Space Ramblings

Vista is Dead

With this final statistic, Vista has become officially the new Windows ME, no ifs ands or buts.

In a survey of more than 3,000 computers, performance testing software developer Devil Mountain Software estimated that more than one in three new machines had either been downgraded by vendors such as Dell, or by customers once they bought the PC.

The results were garnered by the research firm’s CTO Craig Barth in collaboration with InfoWorld. He based the numbers on Devil Mountain’s Exo.performance.network by collating the vendor and system model number with computer vendors’ catalogues.

Barth used that data to identify PCs that had probably been shipped within the past six months – a period of time when it was highly likely that most new machines came pre-installed with Vista.

Obviously this isn’t good news for Microsoft and it’s obvious why Redmond got desperate enough to run something as silly as the Montero experiment aimed at the general public. This is a wholesale rejection of Vista even by people who had it installed on their computers, who didn’t have to fumble with different packages or installation options.

The why of it is a lot more complicated. Vista was certainly running slower on a lot of systems than XP. It had a lot of annoyances, the constant security pop ups that Microsoft introduced deliberately to bug customers, a boneheaded movie that should lead to some firings, would alone have annoyed some customers into wanting to end the hassle. Customers were innately less familiar with XP and apparently felt they were getting less for more.

Not only did Vista fail at the sales level, but it failed even once it was an OEM installation in many cases, which is a disturbing wake up call for Microsoft and may well be why they’re amping up the sales pitch for Windows 7 now to keep any customers from jumping off in between. Microsoft is not used to losing at the OEM level, being defied by vendors or business customers. Those are strong areas for Microsoft. Tech elitists may hate Microsoft but Microsoft’s entire business strategy is OEM first. With a significant amount of downgrades, it’s clear that Microsoft lost the Vista battle on all fronts. Even on their home turf. It’s time for Redmond to seriously rethink their tactics and a multitouch user interface is not the way. Building a better OS is.

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