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Microsoft Software

Is Windows Vista in Trouble? 879

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the shooting-feet dept.
Ken Erfourth writes "The Inquirer.net is running a story about what they consider two powerful indications that Vista is failing in the marketplace. One, Dell has reintroduced PCs running Windows XP on its website due to customer demand. Two, Microsoft is conducting a worldwide firesale on a bundle of Microsoft Office 2007/WindowsXP Starter Edition. According to Inquirer.net, at least, these are signs of serious problems selling Vista. Are we seeing the stumbling of the Microsoft Juggernaught with the slow adoption of Windows Vista?"
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Is Windows Vista in Trouble?

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  • by nweaver (113078) on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:45PM (#18845085) Homepage
    With XP, there was a compelling reason for a lot of people to upgrade. For the Win2K users, it got you the gaming APIs and other things formerly only good in the Win98 branch. For the Win98 branch users, it was a huge upgrade in stability and robustness.

    With Vista, there is no compelling useful feature for users, and much of the content added is particularly ANTI-user. So why upgrade?
    • by dattaway (3088) on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:47PM (#18845113) Homepage Journal
      XP doesn't fully support the latest Vista technology:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Policeware [wikipedia.org]
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:49PM (#18845137)
      Odd.... I've been gaming on win2k since oh... 2001. Only recently have companies started locking us out, even though with a registry mod they work fine.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jokerr (618070)
      Because Aqua is the coolest thing out there...oh wait!
    • by Intron (870560) on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:52PM (#18845209)
      but, but, under specs it says Vista is

      "Most secure Windows® ever"
    • by GlassHeart (579618) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:02PM (#18845409) Journal
      It's not just XP being good enough, but also most people's existing hardware being good enough. Used to be that hardware manufacturers would make extra money when people wanted to upgrade to hungry software, and Microsoft makes extra money when people upgraded computers for some other reason, but now when both are good enough, nobody feels the need to upgrade until it's actually broken.
    • by shihonage (731699) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:11PM (#18845545)
      Actually XP didn't introduce gaming APIs - Windows 2000 can run all the games XP can, except for those which specifically check for Windows version. XP's innovations over Windows 2K were proper Hyperthreading support and Cleartype.
    • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardpriceNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:14PM (#18845579)
      When Windows XP was released, I distinctly remember the same 'theres nothing compelling to upgrade to XP for' pieces doing the rounds on Slashdot and other tech op-ed sites - people were predicting Microsofts failure, that XP wouldnt sell at all because it demanded huge hardware requirements, that XP had a Fisher Price interface that would scare buyers away and it would only really sell through forced OEM installations.

      Im quietly confident that in 5 years time, when Vistas replacement is released, it will all happen again.
      • by marcosdumay (620877) <marcosdumay AT gmail DOT com> on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:37PM (#18845975) Homepage Journal
        I don't remember Microsoft gouing back and start licensing 98 again after they released XP and discontinued 98.
      • by jtosburn (63943) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:43PM (#18846075)
        When Windows XP was released, I distinctly remember the same 'theres nothing compelling to upgrade to XP for' pieces doing the rounds on Slashdot and other tech op-ed sites - people were predicting Microsofts failure, that XP wouldnt sell at all because it demanded huge hardware requirements, that XP had a Fisher Price interface that would scare buyers away and it would only really sell through forced OEM installations.

        Yes, you heard that. It's what people who had Windows 2000 said, and a heck of a lot of them stayed with Win2k. There really wasn't any compelling reason to move to XP.

        But there were a LOT of people running Windows 98/ME. For them, Windows XP was a huge, meaningful upgrade. They all went with WinXP, either as an upgrade, or as part of a new hardware purchase.

        With Windows Vista, there doesn't seem to be any substantial group for whom a compelling reason to upgrade exists.

        None the less, maybe you're right; in five years we'll all be running Vista SE, Service Pack 3, Trademark, All rights reserved. It'll be the only platform to access Windows Live, so it's gotta sell!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by shlashdot (689477)
        maybe, but I don't recall uninstalling 98 so I could buy and run 95. I don't recall uninstalling XP so I could pay for and run 98...

        I'm quietly confident that in 5 years time I will have more Linux machines than I do now. As far as I am concerned, they've already failed. As for the rest of the world, you're almost certainly right. They'll do fine.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by drew (2081)
          I remember wiping out a 98 install to reinstall Win 95. I stuck with Windows 95 (OSR2) until mid 2001, when I was finally convinced to move to win2k. Even then I continued to use 95 on VMWare partitions due to its smaller size for almost two more years, as Windows 2K would take 1GB of disk space by itself.
      • by crabpeople (720852) on Monday April 23, 2007 @06:54PM (#18846975) Journal

        "When Windows XP was released, I distinctly remember the same 'theres nothing compelling to upgrade to XP for"
        There wasn't and there still isn't. Win2k forever.

    • Vista next patch (Score:3, Interesting)

      by grumpyman (849537)
      Update for Windows Vista (Q34356245)

      This patch will solves Windows Vista compatibility issues. It will install Virtual PC 2007, along with a Windows XP images. It will also modify the registry to run the Virtual PC on start up as well.

  • It was trouble (Score:5, Insightful)

    by neoform (551705) <djneoform@gmail.com> on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:45PM (#18845087) Homepage
    when they slipped their release date by 3 years..

    they're in even more trouble since they haven't said a word about their next version of windows..
    • by Glonoinha (587375) on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:49PM (#18845151) Journal
      They weren't slipping their release date.
      They were just waiting for hardware performance to catch up.
    • Re:It was trouble (Score:5, Insightful)

      by StarvingSE (875139) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:02PM (#18845401)
      Not only did they slip on the release date, but they dropped many features that would have made the OS actually new. What we have now is on OS that costs a lot of money for a bunch of features that are truly cosmetic in nature. There is absolutely nothing to get excited about with Vista.

      I could see delaying release for 3 years becuase they wnated to perfect some brand new must-have feature, but the product that was delivered was simply anti-climatic to say the least.
    • Even more so... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by symbolset (646467) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:32PM (#18845869) Journal

      That extra three years XP became more entrenched each day. Every time somebody installed a new printer or upgraded their wireless or beat their way through a software install, the compatibility bar for vista got higher. Every time someone new installed XP, the breakthrough point for widespread adoption of Vista got higher too. Each time XP gained share the leverage of having everyone on the same plan became more apparent as the pool of people you could exchange files with grew. Every time somebody bit their lip and bought a hugely expensive new program in the faint hope it would install and run correctly and be compatible with their extant setup and not be lame, the cost of upgrading to vista grew higher again. Even the negatives of some of these things forewarned people that change can be very bad and unnecessary change can be dumb when things go horribly wrong as they sometimes do over the simplest things.

      XP isn't perfect and it doesn't have to be. XP works reliably enough for most people to do what they want to do most of the time. They've grown comfortable with their XP setups and invested heavily in padding their XP nests. To abandon that for a whole new Vista that doesn't have any of their expensive software or work with their expensive peripherals or just won't do what they've done each day for years or isn't quite interoperable with their friends' just isn't going to fly unless there is a compelling reason. A new desktop theme is not compelling enough for most people. For that level of sacrifice people want real change.

  • Get real (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord Grey (463613) * on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:46PM (#18845097)

    Are we seeing the stumbling of the Microsoft Juggernaught with the slow adoption of Windows Vista?
    Are you perhaps reading just a little too much into these events in the interest of journalistic sensationalism? Is an article on Inquirer.net really worth referencing anywhere else on the internet?

    I don't like Microsoft, and I gleefully read all about Vista's "innovations" and the Zune's "features" and laugh. But this article is just a little too opinionated to make worthwhile.
  • by Captain Splendid (673276) <capsplendid.gmail@com> on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:46PM (#18845099) Homepage Journal
    Did the submitter know this is /.? Plenty of us here think the answer is yes, and have been thinking that for a loooong time. I'm more interested in anone here who thinks Vista will do well, and why. So step right up and change my mind, let me know why you think Vista will eventually dominate. And I need a better argument than "800-pound gorilla".
    • by cliffski (65094) on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:56PM (#18845285) Homepage
      because it's better than XP.

      I have 2 machines, a vista one and an XP one (plus an XP laptop). The Vista PC is newer, so i can't do an apples and apples comparison, but still, my impression is that Vista feels nicer, slicker, more responsive and faster than XP.
      Like most versions of windows, it's hard to really put my finger on a single 'killer app' that makes Vista better, but as a user, the overalle xperience just feels more polished.
      I *had* to get a vista machine, to do compatility tests for my games, but I certainly don't regret doing so. I'd be suprised if many end users who get an O/S with a new PC, who aren't uber geeks will go out of their way to ask for the earlier operating system, especially as any new machine will run vista fine.

      I know lots of people have a beef with various aspects of Vista, but they don't bother me. I don't watch downloaded movies on my PC, I use it for gaming and surfing and developing, so the DRM that may be in it doesn't bother me personally.
      Apart from anything, Vista is more likely to be safer, as XP will now be ignroed in terms of patching exploits.

      Vista will win in the long term. it might be longer than the short-termists who write magazine articles are used to, but in 3-4 years from now, it will seem funny to have written off vista.
      Microsoft aren't as strong as they used to be, Google has seen to that, and I doubt they would attempt to do an even more bloated expensive O/S after vista, but I also doubt there will be any long term problems in its takeup.
      • by walt-sjc (145127) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:20PM (#18845687)
        the DRM that may be in it doesn't bother me personally.

        Don't worry, it will eventually - vista hasn't been out long enough for the restrictions to become obvious and troublesome.

        As for vista "winning" in the long term, I do believe that vista will become the dominant home-user OS because of forced integration (no more OEM sales of XP and EOL date for XP) than for any other reason.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by FSWKU (551325)

        I have 2 machines, a vista one and an XP one (plus an XP laptop). The Vista PC is newer, so i can't do an apples and apples comparison, but still, my impression is that Vista feels nicer, slicker, more responsive and faster than XP.

        So allow me to illustrate an apples to apples comparison. Friend of mine orders a new PC. It's "Vista Capable" so it comes with the damned system pre-installed. 3.4GHz CPU and 512MB RAM. The complaints of the sluggishness are near endless. I go over there to see what all I can

  • Here's the problem (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CastrTroy (595695) on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:47PM (#18845109) Homepage
    The problem for MS this time around is that everyone was happy with XP. Ok, maybe not everybody was completely happy, but it's pretty stable, and does just about everything most people need it to do. People don't want to go back to having to run something that's buggy, or slows their system down. It's not like with windows 98, where we were still getting frequent BSODs. XP is a pretty good OS, and if people don't want to change, I don't blame them.
  • No, It's Not (Score:5, Insightful)

    by asphaltjesus (978804) on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:49PM (#18845143)
    There's this thing called a monopoly that prevents this trouble from occurring.

    Windows users will buy new machines, and get Vista "real soon now." The number of users that switch will be nominal. No harm done to Microsoft.

    As much as the media may want it to be, there is no competition in a market with a Monopoly.

    • by jez9999 (618189) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:09PM (#18845503) Homepage Journal
      As much as the media may want it to be, there is no competition in a market with a Monopoly.

      Oh come on, I think there is. I can think of several off the top of my head; Snakes & Ladders, Hungry Hungry Hippoes, Cluedo, etc.
    • by scsirob (246572) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:09PM (#18845513)
      When OEM's are providing customers an option to stay with XP, there no longer is an automatic 'Vista migration' anymore. The trick just went away. If Dell decides that they can't sell PC's with Vista but they can with XP, then Dell will continue to sell XP and customers will continue to get XP systems.

      What's amazing is that the beta community has been loudly warning Microsoft for the imminent failure for more than a year. That's unprecedented as well. All Microsoft beta's are near-adorations of the company. Vista is the first where I saw open revolt against some of the stuff being pulled. And guess what, they did not listen.
  • by HighOrbit (631451) * on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:49PM (#18845155)
    By now, the PC market is saturated and MS already has 90+ percent of it. Nearly everybody who needs or wants a PC already has one. This means that there will be little growth and the market is really based on replacement of older models with newer ones. MS already has a huge market share, so they can't grow by taking share away from the competition.

    This does not mean MS or Vista are washed-up. It just means it is a mature market. MS and Vista are actually sitting pretty. They will continue to see 90+ percent of new computers running their stuff for the foreseeable future. But they simply won't have double-digit growth year over year, just a steady torrent of replacements.
  • by KingSkippus (799657) * on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:53PM (#18845245) Homepage Journal

    Is Vista in trouble? Why wouldn't it be? Even if Microsoft gave the thing away for free, it totally ignores the fact that there's an enormous cost [auckland.ac.nz] to upgrading. Microsoft doesn't need a fire sale, it needs to be paying people to install this thing.

    Let's run down the usual suspects of people who upgrade and see how they feel:

    • Business users hate it. The hardware required to run it cost a lot of money when multiplied by tens, hundreds, or thousands of employees. Add to that the training costs, the support costs, the deployment costs, and so on ad nauseum, and the business decision easily becomes a no-brainer. And for what? Beefed up "security" that causes your user base to go nuts answering "Allow or deny" dialog boxes?
    • Gamers hate it. It just plain doesn't run with the hardware that's out right now. I really think that Vista is trying to be the proverbial egg that comes before widespread manufacturer support (the proverbial chicken), but it's just not happening. Every gamer I know is avoiding Vista like the plague. As long as gamers aren't begging for Vista support in their high-end components, manufacturers are still going to continue to be reluctant.
    • Speaking of manufacturers, it's obvious that they hate it, too. When I tried Vista for a week a while back (not the beta, the so-called real version after launch), two things didn't work. My Creative SoundBlaster Live! card and my nVidia video card. To be fair, the latter technically worked, but some of its higher-end functionality didn't. We're not talking about little no-name manufacturers here or bizarre equipment, we're talking about common cards from major manufacturers. Have you even seen the hoops that hardware manufacturers have to jump through to comply with Vista's outrageous requirements?
    • The emerging home entertainment market hates it. Let's not mince words: One of Vista's primary design goals is Digital Rights "Management," keeping these people from doing what they want to do. Why would buy software that takes functionality away!!?

    I could go on, but you get the point. Is Vista in trouble? You bet. Add to all of the above the competition that it faces from various Linux distributions that are easier than ever to install and use, products like Mac OS, clever new projects such as ReactOS [reactos.org], and even its own predecessor! and it becomes clear that Microsoft should be praying that people pirate it, because that's the only way it's going to make any kind of splash when all is said and done.

    Don't get me wrong, it won't die completely, any more than Windows ME is dead. But in the annals of operating systems, my money is that it will be merely a blip on the screen. If Microsoft is smart, it should be working on adding features to its operating system, making it faster and more powerful and easier to use. It should be fighting with us against DRM, not against us by crippling their software with it.

    Personally, I think that Microsoft is not very smart, but who knows, I guess we'll see. At any rate, after giving it a week to try to convince me that it's not as bad as everyone says it is, I was very disappointed in it and won't be running it anytime in the forseeable future.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Dobeln (853794)
      Agree with some of your other points (I'm sticking with XP for the forseeable future...), but I have to ask about this one:

      "The emerging home entertainment market hates it. Let's not mince words: One of Vista's primary design goals is Digital Rights "Management," keeping these people from doing what they want to do. Why would buy software that takes functionality away!!?"

      Which functionality is taken away? IIRC, the only DRM in Vista is there to enable playback of DRM-enabled media. (I.e. HD-DVD/BluRay) It's
      • by KingSkippus (799657) * on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:51PM (#18846169) Homepage Journal

        Which functionality is taken away? IIRC, the only DRM in Vista is there to enable playback of DRM-enabled media. (I.e. HD-DVD/BluRay) It's not as if it infects all your AVI files with some vicious DRM scheme.

        No, but average consumers don't know that. The "Cost of Vista [auckland.ac.nz]" article points out some fantastic ways in which functionality is effectively being taken away from consumers. Here's an excerpt close to the front of the article:

        Currently the most common high-end audio output interface is S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format). Most newer audio cards, for example, feature TOSlink digital optical output for high-quality sound reproduction, and even the latest crop of motherboards with integrated audio provide at least coax (and often optical) digital output. Since S/PDIF doesn't provide any content protection, Vista requires that it be disabled when playing protected content. In other words if you've sunk a pile of money into a high-end audio setup fed from an S/PDIF digital output, you won't be able to use it with protected content. Instead of hearing premium high-definition audio, you get treated to premium high-definition silence.

        In other words, a consumer who has high-end audio setup thinking that they're going to be able to listen to the latest and greatest in A/V home theater technology will be sadly disappointed. The discs aren't broken, the hardware isn't broken, and no AVI files have been infected, but the end result is the same: Functionality that the user has paid for and reasonably expects to work doesn't. It's been taken away.

  • by Detritus (11846) on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:54PM (#18845247) Homepage
    Microsoft is in control. All they have to do is to discontinue XP OEM licensing, or substantially raise the price. You'll get Vista with your new PC and you'll like it. If you don't like it, See Figure One [things.org].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:54PM (#18845259)
    Nobody touches it, nobody cares. It just sits there, a Dual Processor Dual Core Hyperthreaded monster and nobody thinks its worth the time to even login.

    Even I don-t touch it because the fan is noisy, all that eye candy and gloss and the noisy fan outweighs it.

    I'm typing this on Feisty Fluffer, no Funky Feaster, no Finkle Fungerstein, oh whatever the latest Ubuntu is called. It's far from perfect, the keyboard layout doesn't know the Spanish keyboard I have (where are those damn brackets_ and why is the question mark an underscore__). The typefaces are not as good as Windows, the status bar is too high and the icons too amateur, but so far 2 people have asked me for a copy of the disk.

    So yes Vista is in trouble, big big trouble. It-s a big yawn, it's late and the stories we hear of privileges being determined by filename etc. mean I just don-t want to waste time with it.

    • by hey! (33014) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:20PM (#18845675) Homepage Journal
      I'm posting this from a Vista laptop.

      Now, If I had my choice, it would be a MacOS or a Ubuntu laptop. But I specifically requested a Vista laptop so I could evaluate our software on it (it seems fine).

      The thing is, other than some fairly trivial eye candy, there is nothing here that is a must have for users. The thing that was great about the Win2K upgrade from NT was that the horrible instability of NT4 was fixed. Vista at first blush is a lot like the Win 2K to XP upgrade -- basically eye candy as far as most users are concerned. But unlike XP, Vista comes with a pretty hefty sacrifice in RAM and CPU. So it feels like a bit of a downgrade.

      Much of what we'd really like to know about Vista lies in the future. The great fault of NT4 was stability. The great fault of 2K and XP were security. If Vista, in the long term, proves more secure than XP, then it will be a worthwhile sacrifice of RAM and all will be forgiven. For now, savvy users are not counting on it in the short term. Vista was a horribly late project pushed out the door. It introduces many new technologies, none of which are particularly important to users, which add massive complexity to the product. Both these argue for a bumpy start.

      Overall, I'm pleased with this Vista machine because it has enough RAM and power to run to OS adequately.
  • by SnarfQuest (469614) on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:55PM (#18845277)
    What do you mean, slow starter.

    They've already sold 244 copies in China!
  • by notaprguy (906128) * on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:57PM (#18845307) Journal
    Microsoft reports earnings on Thursday and I'm sure they'll provide some details on sales of Vista and Office 2007. From what I've read, sales of Vista seem to be good. Dell's decision to offer XP is a PR thing...they had a few customers who complained.
  • by HTMLSpinnr (531389) on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:58PM (#18845335) Homepage
    I saw what seemed like plenty of copies of Windows Vista Ultimate Upgrade at my local closing CompUSA marked 30% off, which still made it about $181 + tax. Still too much considering the OEM copies can be had for less, and the real apparent benefits don't outweigh the bugs and incompatibility with my various hardware or software.

    Seemed kind of fitting that the "failing OS" was one of the few remaining items on the shelf within a failing computer store.
  • by zenasprime (207132) on Monday April 23, 2007 @04:58PM (#18845343) Homepage
    I thought about installing on a spare drive just to see what all the non-fuss was about but then I saw that it was going to cost $200+ and said "no thanks".

  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@beauTOKYO.org minus city> on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:00PM (#18845361)
    If you are a gamer, XP is an upgrade from Vista. Helped one build a new system recently. Of course they they bought a copy of (32bit OEM) Vista. 3D performace (with a 512MB NVidia card running current drivers) was pitiful and the machine only saw 2GB of the 4GB installed. They are in an area with no broadband so PeoplePC being unable to get them connected via dialup was the final insult.

    So they bought a copy of XP and reinstalled. 3D looked like what a top of the line card should be able to do and dialup worked. Performance in general was vastly improved. Still had the 2GB memory limit though, probably not much to there except go to a 64bit system and suffer the issues involved with that... not worth it.

    Yes most of their problem was probably driver related. Doesn't matter, Vista is now facing the same problem we Linux users deal with every day. Users don't want to hear excuses, if the OS doesn't work with their hardware NOW they don't want to hear "maybe it will work someday". Especially since right now it doesn't appear a Vista user has any good options. NVidia doesn't perform well, ATI doesn't even have a DX10 hard out and Intel only has low end onboard stuff.

    Three years late and they still couldn't manage to bully the key hardware players to have proper support available for launch. Doesn't sound like an 800lb gorilla to me. This fiacso is going to be long remembered.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by djmurdoch (306849)
      So they bought a copy of XP and reinstalled. 3D looked like what a top of the line card should be able to do and dialup worked. Performance in general was vastly improved. Still had the 2GB memory limit though, probably not much to there except go to a 64bit system and suffer the issues involved with that... not worth it.

      In XP you can up your limit to 3 GB by using the /3GB switch in boot.ini. According to this page [microsoft.com], the same thing is accomplished somewhat differently on Vista.
  • by baggins2001 (697667) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:00PM (#18845363)
    Most vendors I talk to have said that they are being allowed to sell XP until the end of the year. Systems sold in 2008 will have to have Vista.
    Part of the problem is that there was not enough support for Vista ( a lot of people ran into problems with drivers ).
    Basically MS got some of the pressure off of them to put a new OS out. Early adopters get to be the guinea pigs while the rest of us wait for the major problems to be fixed.
  • by jellomizer (103300) * on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:04PM (#18845451)
    With Microsoft Goal a PC on every desk with Microsoft on it. Coming as close to reality as it is going to get. People are no longer excited by computers as they once were. Back in the 80s and early 90s PC were things for Geeks and Young People and Computers are the future but the presents is fine. So the younger generation started getting computers and such causing the growth in the PC market. Everything was new and exciting. Then the last big hooray was Windows 95 where all computers not just Macs were considered easy enough for everyone to use and with a timely popularity of the internet (in which MS jumped onto late) PCs became technology of NOW where everyone needs it, to function in our society fully. Now computers are way to common and the average person is not excited about the upgrade they have been threw the process and most people today have at least one upgrade under their belt, and that upgrade wasn't as exciting as they expected. So more and more people are not caring about a new flashier version of windows. Now the Geeks are hoarding and around Linux and Apple, so that is where the people who care are giving excitement too, back in 95 a lot of geeks were willing to wait until midnight to be the first for Windows 95 and now many of those people will hit refresh on their browser waiting for the next version of their favorite distribution or go to Apple Update Parties. As for Windows people don't care. Sure they use it but they are not excited on getting a new version just because it looks cooler. If they are going to put money into it it needs to be something much bigger. And the fact they learned that they could keep Windows 98 running for almost a decade afterwards and still run modern stuff. Makes them realize that XP will be around for a while to and no need to upgrade, heck they could probably skip a version if they felt like it.
  • by BeBoxer (14448) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:09PM (#18845511)
    Vista. XP. Who Cares? Does Microsoft really care? As long as you are buying their OS, they are doing fine. No, the threat to Microsoft is not people choosing XP over Vista. It's people choosing OSX. In my little part of the world (education/research institution) OSX has reached about 30-50% penetration in the laptop arena. At least judging by what people actually bring to meetings. That trend will spell real trouble for Microsoft if it continutes.
  • by Angst Badger (8636) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:35PM (#18845929)
    Two words: MSDOS 4.0.

    Those of you old enough to remember, and yet who can't even recall MSDOS 4.0, will immediately know what I mean.

    For those of you who are too young, MSDOS 4.0 was a tremendous flop. MSDOS 3.3 was used pretty much continuously from its release in 1987 until it MSDOS 5.0 came out in 1991, and even then, I ran into machines running v.3.3 for years afterwards. Version 4.0 was buggy and bloated while adding virtually nothing in the way of useful features, and the market reacted with a resounding yawn.

    Microsoft, it should be remembered, was the dominant OS vendor in 1987, but it was not a monopoly yet. There were still plausible alternatives (then as now, technically superior). Microsoft is the dominant OS vendor in 2007, but its monopoly is crumbling, and all it will take is one gigantic screwup for competitors to move in. Vista is a gigantic screwup, just like MSDOS 4.0.

    This could be good news for Linux, great news for Apple, and freaking fantastic news for ODF, especially if MS takes as long to recover from Vista as they did from DOS 4.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by asninn (1071320)
      I indeed don't remember MSDOS 4.0, but I *do* remember that there was a 4.01; and contrary to what you might say, 4.0(1) did have some useful features, too, insofar as that it got rid of the 32 MB limit for hard disk partitions that 3.3 had. Admittedly, it did so in an unwieldy manner, and 5.0 was FAR superior to any MSDOS version that came before it, but it's inaccurate to say that 4.0(1) did not add any useful features.
  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:42PM (#18846047)
    If you really want Vista to truly fail, then as a computer geek (and let's face it, if you read this on Slashdot then you *are* a geek), do your utmost to go and educate all the Joe Averages in the world.

    No, don't try to convert them to Linux (unless they ask you to) but go help them when their computers fail. When you hear a friend or a relative suggest that they're going to buy a new PC because their old one is getting slow, go and help them out. Tell them it probably just needs a reinstall, maybe a bit more memory, a bigger hard disk... But *STOP* them buying new computers just for the sake of it.

    And when you've helped them out, help them to install Firefox and Thunderbird, install OpenOffice for them and set it up.

    People need to be educated properly about what it is to own a PC and what they need to do on a regular basis to keep it running relatively fast. We need to take control of our PCs - not buy every Microsoft upgrade, remove the Norton and McAfee Nagware crap that comes installed on every new PC.

    That's the *PROPER* way to make Vista fail...

  • by r_jensen11 (598210) on Monday April 23, 2007 @06:03PM (#18846329)
    The only reason why Microsoft is pushing Vista is so they can talk about their ROI for that particular (albeit very large) investment. However, with each computer that comes with Windows XP, Microsoft is still making money. Sure, the investors will be pissed if Vista isn't being taken up as quickly as they were told, but it's not like Microsoft is going in the red any time soon.

    The only way Microsoft will be in serious trouble is if they start losing overall OEM sales to competition like Apple or the various Linux distributions. I suppose they would be in trouble if they don't expand any further either, but then again, that's why they're branching out of the desktop and servers and going into things like video games and digital cable boxes.

  • by grapeape (137008) <mpope7 AT kc DOT rr DOT com> on Monday April 23, 2007 @06:31PM (#18846717) Homepage
    MS is suffering for the market they created, consumers who are satified with mediocre, resistant to change and generally lazy.

    MS for years has built a audience that was willing to accept good enough. With XP for many MS finally delivered "good enough", Its fairly stable, acceptably easy to use and has more features than the average user has any need for. Though there are some nice new features with Vista the important ones are not ones that are noticable to the novice. The only compelling selling point for Joe Average is the eye candy which was "good enough" in XP for most and is stripped out of the affordable versions of Vista anyway. The lack of bells and whistles on the low end versions of Vista coupled with mostly fud articles on backwards compatability plus the much publicized DRM issues scares off a large portion of their target audience. If home users arent upgrading you can bet that businesses are going to drag their heels as well. Sadly I dont see this as being something that will move people to Linux in the immediate future, it does buy Linux developers time to make more inroads towards usability, ease of install and buzz, all of which need improvement and can lead to increased market share.

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