IN HIS KICKOFF keynote performance at the CES 2008 show in Las Vegas on Sunday, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates proudly announced that the company sold more than 100 million copies of Windows Vista in the first year of its availability.
However, InformationWeek shrewdly notes that, while that's a little more than 10 per cent more copies than the upwards of 89 million copies of Windows XP sold in its first year starting in late 2001, the PC market has almost doubled in size in the interim.
It quotes Gartner that PC shipments totaled 132.4 million units in 2002 and are expected to reach 255.7 million units in 2007. Licking a pencil and applying it to paper, InformationWeek roughly figures that Windows XP captured 67 per cent of the new PC market in 2002, while Windows Vista takeup on new PCs shipped in 2007 amounted to only 39 per cent.
Microsoft might boast about shipping 100 million copies of Windows Vista, but it must be merely putting on a brave face to hide its embarrassment at having failed to hype Vista enough to excite more than 39 per cent of new PC buyers to take it.
Consumer aversion to Vista is so pronounced the major PC OEMs like Dell and HP literally mutinied last year, successfully demanding that Microsoft extend the availability of Windows XP preloads. Windows XP is leaner and faster than Vista.
Microsoft has only itself to blame for the failure of Windows Vista. Several years late, the Vole's long awaited 'revolutionary' new OS showed up lacking most of the 'great' advancements Microsoft had promised.
Released as a sort of public beta, as is Microsoft's long-standing practice with all of its new software versions, Vista is bloated, sluggish, and buggy.
Vista's high resource demands required users to buy all brand new, expensive hardware systems to run it. Vista's software architecture requires the hardware manufacturers to write new Windows software drivers, and many older PC interface cards and peripheral hardware devices aren't supported at all.
Vista's new Digital Restrictions Management scheme has users reverting to XP.
An InformationWeek survey found that 30 per cent of corporate IT shops won't ever upgrade to Vista.
Besides Windows XP, PC users also have other desktop OS alternatives now, such as Apple's Leopard OS and all of the Linux distributions, which come in so many varieties now that there's surely a flavour to satisfy practically any user's needs and preferences.
But Bill Gates must be happy. He stuck 100 million new PC punters with Vista. µ
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