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Windows Vista has been battered, says Wall Street fan

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A leading Wall Street cheerleader for Windows Vista has taken the gloss off a new Microsoft website encouraging customers to give Windows Vista a go.

Bernstein Research analyst Charles DiBona says a year of negative publicity combined with the ability for users to downgrade to Windows XP means that "almost no feature of the new OS is now seen as a meaningful positive driver for adoption".

Drawing on on a poll last month of 372 IT professionals concerning Windows Vista that he conducted with Ziff Davis Media and Peerstone Research, DiBona wrote that the inescapable conclusion is that "support for Vista has been battered across all enterprise sizes and corporate constituencies."

The single biggest barriers to adoption are the operating system's gluttonous hardware requirements. Driver and application compatibility, pricing and performance are also key issues.</p

The report is noteworthy, as DiBona has been bullish on Windows Vista. In November 2007, a year after the official "business" launch of Windows Vista, his expectations for sales exceeded even Microsoft's best estimates.

At the time DiBona claimed an "underappreciated" Windows Vista upgrade cycle, and forecast Windows revenue growth of 15 per cent this fiscal year, which ends this month, compared to between 12 per cent and 13 per cent estimated by Microsoft. You can't buy that kind of coverage.

With the end-of-year looming , DiBona has now cut back his Windows sales estimates by $49 million. But he's not giving up, though, and thinks Microsoft should be promoting Windows Vista harder.

Microsoft thinks so too. The company has embarked on its latest attempt to push this dead donkey. Microsoft has posted online a set of 24 "success stories" of customers using Windows Vista Service Pack (SP) 1.

Shot using Microsoft's trademark video techniques of potted sound bite, dizzying zoom, wobbly camera, and sped-up action sequence, the viewer quickly forgets to think and is slowly lulled into accepting Windows Vista. According to Microsoft's site, Windows Vista is safer, easier, more reliable and more versatile... than? It doesn't say compared to what, but we assume they mean Windows XP. Which you can still buy, if you look hard enough.®

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