It’s a big week when Windows 7 is launched on a Thursday, but one statistic that grabbed my eye was in a Wikipedia article stating that there are estimated to be three times as many XP computers in use today than Vista ones (68.49% XP versus 22.39% Vista). This suggests that XP is far from being the dinosaur system that the marketing people would have us believe. I still had XP on my laptop up until recently and no real complaints, even though they are getting on a bit.
It also leads to questions about how popular Vista was with the general public and business world, and in this a recent BBC article a Microsoft executive admits that Vista never fully recovered from the early criticism, and they hope for better things with Windows 7.
Two quotes in particular that stick out is that of Annette Jump, a research director at a technology research firm who states that among companies “Vista is the worst-adopted operating system”, and another by the president of Microsoft International, Jean-Philippe Courtois, who opts for the understatement “We don’t feel great about Vista adoption.”
At the time of writing we are at the dawn of Windows 7 and as such we will soon be able to gauge the public reaction, which, from my perspective is largely positive; that’s something Vista never could say. In fact it was quite negative. Personally I feel that perhaps Vista drew so much early criticism because of the constantly shifting release date and unrealistic promises about what the software would offer. It wasn’t that Vista was ever particularly bad, it just wasn’t much better than XP and, unless it was being bundled with a new machine, there wasn’t much of an incentive to upgrade.
Windows is a big deal for Microsoft; at present it powers around 90% of the worlds computers and accounts for half of the operating profit that reaches the Microsoft coffers. Critics have claimed that Microsoft’s apparent monopoly of the personal computing world is about to end now there are alternatives being offered to uses, such as Linux, Mac OS and the brand new “cloud” operating systems.
Quite simply Microsoft cannot afford to have another ‘Vista’ as although they still retain a commanding lead in the marketplace, another slip up could permanently and irrevocably damage their presumed place as a future market leader.
So far however, all seems good with the new offering. I have been using the release candidate of Windows 7 for a few months now and have found that it is reliable, secure, compatible and runs even faster than vista, which we must remember is three years old now.
The company have also been working with other third party developers to ensure that application support on release is strong; by the time Microsoft rolled out the first service pack for Vista there were only 2,700 supported applications and by comparison Windows 7 will have 8,500 supported applications at launch. This is a sign that the company is going to avoid one of the biggest mistakes with Vista when it failed to prepare its partners for the new system.
Businesses have responded strongly with the early adoption of this, so far. It is much lighter than Vista ever was, but as with all new things, time will tell!
If you can’t wait to find out more or for a free technology consultation, contact me!