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More Evidence That XP is Vista's Main Competitor 428

Ian Lamont writes "Computerworld is reporting that Windows XP Service Pack 3 runs MS Office 10% faster than XP SP2 — and is 'considerably faster' than Vista SP1. XP SP3 isn't scheduled to be released until next year, but testers at Devil Mountain Software — the same company which found Vista SP 1 to be hardly any faster than the debut version of Vista — were able to run some benchmarking tests on a release candidate of XP SP3, says the report. While this may be great news for XP owners, it is a problem for Microsoft, which is having trouble convincing business users to migrate to Vista."
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More Evidence That XP is Vista's Main Competitor

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  • by Almir ( 1096395 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:19AM (#21477459)
    will 2008 be the year of vista on the desktop? stay tuned to find out!
    • by blake1 ( 1148613 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:23AM (#21477493)
      The only possible reason I can see for users/corporations upgrading to Vista is if vendors start releasing packages that are dependant apon features that XP does not include. For instance, if/when hardware manufacturers and game publishers only release DX10-compatible versions, or if Installshield upgrades their packages to require you to suffer the annoyance of UAC before confirming that you are certain you know that you want to install whatever software... companies still use them instead of MSI's right?
      • by wereHamster ( 696088 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:33AM (#21477567)
        > ... game publishers only release DX10-compatible versions ...

        By that time the Wine (www.winehq.org) team will have released DX10 libraries that use opengl and thus can run on Win XP or older (and of course Linux!).
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)


          Sorry, as an avid Ubuntu and WINE user, I couldn't help but laugh at that one.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by TheRaven64 ( 641858 )
          Is WINE really that fast? I was under the impression that they were only just up to compatibility with DirectX 8 (and not all of that), which was released in 2000, with DirectX 9 apps still very hit and miss. Mind you, it's quite hard to keep up with WINE development considering that the last issue of WINE 'Weekly' News was in May...
          • by wereHamster ( 696088 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:17AM (#21478483)
            WWN isn't updated because nobody does it, but the development progressed considerably since then and I would say DX9 is in very good shape now. DX10 headers and stubs was a google SoC project, which unfortunately didn't go very well, but alas, the effort is there. In some cases wine is faster than windows, especially now that you read how slow vista is I think wine has some advantages.
            • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @11:56AM (#21479693) Journal
              You still can't pick an arbitrary DX9 app and have a reasonable expectation that it will work on Wine. Some games like Civ 4 have received a lot of attention and run quite well. Others, like AOE III (which has a gold rating) will install and run, but have graphical issues that will make it unplayable. Still others, like FarCry just seg fault.
        • by mqduck ( 232646 ) <mqduck@m q d u c k . net> on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:55AM (#21478919)

          By that time the Wine (www.winehq.org) team will have released DX10 libraries that use opengl and thus can run on Win XP or older (and of course Linux!).
          When game publishers start shipping WINE libraries instead of DirectX updaters with their Windows games, I will be more wonderfully amused than I previously thought possible.
          • by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @01:13PM (#21480747) Homepage
            Tungsten Graphics (the people who get paid to develop OSS drivers for Intel's GPUs)
            are creating a new technology called Gallium3D.

            Basically it's a middle layer that rests between Mesa3D (openGL API) and DRI/DRM (low level drivers) and whose job is to export basic building block available on most modern hardware (shaders, etc.) in a standart way.

            The thing is Gallium3D isn't restrict to Mesa3D for the API. A lot of people are speculating about the possibility offered by a potential WineD3D running natively on Gallium. (Instead of being an D3D -> OpenGL translation layer).

            TGI's powerpoint presentation in fact contained an illustration where Gallium3D was used between a thin DirectX layer and low level drivers on Windows.
            (Maybe, Intel could pay TGI so they also make DirectX/Windows drivers for their GPUs)

            In the end such kind of technology could bring :
            - Working DirectX10 on Windows XP (similar to Alky/FallingLeaf but using a thin DX10 Layer on Gallium3D backend).
            - Working DirectX on Linux and ReactOS (either expanding a potential Intel i9xx D3D driver, or building a better WineD3D for Gallium3.
            - Easier OpenGL 3 (which differs a lot from OGL1 and 2 - Instead of needing Mesa to be able to understand 2 radically different APIs, OGL3 could be handled by just having another API Layer running on Gallium backend)
            - A nicer and simplier framework to get a 3D stack through OSS for any small player (Non-mainstream hardware maker, open hardware project or opensource team creating drivers for unsupported hardware). Up until now there was only MESA that did offer OpenGL 1/2 API, and required a lot of duplicate work inside the various hardware-specific libraries.

            So, to go back to the discussion, Opensource projects (including contribution from Wine) starting to play an important role in game deployment : this is something that may become a reality sooner that we may think.

            (And it's not that game developers are deeply against OSS : OpenAL, OGG/Vorbis and similar have already poped up un commercial projects from Id, Epic, etc.)
        • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @02:43PM (#21482011)
          DirectX10 cannot run on XP. XP cannot multitask the GPU for example. Period. There is no possibility of creating a wrapper that uses opengl to make that happen.

          At best, all you'll be able to do is write wrappers for fluff like shader model 4. And that's what it is FLUFF. The real features of directx10 are virtual video memory, gpu multitasking, and so on. This simply cannot be backported to XP using opengl wrappers.

          Right now, most directx10 compatible games ARE directx9 games that are extended to use some of the directx10 rendering fluff, so its relatively easy to just stub around all the gpu multitasking, and just implement wrappers for the new sharder stuff. And then we see idiotic frenzies because 'omg! directx game X has been hacked to run on xp'

          But the reality is that only the fluff part of directx10 can be wrapped like this, and it just so happens that the fluff part is the only part the new direct9/direct10 'hybrid' games are using.

          But if they start releasing REAL directx10-only games that make use of gpu multitasking etc those stubs will have to do *something*, and XP just can't do it, the kernel doesn't support it. So either its going to run like a DOG as they write some kludge to thunk around the kernel limitation or its not going to run at all.

          To use a car analagy, directx10 is like a 90's Porsche, and direct9 is one from the 80's. Sure with enough welding and grafting you could put the new body on the old chassis, and then you could release photos showing that the new xenon headlights work, along with the heated side mirrors, electric sunroof -- and you can even start it and drive it around... and it runs nearly as fast as the 80's 911 always did, which you'd expect given that's what the engine is, and the extra weight you've added.

          But if you look closer you'll find out that the AWD and ABS is missing, the automatic ride height adjustment is gone, and the number 6 on your transmission knob doesn't actually do anything

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cheater512 ( 783349 )
        Making a companies core product Vista only would make the company go bankrupt, not increase Vista sales.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Not if that company is Microsoft... Trust me, it's their strategy to eliminate XP just as much as they want to eliminate Linux. Both are hurting the bottom line now.
      • by tommertron ( 640180 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:41AM (#21478123) Homepage Journal
        To be honest, I don't understand the hate for UAC. Ubuntu asks me for my password before installing software or even updates, or doing a lot of other tasks like editing system files. How is this any different?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by TheLinuxSRC ( 683475 ) *
          It is different in that Ubuntu will usually only ask once for a particular action and then it will allow/disallow the action. With Vista's UAC, you will be asked several times if you are sure you want to continue with a single action (e.g. installing software).

          I installed Vista a few weeks ago to check it out. Between not having drivers for a Soundblaster Live (and overwriting the hacked drivers I found every time it reboots with MS drivers that make an obnoxious screech instead of real sound), the UAC st
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by CastrTroy ( 595695 )
            I find that this is the biggest problem. Not that it asks for permission, but that it asks multiple times for one action. I was trying to rename an item in my start menu, and it asked 3 times for permission. It shouldn't even have to give permission to change an entry in my start menu. In Mandriva, I only get prompted for the admin password when I'm installing new software, or messing with system settings. Windows Vista seems to present me with prompts for just about every action I have to do.
            • by Firethorn ( 177587 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @11:59AM (#21479733) Homepage Journal
              And this really doesn't increase security any if you shower users with 'are you sure' prompts because they become conditioned to just keep clicking 'yes'.

              To the point that they click 'yes' when the rootkit comes around. Now if it had some sort of 'rootkit installation detection' and came up with the prompt 'It looks like what you're installing is a rootkit, are you sure you want to install this?', users might actually click no and give their computer person a headsup.

              The main annoyance of this nature right now is access - every time I open up a database it has to warn me to be careful and that this database could contain harmful functions - Yet I built that database ON MY OWN MACHINE. It has no scripts that a default office install doesn't put in there. It's just a collection of a few tables and reports. Yet it warns me and makes me click another button - of course I'm going to keep opening stuff up! It asks every time!
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jasonmicron ( 807603 )
          Because Linux & OSX aren't running on your teenager's computer. S/he wants to install those awesome super cool smiley icons or some such other spyware-laden software and when the spyware tries to access the more restricted areas of the system it prompts little Johnny/Jilly for the administrator password. They're used to trashing their systems on a regular basis.
      • by mgblst ( 80109 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:18AM (#21478497) Homepage
        You are assuming that this is based on logic. After talking to a bunch of the decision makes at my unviersity during a conference last week, you will soon discover that little of this is based on logic, or experience of computer systems of any kind. One lady actually preferred Vista because of the improved eye-candy on her laptop...yes, these are the people making decisions the world over.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Devistater ( 593822 ) *
          Surprisingly, this is one of the more common answers as to why people upgrade. And its not just random clueless people either. I've seen die hard overclockers give this reason, they know they lose a little performance in gaming with vista, but they want the new GUI.
    • by petermgreen ( 876956 ) <plugwash @ p 10link.net> on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:41AM (#21477609) Homepage
      Home users will have little choice but to migrate as and when they buy thier next new PC, buisness users will be slower but some manufacturers are already putting out machines that are very difficult to find XP drivers for.

      vista will replace XP just as XP replaced 2K, it will just take a bit of time.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Almir ( 1096395 )
        oh, certainly. i've been using vista for a few months now and i like it just fine. i think businesses are just waiting to see if there are any major bugs and, of course, to test their specific software packages for compatibility. there is obviously the speed issue too, but that's always the case with a new os. mind you, i did have to disable all of the 'security' features to be able to work with it. i just found it funny that the desktop question applied so well to vista this time.
        • The really large businesses (let's define that as some 5k+ users) probably have had a rather concise rollout plan for Vista for a year or more. Really bad stuff (e.g. Office 2007's 65k = 100k bug) might delay those schedules if not corrected fast enough, but the minor (yet constant) nuisances Vista holds for it's users mostly won't qualify.
          Adoption or lack thereof in smaller businesses will be way quicker yet somewhat depending on the large corporate uptake. Looking forward to see what 2008 holds.
      • some manufacturers are already putting out machines that are very difficult to find XP drivers for.

        Dell and HP still provide drivers for Windows 2000, in addition to Windows XP.

        Microsoft is still supporting Windows XP. PC manufacturers will support Windows XP as long as Microsoft does, possibly even longer.

        • by alexhs ( 877055 )
          1) 2000 and XP have the same drivers.
          2) We have a Dell laptop at work for which we're unable to find XP drivers, it comes only with Vista drivers.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        More and more people though are switching or at least looking at Linux and Macs now as solutions. Even the non-technical people agree that Vista is slow and bloated, they hate UAC and don't like how they changed everything to make it "new". People are cutting through the GUI only to find that all Vista is, is just a skin change on XP that runs slowly and has half the components renamed. Office 2007 is the same, people want the look of 2003, 2000 or '97 and hate the new look of 2007, they are switching to Op
      • by mosch ( 204 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:22AM (#21477963) Homepage
        The Best Buy crowd will get pushed to Vista, it's true. But it hasn't been a week since I ordered a new desktop for myself from Dell, and I bought it with XP Pro installed. (And XP Home was an option.)

        It's hardly impossible to buy a home PC with XP on it these days.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by brucmack ( 572780 )

        buisness users will be slower but some manufacturers are already putting out machines that are very difficult to find XP drivers for

        We have global agreements with two suppliers in the company I work for: Lenovo and HP. If one of them were to stop supporting XP, we would stop buying from them. Businesses have a lot more power than consumers, since they can always find another alternative.

        I don't think XP support is going away though... Heck, Lenovo's newest models still officially support Windows 2000.

      • by jkrise ( 535370 )
        some manufacturers are already putting out machines that are very difficult to find XP drivers for.

        Please name these mfrs.... I will avoid them at my firm. We have decided to stick with XP; and our new machines will have only 512MB RAM and loaded with Corporate Licensed XP. The addl. cost of 2GB RAM and video cards with DX10 is too sttep. If however the h/w doesn't work with XP by design, you'd be doing us a favour to name the models and mfrs.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by finkployd ( 12902 )
        Most home users I know have either specifically requested XP when they bought a machine or (if they did not know any better at the time) had me or someone else "downgrade" to XP after spending some quality time with vista.

        It is not making any friends in the "techie" or "non-techie" arenas from what I can tell.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by vertinox ( 846076 )
        Home users will have little choice but to migrate as and when they buy thier next new PC

        Or they could choose not to buy a new PC.
        Currently the market is saturated and everyone who could use a PC already has one.
        To the average user Winxp is "Good enough" and most people don't like to upgrade unless forced too.
        Sure there are plenty of technophiles and gamers, but they are a minority when it comes to the general consumer market.
  • by dattaway ( 3088 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:21AM (#21477473) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft now has proof that consumers have choice!
  • Games (Score:5, Insightful)

    by telchine ( 719345 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:21AM (#21477475)
    I think games might be the key for Microsoft to increase Vista uptake.

    Vista is the only operating system that supports DirectX10 at the moment. if it stays that way and games start making use of DirectX10 features then games will have no choice but to use Vista.

    There is also the small matter of "Vista only" games such as Halo 2 and the eagerly awaited Alan Wake from Remedy, the makers of Max Payne. that too will be a "Vista only" title.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The more likely scenario is that Microsoft will give up and port DX10 to XP, or someone else will do it first.
    • I'm not so sure, I mean.. I have a couple of games that make use of DX10 (Crysis & Bioshock) and yet I run them under XP. The only way for me to run them in fancy DX10 graphics mode would make things into a slideshow because of a simple issue in that the only DX10 capable graphics chipset I have is on my Macbook Pro. (256MB 8600M GT, use bootcamp for games)

      Frankly, the only people who're seeing any advantage of DX10 are those with outrageously highend systems. (my desktop machine is decently highend,
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by ericartman ( 955413 )
        Got a 8800 Nvidia Vista game system and an old 7600 Nvidia Xp system. Tried games with and without DX10, let me tell you ain't nothing to be excited about that I saw. Maybe implementation of DX10 will get better but the ride ain't worth the price so far IMO.

    • Slight problem (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:42AM (#21477619) Journal

      Halo 2 AIN'T a vista only game. It has been hacked and works just as well on XP. That isn't really suprising, it is an ancient game that ran on a P3, what the hell would it need DX10 for?

      Other games like the recent system cruncher, Crysis, also can be tweaked to run with "disabled, DX10 only" settings on XP.

      It seems more and more that a lot of the DX10 games just ain't there, some day there may be, but so far they are not.

      MS could afford to force Halo 2 to Vista only, how many game developers can afford to be Vista only? MS better be handing over a huge sum of money to make a game just for Vista.

      The problem is that a LOT of hardcore gamers are people who build their own machines, and are also the ones who need the top end Vista version, so they are faced with a very expensive purchase and for what? So that all their games run slower and take more memory?

      It will be intresting to see what happens, I personally have little doubt that MS will survive this easily, but their mighty fortress has shown a tiny crack.

      IF linux does indeed get DX10 support as some have claimed in the past via Wine like projects, then MS might be in real trouble.

      That is a HUGE if, but in theory it is possible, already companies like Blizzard have to deal with the fact that a portion of their players are on linux and that they have to accept this.

      It will be intresting to see how the Vista only titles sell in the near future. MS titles don't count, MS can afford to loose money, regular developers can't.

    • Re:Games (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LingNoi ( 1066278 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:44AM (#21477635)

      Vista is the only operating system that supports DirectX10 at the moment. if it stays that way and games start making use of DirectX10 features then games will have no choice but to use Vista.
      Game developers/publishers don't care about vista and DX10. They care about selling games to the largest target market. If the customer base doesn't move then game developers won't make titles exclusive to Vista, especially when code for XP runs fine on Vista.

      There is also the small matter of "Vista only" games such as Halo 2 and the eagerly awaited Alan Wake from Remedy, the makers of Max Payne. that too will be a "Vista only" title.
      Are you seriously suggesting people are going to purchase an OS that is over $400 just to play a 3 year old xbox game?! I could buy Halo 2 and an Xbox cheaper!

      As for any other Vista only titles coming out, check how well they are selling. Shadowrun was Vista only and it sold so badly they had to close the game studio!
    • Hopefully when they (Khronos) release OpenGL 3.1 then there will be a cross-platform way to use the hardware features introduced in DirectX 10.

      Of course this means they would need to release OpenGL 3.0, which they're taking they're sweet time over.

    • Re:Games (Score:4, Informative)

      by rucs_hack ( 784150 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:03AM (#21477809)
      Vista is the only operating system that supports DirectX10 at the moment

      Kind of a meaningless statement really. To say Vista is the only OS that supports it is to imply that other OS's are somehow less able, but DirectX is a microsoft only tool, written just for windows, which is the only OS family that needs it in the first place. Linux and the others don't need it.

      Anyway, the only reason XP doesn't support it is because Microsoft decided to prevent people still using XP when directX10 takes hold.

      For the pedants, yes there is Wine/Cedega, but that's an emulator.

      • Re:Games (Score:5, Informative)

        by LingNoi ( 1066278 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:22AM (#21477961)

        For the pedants, yes there is Wine/Cedega, but that's an emulator.
        Wine stands for "Wine Is Not an Emulator".
      • I get you did not get the memo [winehq.org]: Wine Is Not an Emulator.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ncryptd ( 1172815 )

        For the pedants, yes there is Wine/Cedega, but that's an emulator.

        For the pedants, there's also the fact that Wine Is Not An Emulator. Seriously though -- that's why WINE is more than a little scary to MS -- it's not an emulator, so it lacks the major performance penalties that are usually associated with them. Instead, it's a fairly fast re-implementation of the Win32 API layer -- and since it's portable, it could (in theory, if it every gets DX10 support) provide unofficial backwards compatibility to p

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by naetuir ( 970044 )
        Wine may "emulate" the capabilities of Windows, but you seem to assume that it is inherently slower (or just 'worse') than Windows. This is just not the case.

        I run Crossover (a commercial fork of Wine for gamers) on my Mac. It runs every game I've needed so far, almost perfectly. There are a few glitches here and there (usually regarding intro/cutscene videos oddly), but it's better than having to submit to the overlords of Redmond and pay their entry level fee of $300 for Vista Ultimate (required for most
      • Not true (Score:3, Insightful)

        by abigsmurf ( 919188 )
        actually XP is incapable of running true DX10 applications because DX10 removes directsound. Because of buggy graphics card drivers, Directsound was all too often a cause of crash bugs. Vista, rather than talking to sound hardware uses a software layer to interface with soundcards so software makers never actually get direct access (and are less likely to crash because of this). This is what you're supposed to use instead of directsound and XP doesn't offer anything like this.
    • I think games might be the key for Microsoft to increase Vista uptake.
      For the home market... yes, maybe... what % of computer users are gamers? But that isn't Microsoft's main revenue stream -- they need business to adopt it eventually. Unless you are in the business of developing games, then this won't encourage you to switch.
    • Re:Games (Score:4, Insightful)

      by cheater512 ( 783349 ) <nick@nickstallman.net> on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:26AM (#21477997) Homepage
      Making a game DX10 only is a death sentence.
      The only ones in existence are ones made by MS or ones who MS has paid a hefty amount to..
  • Dear MS ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ihlosi ( 895663 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:25AM (#21477507)
    ... for your next operating system, please use Windows XP as a benchmark and starting point. Create a product that beats Windows XP in relevant categories (note that "amount of eyecandy" doesn't count - usability, speed, resource usage and security do). I'm sure you will have no problem selling that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by petes_PoV ( 912422 )
      you'd also have to specify a baseline hardware configuration (hint: Vista runs faster on a 10GHz QP + 16GB than XP does on a 1GHz, 512MB box)

      As it is, no operating system has ever run faster than it's predecessor on the same hardware. Whether you're talking OS/360 (what's that grandad?), VMS, BSD/Sys5 Unixes, probably even linuxes - tho' there are so many variants, it's impossible to know for all of them.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Dak RIT ( 556128 )

        Well, that's not true. I'm sure there are a number of examples to refute this. The most recent blatantly obvious example (that nobody is going to debate) though would be 10.0 to 10.1. I think that's generally not disputed at all... other releases of OS X are often claimed to be faster as well and probably are in a number of areas, although it's more debatable depending on how you want to measure it.

  • So? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by El Lobo ( 994537 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:26AM (#21477521)
    So they are having dificulties converting users from XP to Vista? And they are laughing all the way to the bank.

    OTOH, people and enterprises are slowly but sure upgrading to vista. The university where I work just took the step and upgraded 25 computer labs (30 computers each) from XP to Vista. Our departments are now slowly migrating as well. There is no rush... Why do we need to rush if XP was working great for us? If it ain't broken, don't fix it.

    But now every new computer we buy, we get it with Vista. Seeing the users that have Vista just make the rest of us realize that Vista is not the horror that somepeople seem to be. Knowledge is the best medicine, so people see "oh, it works well", "oh, UAC was not THAT bad, it barely comes up when you work and don't install things"..,so slowly, more and more people are willing to upgrade. This is our case, and i think this is happening everywhere.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I would disagree with your statement that Vista "works well". I bought a Dell XPS 1210 laptop back in June pre-loaded with Vista. I would not call myself an absolute poweruser, but I am definitely well above average. Anyway, I figured I would give Vista a shot since everyone on Slashdot was bitching about it. I installed all the my required programs in the first week and saw an ungodly number of UAC pop-ups, but let's just let that slide since I was changing system settings. In the following 3 weeks, I
    • But there is no reason at all to upgrade. Its just upgrading for the sake of it.

      There are more reasons to keep XP than to upgrade.
  • by mincognito ( 839071 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:26AM (#21477523)
    integrate Microsoft Bob into SP3. problem solved.
  • by petes_PoV ( 912422 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:30AM (#21477553)

    If you already have a PC, you'll run XP (or in my case W2K SP4) 'cos it just works. If you buy a new PC, you'll run Vista.

    That's basically it. A few people will have bought a Vista upgrade - maybe they're ahppy with it, maybe not. If not, they'll either live with it or revert. It's not to do with competition, it's to do with a saturated market.

    The only story here is: people sometimes buy new PCs.

    Until there is a killer app that only runs on Vista, I can't see why most people whould make the change.

    • by Ihlosi ( 895663 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:40AM (#21477605)
      If you buy a new PC, you'll run Vista.

      No thanks. If I buy a new PC, it'll run Windows XP

    • by Idaho ( 12907 )

      If you already have a PC, you'll run XP (or in my case W2K SP4) 'cos it just works. If you buy a new PC, you'll run Vista.

      Indeed, and this is exactly where things could go downhill for Microsoft. Notice that "*if* you buy a new PC" part in your statement? (and I'm reading "PC" in the generally accepted "a computer running Windows" sense.)

      You correctly stated "if" instead of "when", because for me, those times are over.

      My next laptop will be a Mac, as the hardware is nice and this seems to be about the only

  • by LingNoi ( 1066278 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:35AM (#21477573)

    But Gray said he was convinced Microsoft will win out in the end, if only because it has virtually no competitor worth the name in the enterprise market. "Linux and Mac have 1% or 2%, and in some cases, such as Europe and the largest corporations, they don't even register," he said. "Microsoft owns this space, and I don't see that changing."
    He couldn't resist taking a jab could he?

    Of course the enterprise market isn't moving to Linux they're ass slow to move to ANYTHING. These companies are so huge that it takes years to change the way they work.

    What I want to know is the made up (because you know what stats are like) figures of Linux growth in the Small to Medium businesses since they make up a larger majority of businesses then a couple of giant mega corps..
    • Actually, I can think of a couple giant [apple.com] megacorps [google.com] that do use Macs, Linux and BSD in substantial numbers. But I guess this analyst is more familiar with the middling sort of low-risk, low-growth, boring, megacorps that you never really hear about and that never really grow your portfolio, by comparison.
    • by alexhmit01 ( 104757 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:59AM (#21477769)
      Are people considering Linux/Mac desktops/servers and adding them to the environment. Windows 2000 Active Directory made it hard to add the non-MS LDAP/Kerberos machines to the network, Windows 2003 has made it harder, though Win2003R3 has apparently helped. This certainly helps lock in, but assuming Redhat/Novell decides to make it trivial to add a machine in time by creating a Win32 Program to add things to AD, and Win2003R2 added the SFU Schema Extensions by default, and all of a sudden, adding Linux services can help, a lot.

      One of the things I loved with OS X Server was that their Kerberos/LDAP integrated solution worked great, and adding non-Apple Unix systems was pretty easy... authenticate against LDAP, accept Kerberos, and just Add Principal (host, HTTP, whatever) and export a Keytab. It helped that Apple used MIT Kerberos which is the best documented solution.

      The thing is, if the computer market is growing at say, 8% a year, Microsoft needs to be grabbing a larger share of computer wallet to hit double-digit growth. If Linux/Apple grab extra growth, say 4% of the market each, Microsoft will see either a decline in revenues or need to increase fees, which will force people to look elsewhere.

      Win2K/Win2K3 made things much tougher for small businesses compared to NT4, Active Directory is MUCH harder to setup and use than a simple NT 3.51/NT4 Single Domain, but the well priced SBS solution provided a reason to keep them in the market. However, if someone with an Enterprise Play like Redhat/Novell made an effort to make it EASY to install a Redhat Server with LDAP/Kerberos authentication for both the server AND the webserver and whatever else, you start seeing it easy to migrate Web Apps to the Unix land.

      Microsoft's marketshare doesn't have to plummet for them to hurt. If they consistently lose 1.5% a year to Apple/Linux, that makes it really hard to grow Revenues and requires them to cut costs to keep up profit growth. That alone limits their ability to just walk into markets and destroy them. When Microsoft "cut off the oxygen" for Netscape with a free browser to stop the Netscape Server package from becoming a threat, they could easily eat the costs of the browser because their newly established desktop/Office Suite monopolies were furnishing massive profits.

      If Microsoft managers start obsessing over hitting the numbers, and budget constraints become an important part of the Microsoft bonus structure, then you don't see Internet Explorer projects... You don't see $10-$20 million dollar blackholes on the budget to maintain monopolies.

      The loss of Bill Gates also hurts, not because he is an irreplaceable manager, but because he alone had the clout to do strange things. When Apple fired "professional management" and brought Steve Jobs "back," he had the clout to do whatever he wanted. He pushed projects out the door, canceled others, etc., and could be a one man show with control of the business. Founders have MUCH MORE political capital than professional CEOs.

      If Gates said, "we must destroy Netscape, regardless of costs" (or Java, or any other technology that he found a threat), he could turn the company on a dime as Founder/major Shareholder.

      If Ballmer says, "to hell with profitability, we must destroy Sony PS3/Nintendo Wii, I don't care what we lose in the process," I don't think that he can do it. The heads of the gaming and lifestyle division will go ballistic that they won't make their numbers and get a bonus, and will find people on the Board to back them and get hep. If Gates said that it was a priority, it was a priority, and he could probably change the entire management incentive structure to make it happen. He could create budgets out of thin air for what he called a priority.

      Any loss in marketshare for MS is a disaster financially because it destroys profit growth, and the current management lacks the complete control of the company necessary to move the way it moved under Gates.
    • I'd be curious to see how this guy defines "enterprise." Another quote:

      According to a survey of nearly 600 U.S. and European companies that have more than 1,000 employees ...

      If he defines "enterprise" as having more than 1000 employees, he's leaving out 5,092,154 of the 5,104,331 firms (citation [census.gov]) that have fewer than 1,000 employees in the U.S. While I'm sure the vast majority use Windows, far more than 2% of the businesses I deal with use Macs and or Linux.

      I really don't get the obsession with big business

  • does anyone see Bill and Company significantly improving Vista before they stop supporting XP?

    Microsoft Support Lifecycle [microsoft.com]

  • by Mistshadow2k4 ( 748958 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:52AM (#21477705) Journal
    No one I know wants to upgrade from XP to Vista; the only person I know that had Vista hated it and downgraded to XP. Now, I remember when XP came out lots of people loved it immediately because it was more stable than 98 -- apparently, not that many had 2000. I got 2000 myself soon after and didn't upgrade to XP until SP 2 came out. Many /.ers have said that XP was none too great until SP2. I wasn't on /. back in those days and I don't know how XP was regarded on the "nerd sites" back then. So, was it like this with XP before SP 2?
  • by eNygma-x ( 1137037 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:57AM (#21477747)
    I too work at a college. And we will be resisting Vista until the performance is better. What is funny is how the students are continually downgrading to XP. (they will find a way) And with gaming consoles students are less likely to switch to Vista. Macs have made a surge with our students but so has Linux. (which I'm happier about) Oh and before I forget. We also offer free computer support to the students. With all the machines we touch, we have yet see a Vista machine perform better than an XP machine, even brand new out of the box.
  • by CFBMoo1 ( 157453 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:59AM (#21477773) Homepage
    I've been sitting on Vista since it nearly came out on my home PC. The primary reason was because of my job repairing computers. I knew that users would get machines with Vista pre-installed. I've wanted to switch back to XP and just live with that but I managed to talk myself out of it not because Vista is better, it's because most everyone that goes to the store will buy a Vista machine.

    If the manufacturer of drivers are the problem then those people need to get their acts together. Either way I'm tired of having an OS that is suposed to be newer and better then XP but is anything but up to sub-par to XP. Get the damn thing fixed, jeeze people pay enough for that thing.

    One last thing, take the dang confusion out of the 7-9 different flavors. Have two like XP and don't relabel everything just cause it's NEW. I still have a hard time finding Add/Remove Programs.
  • XP and Vista finish last in terms of stability and security. Eye candy, they are the front runners. Depending on the demographic, the competition will differ. Microsoft found out that people are sick of adopting garbage, that's why Vista will not fly unless it gets forced down the consumer's throat - which it will. For now however, I disagree that XP and Vista are competing on any kind of playing field other than Microsoft's own turf. The alternatives (linux, macintosh, bsd) are becoming more available
    • Vista has been much more stable than XP, and it is no doubt more secure.

      However... your statement about Apple is true. My cousin just switched to Apple, and i'm already planning on buying a Macbook pro.

      Apple is in a very good position right now. They provide real solutions, while Microsoft is stumbling. I mean look at the graphics viewer in Vista. It is a horrible peice of shit. If MS is going to integrate features, they better do so on a useable level for professional graphic designers, not just stupid mom
  • by regular_gonzalez ( 926606 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:16AM (#21477913)
    Posted this the other day, and it's at least as applicable to this thread. I'll be surprised if the larger companies switch to Vista. A general rule of thumb is that the larger the company, the slower any software transition. Many reasons for this, from testing compatibility of your apps with the new software, to layers of bureaucracy to go through. As an example, General Electric is roughly 60% WinXP and 40% Win2K, at least in Europe -- I can't speak for other territories. Office 2000 is deployed on appoximately 80% of systems, Office XP on another 15%, and only 5% or so having moved to the 'modern' Office 2003 -- this despite known errors in Excel 2000 with workbooks containing lots of pivot tables and formulae running into the 'out of memory' issue. Given that they are the world's second largest company [wikipedia.org], and that there's no way they will be upgrading to any new OS without having, say, 3-4 years to test it and get it approved by the powers that be, that's a huge number of sales Microsoft will miss out on. I can only assume that other comperably large companies have similar behavior. To expound just a bit so it's not pure copy pasta, GE seems to be more conservative under Jeff Immelt than it was under Jack Welch - not necessarily a bad thing, just a difference in leadership style. The only software that they update to the newest and greatest on a regular basis is SAV. I would be incredibly surprised to see Vista rolled out on a site- or business-unit- wide basis, let alone across the entire company. More likely is that the W2K computers are migrated to XP over the next 12-18 months.
  • That report is so misguided. Yes, Vista _IS_ slower, but think about all you get for it! You get free popups, chunks of your data archived at MS for NO added cost or CPU time other than the base Vista install, and the assurances that your software is genuine. With XP, you probably would have trouble sleeping at night not knowing for SURE if your software is genuine, or that your config and IP data wasn't safe in the hands of security conscious redmondians.

    So Vista _DOES_ run slower, but the security and peace of mind is well worth it. Were it not for the added speed, you might be a victim of software WMD or something, they are out there you know. Boo.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:20AM (#21477945)
    Microsoft competing with itself?

    Someone quick invent a boomerang chair for these situations
  • by cybrthng ( 22291 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:21AM (#21477951) Journal
    Its just going to take time to implement, integrate & upgrade everything to support it. You would have to be kidding yourselves to think MS just made up vista without regard for its core customers. The business version includes encryption, AD, GPO, security, performance, reliability that business users demand and to think Vista isn't an upgrade over XP or 2k in these regards is simply foolish. Auditing, Reporting, Authorization, Policy Management and Manageability have all increased 10 fold if not 100 fold over xp "out of the box" - THAT is what Corporate America wanted - and got! Lord knows They will have to implement the hardware to support it as they would with any other demanding project but that isn't a fault of MS or windows. There isn't an out of the box linux distro within ear shot of a Vista Business & Windows 2008 in end user support & management - everything would be left to 3rd party systems, agent based management and user trust.
    • Amen (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Toreo asesino ( 951231 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:59AM (#21478299) Journal
      Actually, it's the whole business/enterprise functionality that most slashdotters either don't know about or conveniently choose to overlook.

      Active Directory + Group Policy Management (server and client side) is the most single integrated solution from client to server that exists. There may other systems that reproduce similar functionality (like samba for instance), but nothing exists as an integrated top-to-bottom solution like Windows AD.

      The only other system that came close (and some would argue was better) is Novell Netware, but that doesn't really exist any more.
  • Computerworld is reporting that Windows XP Service Pack 3 runs MS Office 10% faster than XP SP2 -- and is 'considerably faster' than Vista SP1. XP SP3 isn't scheduled to be released until next year ...

    So there's still time to cripple^H^H^H^H^H^H^H market-adjust SP3.
  • by r_jensen11 ( 598210 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:59AM (#21478297)
    Not to troll, but it's not always a mistake when a company issues a new operating system that is slower than the others. Unless their benchmark is rediculously unoptimized, it's difficult to increase functionality AND speed. The issue that I keep on hearing (since I haven't tried it yet) is that Microsoft created a slower operating system with less functionality. Time will tell if this is true or not. Oh wait, it's been out for a year already and we're still hearing the same complaints....
  • by Wornstrom ( 920197 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:19AM (#21478511)
    I was using vista on my laptop, an athlon 64 dual core with 2GB ram. All I used it for was playing WoW when I'd go to my gf's house, and after several rounds of BSOD's with no solution in sight, I did a little searching and found that I could in fact install XP on there by using a quadro driver for the onboard nvidia graphics. (the vendor did not list any XP compatible drivers, but apparently it has the same motherboard in it as another model). Now, I no longer have to run WoW at 1024x768 but can run at 1280x800 widescreen, with all the mods I want and it flows effortlessly where before it would chop and lag horribly. Vista is pretty, yeah, but I need my laptop to do more than sit there like a prom queen ;-) When I hear of them fixing the performance, I might consider switching it back.
  • by scruffy ( 29773 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:53AM (#21478877)
    From TFA:

    According to the Office performance benchmarks, Windows XP SP3 is also considerably faster than Vista SP1. "None of this bodes well for Vista, which is now more than two times slower than the most current builds of its older sibling," said Barth.
    You can see the results in a hard-to-read graph at exo-blog.blogspot.com [blogspot.com]. XP SP3 completed the benchmark in under 40 seconds while Vista is over 80 seconds.
  • by Ngarrang ( 1023425 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:53AM (#21478885) Journal
    ...until it is slower than Vista SP1!
  • by BrianRagle ( 1016523 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <elgarb>> on Monday November 26, 2007 @12:17PM (#21479933) Homepage
    Let's face it, the majority of the consumer Windows market is just not about high-end gaming rigs, able to play the latest games with all graphic options maxed out. They like to browse web pages, chat with friends, send email, utilize office productivity apps, and mess around with their photo/home video collections. For these purposes, just about ANY operating system in current use is adequate. The differences comes down to security, stability, and usability.

    For my part, I make a point of keeping an Ubuntu machine going in my house at all times. Friends who come over and want to use a computer to check something while we are waiting for the football game to come on or the pizza to arrive invariably comment on the OS, which leads to questions, which leads to me usually offering them a burned copy of a LiveCD to take home with them. I don't spew a lot of technical jargon at these folks, nor do I assume a fan-boy posture (given the other machines in my house are Apple). I simply "make the sale" to them and answer their questions clearly, responding to their complaints regarding Vista and even XP, at times.

    This effort has resulted in about 30% of my friends moving to Ubuntu, with the remainder being split almost evenly between Apple computers and Windows-based rigs. Those who remain on the fence usually sit there because of the singular issue of gaming. Quite frankly, I can think of NO reason for an average consumer to even need to pay for an OS aside from being able to play games.
  • by David Gerard ( 12369 ) <slashdot&davidgerard,co,uk> on Monday November 26, 2007 @06:27PM (#21485015) Homepage

    I'm a Unix sysadmin. I got a new work laptop today, still on XP. I asked the IT guys if we were in any danger of Vista. They said "XP is supported for years yet!" And we all exhaled.

    We have worked out that if we are ever threatened with Vista, we promptly (a) pump up the Gutmann [auckland.ac.nz] (b) write a whole pile of in-house apps for ourselves that only work on XP. The latter already worked wonderfully for us in making an instant business case for staying on Firefox — make sure your in-house web apps are written for Firefox and SeaMonkey, and specifically break in IE. (This is easy: just write to standards).

    So: to stay off Vista, stock up on in-house apps that don't work on it. Then you have the business case you need.

e-credibility: the non-guaranteeable likelihood that the electronic data you're seeing is genuine rather than somebody's made-up crap. - Karl Lehenbauer