than 100 million copies of Windows Vista since the OS launched last January. Based on Gates's statement, Windows Vista was aboard just 39% of the PC's that shipped in 2007. And Vista, in terms of units shipped, only outperformed first-year sales of XP by 10%, according to Gates's numbers, while PC shipments have doubled in the years since XP's release."
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Vista Shipped On 39% of PCs In 2007

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @01:58AM (#21950390)
    1. Smart Microsoft employees design smart features.
    2. Smart Microsoft employees flock to Google.
    3. Dumb Microsoft employees can't implement the designed features.
    4. ?
    5. Profit.
  • by purpledinoz (573045) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @02:02AM (#21950404)
    For some reason, a lot of PC manufacturers don't give the consumer an option for a pre-loaded OS. For example, Dell Canada doesn't offer XP for their Inspiron line (although Dell USA does offer XP, for some reason, Canadians get screwed), and almost all Asus laptops come pre-loaded with Vista. I think it's the same BS for consumer line HP laptops too. I ended up buying a business line laptop, which came pre-loaded with Vista, but came with Vista and XP discs.

    It seems to me that Microsoft is strong-arming PC manufacturers to offer Vista only, so I'm surprised that number isn't higher.
    • by ivan256 (17499) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @02:11AM (#21950456)
      Most machines are sold to businesses. They've had the option to get XP instead all along.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by purpledinoz (573045)
        Good point. My company is a software development house, which uses everything Microsoft (even Visual SourceSafe!!!). And my company hasn't even considered moving anyone to Vista. Unfortunately, I got downgraded to Office 2007...
        • The studio I work for used to use "SourceSafe", but before I arrived they switched to Perforce. Might have had something to do with having a "Midway" budget instead of an "independent studio" budget.

          We've upgraded to VC++ 2005 SP1, mostly for the "parallel-build on multi-core machines" feature, which has dramatically improved our build times. The debugger is also leaps ahead of VC6 in terms of the expressions you can put in the immediate/watch window and have work.

          We've mostly upgraded to Office 2007, but s
    • It seems to me that Microsoft is strong-arming PC manufacturers to offer Vista only, so I'm surprised that number isn't higher.

      Vista is the new MS OS, every new release gave people something to upgrade for and this time they expected the same to be true here, after all it's been 6 years since XP and people might have had an interest in upgrading to the new OS. except for one little snag, the new OS didn't really offer much worth upgrading relative to previous MS releases. People are holding back more tha

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Hucko (998827)

        Vista is the new MS OS
        Really? When did it come out? After all these years of waiting, surely it would have at least made the news in tech circles. Pull the other one.
    • by Technician (215283) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @05:16AM (#21951336)
      For some reason, a lot of PC manufacturers don't give the consumer an option for a pre-loaded OS.

      This is true. In the past (DOS days) people would ask me regarding computer purchase selections. What I said then is just as true today. Find out what programs you need to run and then find the hardware which is capabile of running it.

      Many people wanting to do multimedia, photography, video production, etc are needing something with realtime hardware support. Those people are moving to hardware and OS that support the required applications. Vista is not a real time OS and is unsuitable for many capture devices. Alternatives to fill the gap often include Apple and some Linux distributions such as Ubuntu Studio.

      Nothing kills a live session more than a request for an Adobe PDF viewer update request in the middle of a session. I got this one during a live presentation while playing a DVD. The DVD on the projector simply stopped. Going to the laptop, we discovered that despite the fact were in the field with no internet connection, Adobe needed our permission to get an update. The fact a PDF viewer has permission to stop the show by having Windows Vista stop it to ask permission for an update without a net connection convinced me that Vista is unsuitable for presentation and digital audio workstation applications.

      My Digital Audio Workstation is now Ubuntu Studio based with low latency and no interruptions of a live recording session. Some people prefer an Apple soulution.

      Audacity is OSS and cross platform. It works fine on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
      http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

      Many capture devices have serious latency and breakup problems in Vista. Audacity works in Vista, but capturing sound should be done on another platform.

      Many popular USB capture devices simply are not supported on Vista because of the non-real time nature of the OS. Here are a few popular interfaces without Vista support;
      Roland http://www.rolandus.com/products/productdetails.aspx?ObjectId=743&ParentId=114 [rolandus.com]
      http://www.roland.com/products/en/UA-101/specs.html [roland.com]
      Beringer http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pdf/man/m_702540.pdf [musiciansfriend.com]

      I found some of the Yamaha mixers with built-in USB interfaces list Vista, but the manual was quick to point out problems are caused if it has too little memory, has a slower processor, or several other items that can cause problems with multi-track recordings.

      For real-time capture, I prefer to use a hardware priority OS. I have used this instead of Vista for Digital Music Studio work.
      http://ubuntustudio.org/ [ubuntustudio.org]
  • by TheLink (130905) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @02:03AM (#21950408) Journal
    I believe lots of companies get to use an older version instead of Vista even though they have a Vista license.

    Microsoft gets to count it as a Vista sale (and brag), and Big Corp gets to use Win2K/XP.

    Same goes for MS Office 2007.
    • by aliatgb (997100) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @02:06AM (#21950424) Homepage
      You have to wonder how many of the people that did get Vista on their laptop/desktop remove Vista and install XP? I work for a major electronics retailer and we always have people that buy Vista machines and have us install windows xp on them for a fee. Sort of related but we get an ungodly high amount of computer returns with the reason being Vista sucks.
      • by forkazoo (138186) <wrosecrans.gmail@com> on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @02:36AM (#21950612) Homepage

        You have to wonder how many of the people that did get Vista on their laptop/desktop remove Vista and install XP? I work for a major electronics retailer and we always have people that buy Vista machines and have us install windows xp on them for a fee. Sort of related but we get an ungodly high amount of computer returns with the reason being Vista sucks.


        Honestly, I would expect that in the retail channel, the vast majority of PC's sold with Vista are running Vista. In a corporate environment, a lot of IT departments are probably not bothering with Vista while others beta test it, and won't have any interest in investigating deploying it until SP1 is well understood. On the common home user front, however, people use whatever their machine came with. most of them don't know what the difference is between Office and Windows. Hell, some of them have trouble grasping the difference between "MSN Windows" and "AOL Instant Messenger." Yes, really.

        Vista may drive some people to insist that their new machine be made to "work like the old one." But the vast majority of the consumer base just isn't well educated enough in the subject to be able to make a choice between XP and Vista. They are still using Windows 98, and just want to replace the old busted one as conveniently as possible.

        It seems that all the statistics and reports about how Vista is doing well, or Vista is doing badly seem to ignore the fact that when it comes to consumer sales, the average buyer is simply incapable of being "excited about the new hotness" or of "rejecting the new beast." Whenever you read these sorts of information tidbits, just assume that about a third of all computers are sold to iguanas.
        • by joto (134244)

          But the vast majority of the consumer base just isn't well educated enough in the subject to be able to make a choice between XP and Vista. They are still using Windows 98, and just want to replace the old busted one as conveniently as possible.
          The vast majority of PC buyers certainly don't use Windows 98. Those are the guys who never buys a new PC. Either you are into buying PCs, or you're not. And people who buy PCs upgrade a little more often than that.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anne Thwacks (531696)
            The vast majority of PC buyers certainly don't use Windows 98.

            Maybe not in the USA, but here in Europe, once you have bought a PC,
            you go on using it until it ceases to work, unless you are a hard core
            gamer. Since it doesnt need new tyres or exhaust, there is nothing wrong
            with the old one. Once it dies, its time to get a new one. Then you ask
            a tech-minded family member what to buy - and he, mindfull of the
            possibiities of virus-related support calls, says "Get a Mac". Unless
            he doesnt know what a Mac is, in w

        • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@@@hotmail...com> on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @04:19AM (#21951004) Journal
          But the vast majority of the consumer base just isn't well educated enough in the subject to be able to make a choice between XP and Vista.

          I know it's nice to feel all elite, but that simply isn't true.

          Plenty of my friends don't use computers as part of their employment (concrete workers, fitters etc) but are quite capable of basic computer tasks like email, web, games etc. They are also quite capable of recognising that the Vista interface is more confusing, inconsistent and sluggish that the one which preceded it, and are asking tech-minded friends to help them get rid of it. I'd say at least half of the people I know who've bought a machine with Vista installed have asked for the computer to be upgraded to XP or Linux within a month.

          • Plenty of my friends don't use computers as part of their employment (concrete workers, fitters etc) but are quite capable of basic computer tasks like email, web, games etc.

            So they are in fact experienced computer users but have non-geek jobs? Yo don't have to work with computer to know how to use them. You do, however, have to be somewhat interested, and most people are not, not even the tiniest bit. If you're not interested, you will not change OS (or grasp what an OS is, most of my friends do not).

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by ozmanjusri (601766)
              Yo don't have to work with computer to know how to use them. You do, however, have to be somewhat interested, and most people are not, not even the tiniest bit.

              No, these are normal ordinary people who can recognize that their computer has become harder and less pleasant to use. It's not that complicated. You don't need to be a guru to understand that things that used to work don't anymore.

      • by pbhj (607776)
        Well I took receipt of my new Acer T180 Athlon 64 X2 400+,3GB, 250GB yesterday ... I've waited 9 years or so to get a new computer. Came preinstalled with Vista but sensibly there's a "data" partition which now holds my first Ubuntu 7.10 ("gutsy gibbon") install. I've been wanting to try Ubuntu for a while but having struggled with Vista (preinstalled mind you!) to get it working ... Vista took about an hour to setup itself lots of "please wait ..." without saying what it's doing (presumably trying to use a
    • by kemushi88 (1156073) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @02:10AM (#21950450) Homepage
      I work for the University of Washington. This past summer, we ordered around 200 new Dells, that came preloaded with Vista (we had no choice in the matter). As soon as we got them, we used our site license to replace Vista with XP on all of our computers. I wouldn't be surprised if the same thing happens in other corporate environments.
      • by houghi (78078)
        No only corporate, also in private. All people I have spoken to who have bought a PC (Mainly portables) have removed Vista and replaced it by either XP or some sort of Linux.

        The few that still run Vista is basicaly people who want to see what it is and will remove it sooner or later.

        The fact that Microsoft sells X amount doesn't mean anything, exept for the fact that you can measure how much money they are making. These are not voluntairy sales.
        It is like saying the people in Guantanamo like waering orange,
      • by mwvdlee (775178)
        Due to my job, I know of a number of companies that do the same thing with much larger volumes of machines.
        Basically, and 100+ sized company is likely to use images for their machines, and those are likely XP since there's no need to replace it with Vista.
      • by Nullav (1053766)
        Did you bother getting a refund on the bundled copies of Vista? I'd imagine you could get a lot back for 200 machines.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by jimicus (737525)
          They couldn't. The Windows site license from Microsoft is strictly upgrade only - you have to have a valid retail or OEM license to accompany the PC to begin with.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by donaldm (919619)
          I recently purchased a laptop that came with Vista Ultimate 64 bit and I put on Fedora 7 and later on Fedora 8 with no dual boot and everything works for me including Wireless. Does Microsoft care that I did this? No they don't since as far as they are concerned they have a Vista sale. I could hand in my license for a refund however I may if I was lucky and jumped through many hoops get US$100 but when I sell my laptop in six months time I would have a hard time doing so since I know the prospective buyer w
      • by mpe (36238)
        I work for the University of Washington. This past summer, we ordered around 200 new Dells, that came preloaded with Vista (we had no choice in the matter). As soon as we got them, we used our site license to replace Vista with XP on all of our computers. I wouldn't be surprised if the same thing happens in other corporate environments.

        I'd be very suprised if there are any corporate environments (other than "mom and pop") which would run OEM preloads at all. Though the likes of Dell just don't get this.
        • by jimicus (737525)
          I'd be very suprised if there are any corporate environments (other than "mom and pop") which would run OEM preloads at all. Though the likes of Dell just don't get this.

          Not true, actually. Dell offer a service whereby you can have PCs shipped preloaded with your own image rather than their OEM one.

          The only problem is Dell don't offer it unless you're ordering something like 100 PCs per year - fair enough, any less than that probably isn't cost effective for them. But 100 PCs per year is a fair few for a
      • by Bazman (4849)
        Good job you didn't buy Sony. One of our staff wanted a Sony laptop, we got it, it had Vista on it, half the software the user wanted doesn't run on Vista, so we stick XP on it.

        Ummmm. No graphics driver? No sound? No support? After much googling and forum-digging our techie managed to hack together some older Sony drivers and a .inf file that got most things working. Took a while though.

        Then over Xmas we think the laptop got bounced and now the CD drive doesn't work. If it goes back it'll either com
      • by hughk (248126)
        A lot of DELL's business machine range are being shipped with a choice of XP preloads rather than Vista. The only issue is that they can't ship XP drivers for some newer hardware like the draft-N cards on the notebooks. However, if you are imaging them yourselves, why not order them without O/S as they are covered under your site license. Actually, the machines normally don't arrive bare, they have something like freedos on to run diagnostics but mostly to bypass Microsoft's restrictions to OEMs on selling
    • Microsoft licenses confuse me. I have read and pretty much understood most/all of the licenses used by the software in my machine (GPL, MPL, LGPL, X11, etc.), so I decided to see if I could do the same for Microsoft Office (I have read through the XP EULA before). Of course, the machine it was installed on did not have the EULA available seperately, in order to read it one has to open the application then go in Help->About, which means using the software which means agreeing to the terms, which is a sill
  • by Zymergy (803632) * on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @02:08AM (#21950444)
    If 39% of new PCs initially Shipped with Vista in 2007, what percentage were promptly un-boxed, reformatted, and then a *better* OS was then installed?

    (I know of 2 new OEM PCs in my home business that were immediately 'Upgraded' to XP fresh out of their Vista promoting boxes in PY2007.) http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/12/15/1944206 [slashdot.org]
    • by Nullav (1053766)
      How many people are informed enough to be opinionated against Vista, and feel competent enough to swap out an OS, but still buy prebuilts laden with crapware rather than building one? I could see it for offices and schools swapping out old hardware en masse, but why would this be the case for an individual?
    • by wall0159 (881759)
      After the gnashing of teeth when XP was released, it amuses me greatly that people are now looking back to the "good ol' days" of XP with wistful nostalgia..

      Boiling frogs, anyone?
  • I'm not going to install it myself unless I have to, but I fully accept that almost everyone else is going to have Vista in the next few months. Such is the current way things work.
    • I'm not going to install it myself unless I have to, but I fully accept that almost everyone else is going to have Vista in the next few months. Such is the current way things work.

      (Emphasis mine.)

      Months? Surely you meant 'years'. No one, even in Microsoft, thinks almost everyone is going to have Vista in a matter of months.

      And even regarding 'years', I'm not so sure. Perhaps demand will force Microsoft to extend sales of XP for another few years, as they have done already; perhaps Apple will rise to 15% market share; perhaps a lot of things will happen. Vista dominating the OS scene like previous Microsoft OSes did is not a given.

    • by ranton (36917)
      but I fully accept that almost everyone else is going to have Vista in the next few months

      I wonder how many people said in early 2001 that everyone else is going to have Windows ME in the next few months. I think the main reason why everyone is constantly trying to point out how crappy Vista has been is to help Microsoft see that they need to make big changes. Either a widely different SP2 or a completely new operating system.

      I for one hope that Microsoft has a new operating system out before I need to up
  • by multipass666 (1213904) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @02:15AM (#21950484)
    No kidding, try get a laptop these days without Vista already installed. The Dell XPS is a good example. Like buying a new car, its a mandatory extra. Want to boot linux? Still have to buy Vista anyway, yay!
  • Didn't get it (Score:2, Interesting)

    by RuBLed (995686)
    How come Vista is less popular during the first year compared to the first year of XP? It sold 10% more if I read it right.

    Or maybe they're still counting those pc that came with Vista Basic / Vista Starter editions that was willingly replaced with another Vista edition (x2 Vista sales) or a XP or a Linux...

    What they should count is not the number of sales but the number of Vista machines pinging their update servers. (Well since most are connected now anyway, that could at least be an alternative way to co
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      That would require many abaci.
    • by mwvdlee (775178)
      10% more sales of Vista compared to XP more than 6 years ago.
      How many more PC's are in use since then? I dare bet it's a lot more than 10%.
    • by ConanG (699649)
      Think of it like this...

      We sold 100 buggy whips this year! (out of 200 sold by all manufacturers)

      Six years pass...

      We sold 110 new and improved buggy whips this year! (out of 300 sold by all manufacturers)
      Meanwhile, 30 people traded their new buggy whips in for the older model buggy whips. Another 5 people converted theirs to an open source buggy whip.

      They sold 10% more, but their actual market share decreased because more are being sold than six years ago. In addition to that, a good portion of those "sales
  • Breaking the cycle (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pez (54) * on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @02:21AM (#21950522) Homepage Journal
    There's no doubting that the wintel duopoly is a cycle that's nearly impossible to break. As we see more and more services transition to the web, however, compatibility at the OS layer becomes less and less important. Five years ago one used to lament over how they would love to use a different OS, but "the applications I use" are Windows-only. That day has come and gone... these days many people don't even know that a computer can be used for things other than browsing the web -- heck even that term is out-dated, as today's web-based applications are far more sophisticated than simply browsing.

    As a very biased Mac convert, I'm constantly amazed at just how incredibly crappy XP and Vista are. Tonight, in fact, I set up a new computer for my wife who is using XP on a brand-new Dell laptop. There were about 5 times during the setup process where I honestly had no idea which option to select, because the wording of the choices were either esoteric, or what I really wanted was a fourth option "none of the above" yet that option didn't exist. Then, after all was finally said and done, using the thing was an amazingly frustrating experience, with seemingly endless offers/popups, some masquerading as os-level services, some more obvious overtures to purchase 3rd party software.

    I've never been more convinced that the market is ripe for a shakeup... and more specifically that OS X (and Leopard) have the chance to break the Windows monopoly. Once MS's marketshare dips into the 70% range, there will no longer be an assumption that you "have" to run Windows for any reason other than you prefer it -- and once that happens watch out. There isn't a sane person who can look at Windows and OS X side-by-side, for a mass-market consumer audience, and actually say that Windows is the better choice.

    [Remember I said I was biased... the point here wasn't to chest-thump about the Mac, but to point out that MS's advantage of being the "default choice" might disappear... and if so we might see their marketshare plummet faster than you can imagine]
    • by Animaether (411575) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @07:43AM (#21952094) Journal
      "Then, after all was finally said and done, using the thing was an amazingly frustrating experience, with seemingly endless offers/popups, some masquerading as os-level services, some more obvious overtures to purchase 3rd party software"

      I'm sorry - but you are, then, saying that XP sucks because of (as far as I can tell) third party stuff?

      Windows XP, without any fancy OEM stuff tacked on, doesn't nag you with seemingly endless offers - the only popups you'll get are the to some annoying 'help bubbles', which others find helpful, and you can turn off either way - the rest of your comment seems to entirely point to third party elements.

      That's like saying OS X sucks because after you bought QuickTime 6 Pro and upgraded to OS X Tiger (which has QuickTime 7), QuickTime will once again nag you to upgrade to Pro every first time you run it - and while it's running, taunt you with greyed-out options that were once available to you but are no longer so... until you purchase the Pro upgrade -again-.
      ( For the curious - back up QuickTime 6, install Tiger, restore. Old stuff, but gosh - if we can blame third party solutions for XP 'sucking' then we can certainly blame same-party solutions for OS X 'sucking', no? )

      Windows, in general, has plenty of attack vectors available to you to point out how crappy it is; there's really no need to drag third party stuff into the discussion.
      • Can you buy a new Windows PC without the crappy 3rd party software he talks about? He's suggesting that there's a big enough difference in quality that switching is easier than ever. What would by far, the majority of people be switching from? Exactly, crap laden PCs. If you're the type that buys a new PC and does a fresh Windows install right away, then you'll probably tolerate it longer, but you're a minority. You also wouldn't be the type buying Windows "by default".

        That's like saying OS X sucks because after you bought QuickTime 6 Pro and upgraded to OS X Tiger (which has QuickTime 7), QuickTime will once again nag you to upgrade to Pro every first time you run it - and while it's running, taunt you with greyed-out options that were once available to you but are no longer so... until you purchase the Pro upgrade -again-.

        Compare any off the shelf Mac wi

    • by cioxx (456323)
      One of the most important consequences of loosening Microsoft's grip on the market is the theoretical shift in standards towards more open ones. I think the magic number is around 50-60% where companies will no longer be able to force you into "upgrading" to Internet Explorer to view their godawful webpages or installing Office to view a document as it was intended.

      I really don't care about which OS supplants Windows. Most of the candidates seem like good choices - OSX, Ubuntu, Fedora, et al.

      In fact, I'd be
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Rhys (96510)
      There is no way OS X is going to be the one to break the Windows monopoly. Not until Apple gets something resembling an Enterprise/Production (pick your word) mentality.

      That means among other things:

      * The ability to apply only SOME of an update (not 10.5.1, but just parts of that I care about)
      * The ability to roll-back an update (currently: "reinstall and patch up to the update before")
      * Better QA. (search for wifi woes nearly every other 10.4 update, or AD/samba woes in 10.5.0)

      Their product support lifecyc
  • by boldit (1214774) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @02:28AM (#21950560)
    Since Microsoft is now forcing sellers to only sell Vista, Vista will be 100% in 2008.
  • by jd (1658) <.imipak. .at. .yahoo.com.> on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @02:35AM (#21950606) Homepage Journal
    Nobody, but nobody, buys version 1 of a product - if they've any sense. It's bad enough to buy a whole-number release (those are likely to be the buggiest) but version 1 is a huge no-no. In the case of Microsoft, the first service pack has acquired a reputation for not being good either. Virtually all Windows SP1 releases have been followed rapidly by hotfixes and even other service packs. This isn't unique to Windows - the majority of brown paper bag releases of the Linux kernel that seriously impact users are also x.y.0 releases. It's a fundamental principle of software purchase that has always been true and will likely always be true.

    On the other hand, Vista was under-developed, rushed, and had integral features removed. That last part is more significant than it might first appear. If you remove chunks out of the foundations of a building, you can expect the building to collapse. The same is true in software - if it's designed to be present, then removing that feature will destabilize everything depending on it. Yes, it was late. So what. The contribution Vista is making to Microsoft is negligible in terms of sales and disastrous in terms of PR in the European courts. Investing a year or two more work into the project would have been cheaper, produced a better product and generally given Microsoft a lot of plusses.

    There was pressure for Vista being released. Yeah, and a company that can pay billions in daily fines without working up a sweat needs to pay attention to such pressure why? Due to lost market share? Lost to whom? Other OS' may be catching up, but it'll be five to ten years before they can capture significant marketshare. Three or four years more development would have kept Microsoft's lead and secured it with far less risk of legal retribution.

    All in all, Vista's release marked very poor marketing decisions, not just very poor technical ones, although it need not have been that way.

    • by snl2587 (1177409)

      This isn't unique to Windows - the majority of brown paper bag releases of the Linux kernel that seriously impact users are also x.y.0 releases.

      This is true, but I don't pay for Linux. I expect to have problems with something I got for free and then spend time tinkering with it, but a $100+ (I'm not entirely sure of the market price...) piece of software better be damn near perfect, minor problems (with quick fixes) aside.

      It's a fundamental principle of software purchase that has always been true and will

    • by gweihir (88907) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @04:16AM (#21950992)
      Vista was very long in development for very little to show. Software complexity grows exonentially with the size. You can do a lot by proper moularization and resuse.

      However my impression is, that MS basically has a failed project in Vista and that they would actually have had to scrap it 3-4 years into development, learn the lesson that they are subjects to laws of nature (or mathematic) as well and start over. They obviouly were not smart or gutsy enough for that.

      On the other hand, it is possible that MS is not large enough to develop a new operating system with the fature profile they wanted Vista to have. It may in fact be impossible today to write an integrated OS with these features, because of complexity. Look at the rest of the world: Apple did not build a new OS with OSX, they basically took a working kernel and tools and customized them to some degree at the interface level. Linux is a reimplementation of Unix that keeps the original structure and API to a high degree. Any other (non-embedded) OSes in the last years/decade that were actually written from scratch and not based strongly on a previous design? I don't know any.

      But there is one other thing. As OSX and Linux demonstrate, writing it from scratch is entirely unecessary. The technology is there and works. Use it. Possibly MS cannot see this or their market strategy does not allow it. After all they have to tie their cistomers to them. Who would otherwise suffer such abuse? If so, they may very well be screwed.
      • by Dr. Manhattan (29720) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .171rorecros.> on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @09:25AM (#21952802) Homepage

        You can do a lot by proper moularization and resuse... On the other hand, it is possible that MS is not large enough to develop a new operating system with the fature profile they wanted Vista to have. It may in fact be impossible today to write an integrated OS with these features, because of complexity.

        That's exactly why Vista was such a cluster (and not the compute or failover kind). Microsoft can't modularize, strategically. They ran into trouble with Internet Explorer way back when, and ended up dispersing its functions across a bunch of unrelated modules so that it was impossible to remove and still have the OS boot.

        They've been adding complexity while, at the same time, increasing the incestuous and promiscuous interrelations between their components. OSX & Linux and most other sane operating systems break things, insofar as possible, into unrelated modules with limited and defined interfaces. (See, e.g., here [visualcomplexity.com].) That's because humans can't manage a 50+ million line codebase without strict modularization. Microsoft discovered about halfway through Vista development that even their huge resources couldn't overcome exponential growth in complexity, so they had to throw out much of what they'd done and start from scratch with significantly more modest goals.

        I've said before that Vista is Microsoft's "PS/2" moment. IBM discovered that they couldn't take back the PC market. They came out with the PS/2 and the Microchannel bus - and fenced it 'round with patents, and wanted to charge big bucks for others to play there. Third-party companies and consumers failed to beat a path to their door, and used alternatives like EISA until the roughly-as-good PCI came out. Microsoft figured they could just dictate where the PC market would go, too... but the alternatives are getting to be (frankly, have gotten) 'good enough' for the majority of purposes.

        The hardware market changed out from under them, too... we picked up a $450 Dell desktop last year, because it was (or should have been) enough for my wife to run the MS Office she's hooked on. It came with Vista Home Basic and we could not believe what a pig it was. I dropped it back to XP at her demand and things are much nicer. People don't spend thousands on single computers anymore, and they badly misjudged the hardware requirements of Vista - it takes a $2000 computer to run well, from what I've seen.

        Then there's the whole DRM fiasco... it's a 'perfect storm' for MS. They'll ride it out, like IBM did, but in ten years MS will be one option among many, not the colossus astride the PC market.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by gzunk (242371)

        However my impression is, that MS basically has a failed project in Vista and that they would actually have had to scrap it 3-4 years into development, learn the lesson that they are subjects to laws of nature (or mathematic) as well and start over. They obviouly were not smart or gutsy enough for that.

        That's exactly what Microsoft did with Vista. Longhorn was in development from 2001-2004 based on the XP code base. Mid 2004 it was "refocussed" (scrapped) and rebased on the Windows Server 2003 code base - removing vast chunks of promised functionality. So Vista actually only took Microsoft 2 1/2 years to release - not the 6 years that everyone goes on about.

        Doesn't make Vista any less of a pig though. (Apologies to pigs everywhere)

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @02:45AM (#21950636)
    Most computers running Win98SE would also run XP, if maybe a bit slow. Vista requires a major hardware upgrade for most people to run acceptably or at all. For example, I was developing on an XP machine, and it performed acceptably if not exactly snappy. But it won't run Vista... at all. So what do you get for that major hardware upgrade? Better performance? Nope. Vista often runs more sluggishly on the new machines than XP did on the old. Graphics? Well, maybe a little. But OS X and Linux are adding that, too, without all the extra overhead. Freedom? Not on your life! One of the major performance-robbing "features" is that DRM has been "built in" at a very fundamental and low level. So everything you do on the machine, you are being checked every which way to make sure you are not doing something "wrong"! Why would anybody spend that much money for something that hardly benefits them at all, but benefits "the industry" a lot? When you can figure that out, then mayby you can sell Vista to them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tknd (979052)

      I call BS. Windows 98 was a dog on 16MB of RAM (from where Win95 ran acceptably). Windows 98 ran much better with 32MB of ram. Windows XP however was a dog even at 256MB. But Win2k (which you conveniently gloss over) ran well at that level.

      Vista often runs more sluggishly on the new machines than XP did on the old.

      This has been true of every Windows OS. Win95 slower than Win3.1. Win98 slower than Win95. Win2k slower than Win98se (why does everyone conveniently forget the whole 98se gaming benchmark

  • by Agent__Smith (168715) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @02:45AM (#21950638) Homepage
    It takes a CRAY to run it, and it is buggier than an entomology lab.
  • Vista and XP (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sqrt(2) (786011) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @02:50AM (#21950670) Journal
    The thing that no one, here especially, wants to admit is that the problems with Vista are going to start disappearing real soon. Disappearing in the way the problems with XP have disappeared...you're still using Windows after all.

    When you buy a new computer with Vista it's going to be so powerful that the bloat that's been added since XP (and this isn't a Microsoft problem, OSX and Ubuntu all have gotten bigger) wont be noticed, or even noticeable. You could make the argument that there's no reason a home user needs a dual core processor and two gigs of RAM but that's what is being sold. If the upcoming service pack does most of what MS claims it can do the differences between XP and Vista will be even further reduced. Hardware and software compatibility is a big problem, but it's one that MS has dealt with before. XP had the same issues. Eventually software got updated or replaced and it isn't a problem. It's the same cycle as last time. Machines get faster and software gets updated. The new MS OS goes through some growing pains but eventually becomes accepted. XP was too slow, no compelling reasons to upgrade, 2000 was good enough and faster. Now the lines are: Vista is too slow, there's no reasons to upgrade, XP is good enough.

    If you remember back when XP was released it did suck compared to 2000. 2000 was the mature product. You want a fair comparison you'll need compare Vista now to XP 1 year after release. Or compare XP SP2 to Vista SP2, but since we can't look into the future we'll have to settle for the first option.
    • by ranton (36917)
      If you remember back when XP was released it did suck compared to 2000. 2000 was the mature product. You want a fair comparison you'll need compare Vista now to XP 1 year after release.

      Actually, a fair comparison would be to compare Windows XP to Windows ME (or Windows 98). And I was actually able to find one: ZDNet Review [zdnet.com.au]

      They seam to be pretty happy with the upgrade, saying that it is "Definitely worth the cost of the upgrade! ... Two thumbs up! While some of the features in this new operating system a
  • has anyone considered that this whole 'vista' thing might be a brilliant move by microsoft to break its own monopoly.

    when Linux and *shudders* OSX gain a higher market share, M$ won't be the monopoly they once were, and they can get out of paying all those fines.

    i'm sorry. I just typed 'brilliant move by microsoft' and almost kept a straight face. someone throw a chair at me.
  • by shikra (751390) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @03:55AM (#21950904) Journal

    39% is plenty. As OSes mature, improvements are gonna be evolutionary at best. To be able to achieve a 39% adoption rate over a relatively stable OS (XP) is pretty good. No, in fact, it's a very good result considering the bad press MS has been getting lately. I for one wouldn't consider 39% to be a failure given the quality of the product.

    Extrapolating the figures given in the summary, we can assume XP has a take-up rate of 60~70%ish within the same period of introduction. That's when most computers were still running on crappy 98 mind you -- hence accounting for the greater adoption rate due to the significant upgrade.

    So no, saying it is far less popular is a stretch. 19% would be far less, not 39%.

    • That's 39% of computers sold in 2007, not 39% of all computers. It used to be, Windows %CurrentVersion% sold on something like 95% of all systems sold, every year, and the only thing you could get was Windows %CurrentVersion%, either the crippled Home edition or the full Professional edition. The only exceptions would be corporations with enterprise licenses that entitle them to install (%CurrentVersion% - 1) and hacked/pirated copies. All new OEM-builds shipped with %CurrentVersion%.

      Now, 39% is still gr
  • by heffrey (229704) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @04:32AM (#21951074)
    I'm picking up a little vibe here that Slashdot editors and readers don't like Vista.

    Has anyone else noticed or am I just imagining it....
  • by astrashe (7452) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @05:20AM (#21951354) Journal
    You can see MS compounding their errors here, by spinning Vista's successes, and not facing honestly up to the things that people don't like about it, and coming up with solutions.

    Customers says, "We don't like Vista!" and MS says, "Yes you do!"

    If that doesn't prove that they have a monopolist's attitude, nothing does.

  • by Loibisch (964797) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @05:24AM (#21951386)
    I just wondered what will happen to the slashdot MS-icon http://images.slashdot.org/topics/topicms.gif [slashdot.org] now that Billy is gone...will it be replaced by a borgified version of Ballmer?

    /me shudders...
  • by Yvanhoe (564877)
    37% seems very high to me for an OS no one wants. The impossible seems like it will happen : Vista will become the most used OS in spite of the fact that no one wants it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by stewbacca (1033764)
      37% seems very low considering 95% of all new machines supposedly ship with Vista. This means people are going out of there way to avoid it, which is a drastic change in consumer habits when it comes to just accepting Microsoft stuff. Sure, there will be the hoardes of sheeple who'll just take another one from MS (and probably say, "please sir, may I have another"), but ANY long-term loss in MS OS share is a "good thing" in my book.
  • by FishandChips (695645) on Tuesday January 08, 2008 @09:57AM (#21953124) Journal
    These figures are not very surprising. As operating systems mature generally and hardware becomes more capable, you'd expect fewer folks to upgrade and everyone to upgrade their whole PC less often anyway. WinXP represented a much bigger jump away from the Win9x userbase (home users) than Vista does over XP. Vista comes with much less pressure on anyone to upgrade.

    If anything, Microsoft allowed their Vista marketing to run away with them and too many people came to believe in the hype and the marketshare projections. Still, after reading a lot of naysaying, I've installed Vista over XP and have been pleasantly surprised. It is better than I was expecting, though the cruft has to be turned down or turned off. It's certainly "good enough" despite shortcomings, imho, which is what counts with Microsoft. So I imagine Vista will continue to make solid progress in the home and on pre-installs. The enterprise is something else. Besides, if it's known that a Windows 7 will appear in, say, 2009 or 2010, many outfits would elect to skip Vista as a matter of course, whatever it brought to the table.

    Reinstalling my Microsoft OS has also reminded me how much good open-source software is now available on this platform. It's often said that a resurgent Apple is putting pressure on the market share of desktop Linux. I wonder whether Vista or in future Windows 7 plus a nice suite of the Open Office, Gimp and Firefox kind won't put on similar pressure from a different direction.

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