Windows Vista and Office 2007: What a difference a year makes

Summary:One year ago today, on November 30, Microsoft held its business launch of Windows Vista and Office 2007 in New York City. The past 365 days have gone quite differently from what many Microsoft insiders and outsiders expected.

One year ago today, on November 30, Microsoft held its business launch of Windows Vista and Office 2007 in New York City.

Windows Vista and Office 2007: What a difference a year makes
At the kick-off, PC makers, resellers and independent software vendors were upbeat. Many customers were curious to see the operating system it took Microsoft five years to develop, and the new Office suite that sported an entirely new interface.

However, things didn't go as smoothly for Microsoft, at least on the Windows side of the house, as many inside and outside the company expected. When I was compiling my list of "Top 10 Microsoft Announcements in 2007," I was struck by how much of what Microsoft did (and didn't) do in 2007 involved Vista in some way.

As of today, Microsoft has sold more than 88 million copies of Vista and some still-secret number of copies of Office 2007. But the company still has a heck of a lot of convincing to do to get businesses to deploy -- or even to start to think about deploying -- Windows Vista.

A year after the business launch, Microsoft officials are saying that they want users to give Vista another chance and look at where the product is now, in terms of driver and application compatibility; reliability; and performance. Their contention (though no one will state it this bluntly, of course): Vista today is the product that Vista should have been a year ago upon release.

Going into 2008, is there anything you think Microsoft could do to convince the doubters out there that Vista is a worthy upgrade? A price cut? A Windows-Genuine-free version of the product (like the WGA-free Internet Explorer 7 Microsoft recently fielded)? A "Better Together" campaign that demonstrates how Windows Live services can make Vista a better product?

(Tyler's First Birthday Cake. Image by  cdharrison. CC 2.0)

Topics: Operating Systems, Microsoft, Software, Windows

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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