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Windows Vista harmed by success of XP?

updated 11:00 am EDT, Tue July 24, 2007

Vista harmed by XP success

Sales of Windows Vista may, paradoxically, be hampered by the very success of Windows XP, writes one technology columnist. An observer with the Microsoft-focused Redmond observes that during July 20th's quarterly earnings call, Microsoft substantially altered its predictions for OS sales during Fiscal Year 2008: Vista revenue is expected to fall from 85 to 78 percent, while XP revenue should actually increase from 15 to 22 percent. Respectively, the two should shrink and grow by about 50 percent.

This view is echoed by George Shiffler of the Gartner research firm, who notes, "Our market data suggest Vista has had very limited impact on PC demand or replacement activity. We don't see Vista having a significant effect on these going forward unless Microsoft becomes much more aggressive in its marketing efforts."

Leading PC builder Dell, meanwhile, has retained Windows XP as an installtion option on some of its systems, despite having originally followed other companies into going Vista-only.

The reasons for this, however, may have less to do with driver and compatibility issues than simple satisfaction with the state of XP. "With each new version of Windows," says analyst Matt Rosoff of Directions on Microsoft, "it gets harder and harder to find features and improvements that will drive upgrades."

Rosoff highlights the fact that in the days before XP, an upgrade from Windows 95 to 98 or 2000 would bring with it significant improvements to stability and security. Under XP, however, the business and home operating systems were united under a single, more reliable codebase, which was cemented with the release of Service Pack 2. Vista features such as Instant Search can be important, Rosoff muses, but not enough of a reason to spend money on an upgrade. "There's not that much you can do in an OS," he comments.

by MacNN Staff




  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    ha, ha

    Vista was really worth waiting for, huh?

    since Windows is a large part of the Microsoft revenue foundation... what happens if they can't convince PC users to use Vista?

  1. glasshalffull

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not much you can do

    What he meant to say is that Microsoft has little to do in an OS until Apple finishes their current work on Mac OS X 10.5 so that they can restart their copy machines.

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Obviously not much reason

    to "upgrade" when, despite the eye candy, the thing drains the power from your system and has issues with just about all the software you own. No, poor design and failure to do users the service of getting the drivers they need built in are the main reasons people don't need a newer version of pain and hardship.

  1. coffeetime

    Joined: Dec 1969


    too drastic

    My co-worker (PC guy) has Vista. He hates it because the changes are too drastic. Even MS Office Suite for Vista changes a lot. As a marketing person like him Vista is slowing down his productivity a lot because he has to relearn the new interface. He is still using XP on his desktop. Only his laptop has Vista.

  1. dwoodruff

    Joined: Dec 1969


    rethink that headline

    Windows Vista harmed by success of XP?....

    how about Windows Vista hurt by it's excessive crappiness and lack of innovation?

  1. darkelf

    Joined: Dec 1969



    there's a lot which vista could have done, but it was all cut. the longhorn development wishlist became a swath of blood and tears.

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Missing the boat...

    As usual, they talk about hardware features, and they leave out any comparison to the one feature that makes the iPhone such a formidable leader in their market - the user interface and software driving it!

    What these manufacturers, especially the asian ones, simply don't get, is that it's not about featuritis - they could release a product with less features, but with a superior user interface, and be a winner.

    Instead, I'm willing to bet this c*** is based on Windows Mobile, or the usual asian designed c*** interface, which makes the phone, essentially, useless.

    I'm just glad, for Apple, that their competitors in the markets they enter are invariably idiots.

  1. Herod

    Joined: Dec 1969


    i think the reality is...

    most windows users just dont care to get involved in some new bells and wistles that microsoft is trying to sell them.

    they finally got use to the clunker XP, and dont want to have to update their whole computer system to use this new "garbage".

  1. CorDog

    Joined: Dec 1969


    RE: Office 2007

    I was told to upgrade 16 computers this week to Office 2007 as a test roll out. I'm only at 6 so far and now I'm the most hated person in the building! Not a single person likes Office 2007, and the word is going around that I'm coming. Microsoft changed too much and not for the better. They changed things for the sake of changing things. And not only did they make a lot a changes, it's incredibly slow! Now there are a number of laptops that have just been flagged as obsolete and need to be replaced just to handle Office 2007. From the time you click on an email message and the time it displays is about 10 seconds. 10 seconds may sound fast, but if your used to near instantaneous, 10 seconds is a loooonnnggg time.

    Microsoft has lost touch with the end users, if they ever had it in the first place.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    My co-worker (PC guy) has Vista. He hates it because the changes are too drastic. Even MS Office Suite for Vista changes a lot. As a marketing person like him Vista is slowing down his productivity a lot because he has to relearn the new interface. He is still using XP on his desktop. Only his laptop has Vista.

    and They changed things for the sake of changing things.

    And these are the complaints that came out with OS X, and the OS 9 crowd was chastised for just "not moving with the times". And Apple also changes stuff for the sake of changing stuff ("Hey, let's get rid of the toolbar and add a sidebar!" "Hey, now let's change the way the sidebar works!").

    The biggest problem with Vista is not the drivers (that's a problem for all new OSs, like, say OS X) but the complete lack of full compatibility with a lot of existing software. And we're not just talking the old copy of Othello for Windows v3.1! The worst that I've seen in MS themselves. Almost all older versions of MS software is not compatible (that's what you get for using all those shortcuts and optimizations tied to the underlying OS!). h***, some current MS software isn't liked either. But that's also what you get when you decide to completely change the underpinnings to improve stability and security (yes, and it is more stable and secure, but that's not saying much).

    The next big killer is the same reason Office isn't as big of a seller as it used to be. There's NO REASON to upgrade. The additions/benefits to the OS don't outweigh the cost/effort/troubles. But this is the same trouble all developers face. Apple, with Leopard, has this problem. There's very little in Leopard that's 'must have' to a lot of users. Sure, you'll get those who'll update immediately (just like you have those who had to get Vista immediately). But after that? (On Apple's side is that there won't be any option to get Tiger with a new computer, unlike getting a new PC with XP vs. Vista).

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