Since Vista has been available for about a year now, more and more journalists are trying to figure out if Vista is a success or not. Today, I read a couple of interesting articles about Vista's adoption pace.

Joe Wolcox from Microsoft Watch presents a study from Forrester showing that Vista's adoption in enterprises is quite slow. Only 2% deployed Vista so far and 38% have no plans right now.

Barbara Darrow from ENTnews discusses some of the reasons. I think it is the first time I read that the price might be too high. This might be indeed one of the major reasons because the price of the major competitor is significantly lower.

And who is the major competitor? Right, it is Windows XP. Gregg Keizer from the Computerworld examines this argument in detail.

On the other hand, if you look at the resent sales of Mac OS X Leopard in Japan, you could get the impression that another competitor is appearing on the scene. Jonny Evans from Macworld writes that sales were rising from 15.5% to 60.5% between September and October in Japan while Vista sales were dropping from 75.3% to 28.7%. That's quite impressive indeed.

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I suppose that Microsoft is already aware of these numbers. Perhaps it will accelerate the delivery of service pack 1 for Vista. Mary Jo Foley reports that a release candidate of Vista SP1 just went to 15,000 testers. However, the final release of Vista SP1 is still slated for the first quarter of 2008.

22 Comments
  1. Jim 15 years ago

    MS apologists and fanboys simply need to understand there have been legit reasons for the slow adoption rate beyond some in the media and on various tech sites bad mouthing it. I’ve wanted to roll it out for some time now but we ran into headache after headache with it in testing. Now it sits until next fall when we try again after bugs have been patched and better documentation has been released.

    MS doesn’t have to worry though as fortunately for them it’s already paid for due to licensing. Of course when students, faculty, and staff ask why we’re not rolling it out yet, it doesn’t look good for MS. This is happening in alot of places and is likely holding back alot of sales.

    Over time though Vista or MS’s next OS will penetrate the market better. I don’t know if it’ll ever reach the glory days of XP and XPSP2 but it’ll do pretty well. OSX and even Linux are getting closer all the time to being decent alternatives. I don’t see them going to the extreme and ever being anywhere near as popular as Windows has been but they will provide competition and that’s something that has been sorely lacking and is really needed.

  2. Dantv 15 years ago

    Vista’s problem are price and number of versions:

    They need to keep things simple…We only need one operating system, Windows Vista. No other versions should be out there and there should only be one price, something under $100. I cannot convince a single client to switch to Vista. Price is the main sticking point. I still order new computers for my small business client with Windows Xp. Quite a few clients are interested in the Mac as well.

  3. Kevin 15 years ago

    Survival is all about cost and performance… Vista costs too much and doesn’t perform all that much better than XP. Further, I like XP. Fancy graphics and a pretty layout are meaningless to me when I’m running XP in classic mode anyhow.

  4. The Open Sourcerer 15 years ago

    There’s no surprise here. It is because Vista is pretty crap. It’s like ME but with warts…

    The only people buying it are the dumb schmuck users of PC World and the like who have no choice. Businesses are seeing that there is no need to upgrade for a prettier UI as they have to replace TONS of hardware. And for what? Bad or non-existent driver support, slower, harder for the user and the list goes on.

    They are now trying to “scare” companies into upgrading by running ridiculous security tests showing XP is more susceptible to hackers.

    Get Ubuntu – it’s free, works, doesn’t open itself to 100,000+ viruses and – oh yes that’s it – doesn’t crash.

  5. Chris Lehr 15 years ago

    I also resent sales of Mac OS X Leopard in Japan.

  6. Poekies 15 years ago

    The reason I’m still using XP is because everything works with it and it’s faster than Vista.
    Using Vista just for the sake of using the latest and greatest is silly.
    Price doesn’t factor into the equation for me since my laptop came with XP and we get Vista through MSDN.

  7. ochiru 15 years ago

    We’ve installed quite a few of the new Vista laptops and desktops. Feedback has only been positive. Everyone likes the interface and how the system performs.

    It’s not our clients worry if Vista works or not. It’s ours and thus far we’ve managed quite nicely.

  8. Leonardo 15 years ago

    (I don’t read replies to topics as to not contaminate my own reply, so (I hope) this is a repeat)
    Methinks the Vista adoption rate has to do with the usual “New OS” thing and the hardware requirements to properly run it.
    That said, I think the hardware reqs are slightly higher this time around for an OS jump.
    I keep seeing laptops preloaded with Vista (basic) with 512M and a crappy processor (not as important) running like excrement. I’ve already been paid to convert one back to XP, and guess what? I Had to pull drivers and shove them down XP because of the lack of OEM support for it!

  9. Anders Hansen 15 years ago

    Im working as a it-consultant at a larger company in Denmark, and so far only 1 big customer +10000 desktops has started with Vista. And i cant say i blame them. I’ve been living with vista for the past year on my own laptop, and sometimes it feels like i’ve been the one given the dogfood. Its getting better with the last round of performance patches(which aint on windows update). But still normal things like printers that dont work, incompatible applications, shitty wireless permance(improved a lot with last patch), disk trashing, expensive price + forget to run Vista with less than 2GB ram. Wheres the plus side ?? its there for the admin, damn its nice to roll out/offline patching, the UAC(i like it 🙂 ). So i would wait for SP1 also, at least.

  10. AJ 15 years ago

    Adding to Anders’ comment.

    In an enterprise environment, it’s more than the cost of the OS. You have to worry about upgrading/testing all of the applications that are installed on it. My company has presented a matrix of what does and doesn’t work on Vista and it’s scary. Four of the systems we use will not work on Vista and the software companies have yet to release a version that will. It’s kind of hard to roll out an OS to field sales people when it will cut off their remote access.

  11. Michael Pietroforte 15 years ago

    Jim, do you remember the headaches that Windows 2000 and XP gave you in the beginning? I do! But I also doubt that a move to Linux or OS X will cause fewer headaches. Although I can understand very well your desire to stick with XP until all your Vista problems are solved.

    Dantv, this is interesting. For companies without a license agreement, XP is indeed cheaper. I wonder how long Microsoft will accept this practice.

    Kevin, Vista certainly has more new features than just a new user interface. From a system administrator’s point of view, the new imaging technology and the improved security are already reason enough to deploy Vista as soon as possible. But there are many other reasons, especially when Windows Server 2008 becomes available.

    Alan, you didn’t convince me to move to Ubuntu, but at least you made me laugh. This is certainly the funniest description of Vista I ever heard so far: ME with warts. 😀

    Chris, why would you be annoyed about the Mac sales? Even if you are a Windows proponent, you should like to hear this. The more competition there is, the lower the prices.

    Poekies, I think the performance depends on the hardware. I wouldn’t use Vista on a machine that’s more than 2 years old. If you have enough RAM, you won’t experience much difference between XP and Vista.

    Ochiru, it seems like you belong to the 2% then. Congrats! I envy you for making that move.

    Leonardo, I fully agree. It is normal for a new OS to need a more powerful hardware than its predecessor. One has to consider that XP is a very old OS, so it naturally performs better on older hardware.

    Anders and AJ, I have been using Vista since the final came out on my laptop and on my PC at work. I also had some problems in the beginning which is typical when one switches to a new OS. But I was able to solve all these problems within a couple of weeks. I replaced software that didn’t work with Vista with programs from competitors that are more progressive. I also replaced my HP scanner with one from Epson since HP didn’t have Vista drivers. I think most of the Vista problems are caused by sluggish third party vendors. So it is good chance to reconsider what software and hardware to use. If your software vendor still doesn’t support Vista after one year, then you better switch to another one.

  12. ochiru 15 years ago

    Michael, thanks 😉

    So far we’ve managed to keep downgrades to a minimum – only one workstation so far because the testing phase of one program was still in progress at that point.

    I really like the fact that Vista by default has so much cool little programs and features for us admins. For example:

    -Robocopy is now in every Vista installation (I would’ve liked if SyncToy was in too)
    -Task Scheduler is very much improved. How about a scheduled backup with robocopy whenever domain network is available?
    -UAC makes installing applications easier when logged in as a regular domain user
    -Firewall has different profiles for domain, private and public networks. Great for laptops
    -You can actually retry a file copy! No more File Manager 32bit 😉

    Vista is still bloatware but, in my personal experience, it has also been a considerably more stable OS than XP, even more so if you would compare it to the XP five years ago.

  13. Killer B 15 years ago

    Vista’s biggest competition is not Linux or Mac.

    It’s XP.

    For many non-Linux, non-Mac users, XP simply works for them. Even if they run into problems, it’s highly unlikely that Vista would solve said problems.

    When XP came out, its adoption rate was much faster because it accomodated what was once two distinct markets:

    The home users were still running Windows 98. Some had the abomination that was Windows Me and wanted something better (understandably). Windows XP was far more stable than both put together. 9x emulation helped get vendors to adopt XP (the NT kernel in general) for home users (although the emulation didn’t always work–developers and the Internet community had to come up with patches and alternatives, but despite that, it kicked the pants out of 9x).

    The business users were running combinations of NT and 2000. XP was a viable upgrade from NT. 2000 users were (and may still be today) a bit more hesitant in much the same way as people are going from XP to Vista.

    Out of all the previous versions of Windows from 95 onward, Windows 2000 was the most stable and, of course, users of that were the least open to upgrading to XP while people with Me wanted an upgrade BADLY.

    So XP had a vast number of opponents in its adoption, but (barring Linux distros and Mac OS) the only real competition it had was Windows 2000. Windows 2000 was almost two years old when XP came out, so that wasn’t a viable threat. 95, 98, NT, and Me were no match for XP.

    Now onto Vista. What do most computers within the past 3-5 years have on it? XP. Granted there are the exceptions, but most of those are out of a personal bias of some kind (liking an older version of Windows better or hating Microsoft OSes and using Linux). XP had stuff to offer and sell itself over 95, NT, 98, Me, and, to a lesser extent, 2000.

    So pretend that the whole world is running Windows 2000 and Windows XP just came out today. Hard sell, isn’t it? Going from XP to Vista is like going from 2000 to XP plus a few Windows Me-esque glitches and A LOT of overhead. That’s an even tougher sell…

  14. TonytheTiger 15 years ago

    Our current hardware barely runs XP adequately. We’re not going to add memory to 3500 computers and buy Vista licenses only to end up replacing them in a couple years anyway.

    (I’ve actually went back to Windows 2000 at home on my old dual P3 rig. Even though it ran XP well enough in 1 gig, it runs 2000 better… and leaves more memory available for apps.)

  15. Michael Pietroforte 15 years ago

    Killer B I agree with most of your points. But I don’t think that the move from Windows 2000 to XP is comparable with the current situation. The difference between XP and Vista is much bigger. The main problem for Microsoft is that many don’t yet understand where the differences are. I think in the corporate environment many will only realize it when Windows 2008 comes out.

    Tony, of course in your case it makes sense to deploy Vista with new hardware only. You might also consider moving to Vista on those machines where you have to install the OS again because of malfunctions. You can add new RAM then too. That’s what we will do. This way we have to maintain one image only. Now we have to deal with several XP images for our different PC types. In my view this new imaging technology is the coolest feature of Vista.

  16. Killer B 15 years ago

    Michael:

    You’re right. Many people don’t understand what the differences are between XP and Vista. So much of it is under the hood and not in front of everyone’s eyes.

    Imaging = awesome. Imaging to a home user = who cares?

    WinPE 2.0 = awesome. WinPE 2.0 to the average user = who cares?

    Unless and until Microsoft can show easily tangible differences, Vista will continue to be written off.

  17. Leonardo 15 years ago

    Michael: I agree and disagree with you as far as the differences between XP and vista and 2000 and XP.
    Yes, under the hood there are tons of improvements for us sysadmins, but overall I think there was a greater leap going from 2000 to XP, group policy-wise, driver-wise and yes, UI-wise.
    As far as the UI goes, I am guilty: I wanted something different. Same goes for the “something new to play with” thing that geeks do.
    Would I deploy Vista in any of the networks I’ve worked on so far? No.
    I love new, but I also love stability and have enough business sense that I can’t justify to my customers an upgrade to Vista at this time…

    Killer B:
    Very well-written comment with valid points all around, props and word and all the associated bling-like stuff.
    I do think the average user won’t upgrade to Vista until they buy a new machine, and may even keep it if they don’t get a POS with a RAM deficiency as I’ve been seeing… I have laptop #2 to “downgrade” to XP sitting here as we speak, I tried to tell’em to get more RAM, but he just doesn’t like Vista as it is “new”.
    Go finger.

  18. Leon 15 years ago

    I remember the mess that was XP when it first released, and adoption was fairly slow. My previous company still used used 2000 on many computers and hadn’t moved everyone over to XP yet, so Vista for them would be another 3 years down the line. My current company – a rich Fortune 50 bank – is not going to roll out Vista until the end of next year, in a plan which will take at least 6 months.

    Meanwhile this has to be the worst case of statistical rape I’ve seen in recent times:
    “Jonny Evans from Macworld writes that sales were rising from 15.5% to 60.5% between September and October in Japan while Vista sales were dropping from 75.3% to 28.7%”

    Looking at the complete charts would give you a better story – since its release Vista has held a steady 75%’ish sales rate, but with the increased sales by Apple the percentage dropped, but actual number of units sold did not change. Have a dig and find the number of Mac computers sold in the same time and you see that there was little change. Vista’s share of sales dropped in October, but not actual sales 😉

  19. Michael Pietroforte 15 years ago

    Killer B., you‘re right, imaging is more important in a corporate environment. However, it can also be useful for home users, for example, when you want to move your Vista installation to a new hardware. Besides, there are many other new features. I think about 2600. I have Vista at home, too and it never came to my mind to downgrade to XP. In my view, XP is really an old-fashioned OS.

    Leonardo, you are right about the stability issue. We will wait until SP1. I hope that third party vendors will have their software and hardware ready by then. I want Vista in my network because it will save us a lot of time and will bring more security. I simply need many of the new Vista features.

    Leon, where did you get the number of units sold?

  20. Killer B 15 years ago

    I have been running Vista Enterprise on my corporate laptop. I installed the SP1 beta and I have noticed some major improvements (in particular, file copy speed through Explorer has been VASTLY improved). I still wouldn’t recommend running it on less than 2 GB of RAM, though.

    Will SP1 shift the momentum towards Vista? Probably, but not as fast as Microsoft would like it to…

    If anything, 64-bit will shift the momentum towards Vista. RAM is super-cheap now, and more and more people are running into the 32-bit RAM ceiling of 4 GB minus addressable hardware space.

    64-bit XP is available through OEM and volume licensing only. Its kernel is the same as Server 2003 x64. Overall, support for it is lackluster. 64-bit XP’s support will continue to shrink while 64-bit Vista’s support will continue to grow.

    Media Center fans with more than 4 GB of RAM either have to use Vista Home Premium x64, Ultimate x64, or use a third party app instead of Media Center.

    So in a nutshell:
    32-bit (3 GB of RAM or less): stick with XP for now, unless the benefits of Vista are worth the cost of new hardware(imaging in corporate environments, for example).

    64-bit (4+ GB of RAM): you might as well get Vista anyway.

  21. Henrik 13 years ago

    18 months after the last comment I have to say that Vista still sucks. I’ve lived with it for a year, cursed the interface but tolerated the changes. Now I’ve reached the last straw – randomly disappearing DVD drive, agonizingly slow file transfers, nagging ‘security’ messages, complex networking, non-persistent network connections and shares, interminable updates and reboots, and unaddressed bugs that people have complained about since introduction. Microsoft has lost all credibility and any last remnants of respect. Windows 7 can go to hell.

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