My “Vista goodbye” article evoked emotions among some 4sysops readers. Publicly defending Vista is still a dangerous thing to do. I can understand that very well, considering how many headaches must have been caused by malfunctioning device drivers, high hardware demands and broken applications.

I have been a Vista advocate since its first beta version. In my view, it was a milestone release only comparable to Windows 3.0, Windows 95 and Windows NT 4. Windows 3.0 was the first Windows that really worked. Windows 95 introduced a new interface concept, Windows NT brought stability, and Windows Vista security. All other Windows releases were just feature packs. It is typical for all milestone releases that they caused a lot of trouble in the beginning and required significantly more hardware resources than their predecessors. Nevertheless, from a technical point of view they were much more important than the other releases. The server version Windows 2000 was a milestone release too, but we are talking about desktop operating systems here.

Anyway, I think, the final word on these matters belongs to the 4sysops readers. What could be more revealing than the operating system shares among 4sysops readers? I must say that I was quite surprised when I generated the statistics with Google Analytics.

The general distribution among operating systems is not a surprise, though:

Windows (blue)Macintosh (green)Linux (orange)Others
93.83%2.9%2.520.75%

operating-systems These are the numbers from September. This corresponds more or less to the world wide market shares of those operating systems. The operating systems under "Others" are mobile devices, which are mostly iPhones (0.33%) followed by Windows Mobile (0.21%).

Okay, but now the more interesting part: How many Vista users are among 4sysops readers? The best Vista month I could find was December 2008:

Windows XP (blue)Vista (green)Server 2003 (orange)Others
48.00%47.91%2.58%1.51%

xp-vista-december-2008 Of course, Vista's market share among IT pros is much bigger than among average users, which is now approximately 20%. However, these numbers are still disappointing for me. It is close, yes, but Vista definitely lost that match. I never believed that so many IT pros are still using XP. After December 2008, Vista's share was declining rapidly because of Windows 7. These are the numbers from August 2009:

Windows XP (blue)Vista (green)Windows 7 (orange)Others
41.38%33.87%21.88%2.87%

windows-august

If you want to know how fast Windows 7 is catching up, this is the September 2009 data:

Windows XP (blue)Vista (green)Windows 7 (orange)Others
41.55%31.48%24.39%2.58%

windows-september Almost every fourth 4sysops reader is already using Windows 7. This is amazing considering that Windows 7 is not even available for retail customers. It is also interesting to note that the number of XP users is staying stable. Just to give you an idea how significant this data is: 4sysops currently has 230,000 page views and 150,000 visits per month.

Well, the voting is over. The sad truth (for me) is that Vista never surpassed XP. Obviously, the majority of Windows admins don't share my view about Vista. I suppose I have to live with this defeat. 😉

8 Comments
  1. moiecoute 13 years ago

    Stop baiting us Michael 😉

    In a way it is not surprising that Vista usage was so high.

    New computers for a while now have only sold only with Vista so we must keep that in mind. Some people would have also gone to Vista following the last service pack.

    On the flipside XP has been around for some time and there are lots of people who won’t upgrade for reasons covered in other threads.

    Windows 7 for me also isn’t surprising. I speak only about myself here that I want something graphic rich that is fast and stable and Windows 7 is new and promises that.

  2. Keith 13 years ago

    I’m with you Michael. I used Vista as my primary OS from the time it went RTM until Windows 7 went Beta. Vista RTM was a little annoying, but post SP1 I never had any issues with it. I am, however, quite happy to be moving on to Windows 7 as it’s been working great!

  3. Keith 13 years ago

    I forgot to mention that since switching to Vista when it RTM’d, I couldn’t go back to using XP as my main OS. There are too many things in Vista/Win7 that I like, Start menu searching being one of them.

  4. Andrew 13 years ago

    “…is that Vista never surpassed XP”
    I think this needs to be rechecked once Win7 goes public, as I believe more XP users will move to 7 – leaving XP behind Vista. Not that this is relevant, because then both will fall under the same “older versions” category.

  5. moiecoute, well Vista usage is much higher among 4sysops readers than among all other Windows users. But I expected a much high percentage of Vista users among Windows admins.

    Keith, I am using XP often in test environments which made me realize how big the difference is to Vista. The major reason why I never bought netbook was because I couldn’t imagine to work with XP again.

    Andrew, good point. I will check the statistics again in a few months. We will then see if you are right.

  6. Mathieu Chateau 13 years ago

    Did you try with php module eaccelerator ?
    It boosted up a lot my wordpress instance running on a VM

  7. Mathieu, thanks for the tip. I haven’t tried eAccelerator, but I’ve spent a lot of time with wp-cache. In the end I gave up because it caused too many problems with dynamic content. Next time I have performance problems I will check out eAccelerator.

  8. Lazy Programmer 13 years ago

    What is amazing is the low number of Linux users. Given the amazingly poor job Microsoft did with Vista (it really was a huge screw up from end to end), and fantastic user experience w/ KDE 4.3 (great story on CNET about Window’s users review when they didn’t know it was Linux), ability to run most Windows XP software w/ WINE 1.0 w/ native performance (and often better stability). You would have thought a more educated and computer savy group would have seen the writing on the wall and at least set up a virtual machine (VirtualBox, etc.) and tried out OpenSUSE 11.1/KDE 4.3.

    Just because Microsoft is currently the dominant monopoloy doesn’t mean you cannot try something new.

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