updated 02:10 pm EST, Tue January 30, 2007
Subdued reactions to Vista
Today's release of Windows Vista, the main competitor to Mac OS X Leopard, has already met with a low-key response, says Electronista. Although early store openings and special events had been scheduled to accommodate the most eager early adopters, far fewer appeared at the openings than expected. CompUSA's main San Francisco store saw considerably fewer buyers than the 500 to 1,000 originally expected; many of these shoppers were also only there to take advantage of Vista-related hardware discounts, wrote CNET's Jessica Dolcourt. Similar results were seen in Raleigh and other large cities. A mid-week launch and hesitation over joining crowds were cited by CompUSA representatives as partly to blame for the slow uptake at the chain, which had begun "Midnight Madness" campaigns independent from Microsoft.
However, the reaction may have also been due to the new climate in the computer market, according to the Washington Times. While earlier Windows launches took place at the zenith of Microsoft's hold over software and services, the burgeoning of OS-independent, Internet-based tools such as Firefox or Google look to erode Microsoft's once rock-steady influence. The recent popularity of the Mac in homes and Linux in businesses has also changed the environment, the Times' Alan Sipress said. Microsoft CFO Chris Liddell was optimistic, saying that Vista would be "positive" for the Redmond developer in the long term, but admitted that the new OS would not have the "Windows 95 impact" which saw massive lineups and a frenzied demand for a Windows upgrade.