Feeds

Ugly view mars Windows Vista birthday

Reality bites

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Like the queen, Windows Vista gets to celebrate two birthdays in close succession. November 30 marks the first, with the "business" launch a year ago at venues across the planet. Next January will mark the second birthday date.

While the past 12 months have been dominated by headlines over sales and uptake - or lack thereof - the operating system's first year will also be remembered for a lack of buy-in from software developers and hardware partners.

It's been a long, slow road for Windows partners. Having changed the Windows architecture with UAC, setting user defaults instead of administrator privileges, removing the graphics sub system from the kernel, and closing the kernel off to third parties, Microsoft set the barrier to certification pretty high.

And as if that wasn't tough enough, the addressable market Microsoft promised partners simply didn't materialize. Pre-launch, Microsoft claimed Windows Vista would out sell Windows XP, and be running on 400 million PCs 24 months after launch, compared to three years before Windows XP hit even half of that on 210 million.

According to latest data from NPD, Microsoft is shipping fewer boxed copies of Windows Vista than it did Windows XP at the same point in the operating systems' lifecycles.

Gartner, meanwhile, has said businesses are actually postponing their move to Windows Vista from the anticipated late 2007 and 2008 dates, to late 2008 going on 2009. One reason will be the absence of the first Service Pack - traditionally, the first Windows service pack is regarded as a first step by those in business IT to installing the latest version of Windows.

Fact Fitter

That hasn't stopped Microsoft trying to fit the facts to reality. Following the January "mass" launch Microsoft claimed to have sold 20 million Windows Vista licenses in one month. That compared to Windows XP that shipped 17 million copies in two and a half months after its 2001 launch. Licenses, though, did not translate to PCs in the hands of end users hands. Twenty million PCs were simply not sold in just one month, meaning licenses were pumped out to partners and were sitting in the channel or at OEMs, going nowhere. Proving the point, OEMs like Dell began re-stocking Windows XP.

Those nagging technical difficulties presented another problem. Users - even Microsoft's own executives - complained Windows Vista was unable to work with their systems or crashed. The issue became hard to ignore, as Acer's chief executive slammed Windows Vista for being a huge disappointment to the whole industry, picking on stability and lack of sales as problems.

Having first talked of "rumors" of problems, Microsoft 'fessed up by the summer: 4,000 drivers were causing "most" problems.

At launch, one year ago, Microsoft claimed to have "more than" 250 hardware and software products certified for Windows Vista. In the 90 days between the "business" launch and January 2007 "mass" launch, Microsoft pressed hard to get more.

This was not the ideal position for a new version of Windows to be in.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.