Is Vista Really Dead?

John Dvorak seems to think that Vista is dead. Maybe he needs some historic perspective on this? Looking at XP adoption rates there were plenty of companies still running Windows 2000 Workstation long after it was released. In fact, as late as 2005, AssetMatrix reported that nearly half of all PC’s were still running Windows 2000. Does this mean Microsoft should have scrapped XP?

With that said, it would be beneficial for Microsoft to revisit how they are marketing Vista. Many people find the new user interface a significant departure from previous versions of Windows, and when combined with Office 2007 there are enough problems that typical consumers are getting discouraged. The product needs to be positioned with the interface in mind, and this should minimize the amount of surprise a new user encounters when first running Vista.

“The product needs to be positioned with the interface in mind, and this should minimize the amount of surprise a new user encounters when first running Vista.”The proliferation of product versions is certainly a contentious problem. Most consumers don’t want to do the research to determine if they are best served by Windows Home Standard or if they should spring for Home Premium. Maybe a single version would address this issue? Users can decide what additional Windows components they want to install and Microsoft can simply indicate when those new features are going to require an additional expense. The Ubuntu model makes application installation and configuration a breeze, and this might be something Microsoft could extend to a single version of Vista.

While the new interface is slick, there is a level of brand recognition that the XP theme provided. Maybe users should get an interface that looks like XP and they can customize individually if they want the new Vista look?

“The Ubuntu model makes application installation and configuration a breeze, and this might be something Microsoft could extend to a single version of Vista.”Of course most home users won’t begin to consider an upgrade until they purchase a new PC. Since there are a few hardware components that can fail and will generally require replacement, we can anticipate 3-5 years before Vista experiences a reasonable adoption curve. This gives Microsoft plenty of time to tune the Vista experience, and maybe even give us a few surprises on the way.