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John Dvorak: Vista 7 Was “a Face-saving Vista Re-do”

John C Dvorak



Summary: As Microsoft runs away to Vista 8 vapourware we take a look at its failure to spread Vista 7 in the market (less than 10% market share in business, almost a year after its release)

John C. Dvorak has not been much of an optimist when it comes to Microsoft. And who can blame him? Earlier this month a former Microsoft executive was alleged to have said that Microsoft should lay off 30%-40% of its workforce. Over the past week we have found no headline at all about Vista (containing "Vista" in the headline) and Reuters says that Dell estimated the percentage of commercial PC users who have updated to Microsoft’s Vista 7 as still in single digits.

This helps in debunking Microsoft's latest spin/lies about 'sales' numbers of "Windows 7" (it's almost the only thing that made headlines about Vista 7 in last week's news). About Vista 7, argues John Dvorak in a new column, "it was a face-saving Vista re-do." Within more context:

This particular series of ads was possibly the biggest blunder the company could have made. It revealed a monumental communications ineptitude. To make things worse, I think that Microsoft still hasn't realized what a bad idea the whole thing was. What the company did realize, however, was that Vista was not doing as well as it had hoped. Microsoft quickly ramped up Windows 7, selling it as though it was something different. Fact is, it was a face-saving Vista re-do. This time, everything was brilliant and on-time. This put the PC back on track, opening up the opportunity for upgrades without having to worry about "bad" PC systems.


But the thing is, there are more machines now that come preloaded with GNU/Linux. Based on market statistics, many businesss have no ongoing plans of leaving Windows XP, despite Microsoft's discounts and promotions. Here is one new example of it:

Windows 7 Professional is the Windows 7 SKU targeted primarily at small business users. To get these customers to bite, Microsoft is offering them a $100 Southwest Airlines voucher.


Microsoft is giving away unused licences to brag about fake 'sales' numbers (we explained this in detail before and also gave examples). Windows XP SP2 is being pushed off a cliff [1, 2], but it's a risky bet that potentially leads some customers to competitors such as GNU/Linux. "Microsoft sets out options as XP SP3 nears End of Life," says the headline of another report.

According to Ian Moulster, Windows product manager for Microsoft UK, Vista and XP users will have several options. "They can move to XP SP3 or to a later version of Vista or they can opt for Microsoft break-fix, which is a low level support. That's not recommended as a long term solution though."


So staying with XP is not an appealing option and people who picked Vista get burned. One person wonders, "Is Microsoft Windows in danger of becoming the "XP Mode" of the future app world?" (the lock-in modality persists and there is need for legacy compatibility).

Microsoft Jack (Schofield) writes about the imminent death of XP SP2 (can be replaced by Wine under GNU/Linux in many cases). Schofield is not quite retiring and maybe he was pushed out of the Guardian where he rarely writes anymore. That's the better explanation we have for the fact he writes for ZDNet UK now.

"Well the initial impression is how much it [Vista 7] looks like Vista. Which I think is…uh…the thing I’m not supposed to say."

--Jack Schofield



Those who still use XP may some day be barred from the Australian Internet because XP will never be secure (Microsoft does not really patch it).

ZDNet Australia has just published a reminder of this:

The Federal Government, alongside the Internet Industry Association (IIA), yesterday launched a code of practice that aims to reduce the amount of zombie-infected computers on the internet.

Zombie-infected computers are PCs connected to the internet that are infected with malware.


It is estimated that 1 in 2 Windows PCs is a zombie PC. In the next post we'll show (without linking) that Microsoft has begun another round of Vista 8 vapourware. It always means that Microsoft is struggling.

"In the face of strong competition, Evangelism's focus may shift immediately to the next version of the same technology, however. Indeed, Phase 1 (Evangelism Starts) for version x+1 may start as soon as this Final Release of version X."

--Microsoft, internal document [PDF]



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