Home > Computers and the Internet > The “Wow” of Vista’s Failure

The “Wow” of Vista’s Failure

June 26th, 2008

WownowwreckWindows Vista just took another hit: Intel decided not to upgrade 80,000 of its workers to Windows Vista. This after the OS has been available for businesses for 19 months, and SP1 is now available. The reason: it just wasn’t worth it. And that pretty much says it all.

If you look at the market stats, you’ll see that Vista continues to rise anemically, gaining only 1% of computer users per month, a gain which can be explained perhaps almost completely by people who are simply buying new computers and either don’t have the option of getting XP, or who don’t know that such an option might exist. I have a student who bought a Windows machine, hated Vista, and tried to install XP–but then found, sadly, that her computer needed drivers which the maker ironically does not provide for Windows XP. That’s ironic because one of Vista’s weaknesses is a lack of drivers; the poor student was screwed either way.

With people using Vista only when given no other choice, it really is hard not to see Vista as an unmitigated disaster. Microsoft is in such bad condition that Apple has seen fit to let their next OS version to be “featureless,” to consist almost purely of under-the-hood improvements–suggesting a ramp-up to something even bigger down the line. This while the iPhone 3G is waiting to explode its market share (currently at 8%, likely to jump to 10% by the end of this year), and perhaps bring more and more people to the Mac.

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  1. Geoff
    June 26th, 2008 at 15:01 | #1

    What kind of Vista-only device did you find? I’m amazed that someone would do this, given XP and Vista’s relative market shares. Even if the PC maker didn’t have a driver, you might still be able to get one directly from the manufacturer (Intel, nVidea, etc.)

    No argument about Vista. It’s a total dog. Until MacOS runs on hardware I prefer (e.g. IBM Thinkpads) and lets me customize the interface to run my way instead of “the right, Apple-approved way” though, I’ll stick to XP and Linux.

  2. Luis
    June 26th, 2008 at 15:07 | #2

    Geoff: I don’t recall the maker, it may have been one of Japan’s low-price computer makers (like e-Machines in the U.S.). Their machine used hardware (like the DVD drive, graphics chip, etc.) which required certain drivers to operate in XP, and the maker did not offer those drivers for someone installing XP. Probably the student could have hunted them down and installed them, but it would not have been a task I’d have enjoyed taking on….

  3. Paul
    June 27th, 2008 at 04:30 | #3

    Well, the iPhone hasn’t led me to a Mac yet. :)

    One thing that I never really understood about the whole Vista thing is this: Why get it in the first place?

    In the past, most of the significant Windows upgrades have had a fairly good reason behind them. Windows 95 was of course the big change, later versions of stuff took advantage of significant hardware upgrades or networking or whatever…

    …but the reality is that XP works awesome for the vast majority of users, and there’s nothing so gee-whizzy on the market that it demands a new OS right now. Sure, CPUs keep getting bigger/faster/better, as do graphics cards, but really what does Vista offer that is the “killer app”?

    Nothing, really. I thought about doing the Vista thing a while back but held off, and haven’t missed it a bit. I couldn’t say that about most of the previous upgrades of Windows; usually there was something, a new CPU or something, that I needed the upgrade for.

    The reality is that it’s been some time since we saw a “killer app” come out that was OS based, or even based on your local computer. Most of the real leaps in the “killer app” category have been dealing with internet stuff (like Google as the “killer app” on the net for search and stuff) or devices, like the convergence we’re seeing on the TV set (my Tivo, my xBox) or in devices (the iPhone is really just a killer networking device- albeit one with room for improvement).

  4. Tim Kane
    June 29th, 2008 at 05:18 | #4

    I bought a new pc laptop last summer. It was a Compaq laptop. It was both cheap and fantastic. The down side was that it came with Vista. I had three geeks, including my brother who works for Intel try to install XP. None of them worked. So here I am stuck with it. The PC is great. It was the last of Compaq’s old laptop format, which is the best pc laptop design this side of a Mac and I paid $450 for a dual core machine with extra memory and 80gig hard drive. The only down side is Vista.

    I loved the XP I had on my old machines. Especially XP pro – which allowed me to run OS2 inside of it. (I have an advanced upper case designing tool application that I like to use that runs on that).

    I just wish I could get out from under Vista.

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