Windows Vista - Proceed with Confidence (or tread carefully?)

Windows Vista - Proceed with Confidence (or tread carefully?)

Summary: It seems that Microsoft doesn't want customers to wait any longer to upgrade to Windows Vista. The message coming in from Redmond is "Do it! Do it NOW!"

TOPICS: Windows, Microsoft

It seems that Microsoft doesn't want customers to wait any longer to upgrade to Windows Vista.  The message coming in from Redmond is "Do it!  Do it NOW!"

Try to integrate a Vista box into an existing hardware/software ecosystem and it's a throw of the dice as to whether it's all oohs and ahhhs … or it’s the running and the screamingMicrosoft OEM Partners have been given access to a series of "fact rich" fact sheets aimed at both home and business users.  The message that Microsoft is trying to get across is that no one needs to wait for Vista SP1 in order to upgrade.  In the words of the website:

Windows Vista is ready—today. Windows Vista is even more secure and reliable than its predecessors.

To be honest, I was expecting some slick marketing material, but overall I find the fact sheets, sample landing web page, banners and copy to be simplistic and lacklustre.  Here' for example, is a banner to help OEMs get the point across: 

Example of a Windows Vista banner

And here's the email copy:

Proceed with Confidence—Choose Windows Vista

Windows Vista® is ready now—and for the future. It’s more reliable, more secure and compatible with more applications than any version of Microsoft® Windows® ever released. If you’ve been wondering whether you should make the move to Windows Vista, take a look at the evidence: - Windows Vista had fewer security vulnerabilities in its first 90 days than Windows XP did in a similar timeframe. All five of the top consumer security solutions work with Windows Vista. - More than 1.9 million unique devices work with Windows Vista today. - Of the 50 top-selling applications1  for Windows, 48 are compatible with Windows Vista . - Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash Player, and iTunes all work with Windows Vista2. To learn more about how Windows Vista is ready to provide you with a more secure, reliable, productive, and enjoyable computing experience—and get you ready for tomorrow.

1 According to NPD statistics, 2 Based on Q1 2007 unit sales, per internal testing and/or vendor statements; exceptions: an older antivirus solution and a $10 compilation of 3,300-plus games.

The fact sheets similarly fail to hit the spot.  Here's what I remember of the consumer fact sheet that I read about five minutes ago:

Windows Vista is ready now ... yada yada yada ... Windows Update works ... yada yada yada ... supports 1.9 million devices ... yada yada yada ... thousands of applications compatible ... yada yada yada ... Windows Vista is more fun ... yada yada yada ... more secure ... yada yada yada ... more reliable ...

Where's the "Wow"?  Hmmm, is there any real "Wow!"?

Now, here's the thing. I run Vista and have been since the first betas came out, but even I am waiting for SP1.  This is because in my experience Vista has two faces, and which one you see depends on the hardware and software you try to run on it.  If everything goes to plan, you see the Dr Jekyll face - if not you get Mr Hyde.  Buy a new PC and peripherals and you're fine.  Try to integrate a Vista box into an existing hardware/software ecosystem and it's a throw of the dice as to whether (to mis-quote Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park) it's all oohs and ahhhs … or it’s the running and the screaming.  My hope is that SP1 administers a dose of whatever Mr Hyde needs to calm himself down.  Nowhere can I get an answer as to when I can expect SP1 for Vista.  Officially it should be released during "second half of this year" which could mean December 31, but I've also heard rumors that it could be later.

I think that the other factors putting the breaks on Vista sales, expecially in the business sector, is the talk that the next version of Windows (Windows Seven) will be out in a couple of years or so.  If that's the case, I can see this plenty of IT admins waiting it out.

What the fact sheets prove to me is that beyond vague feelings of "yeah, Vista is better than XP," not even Microsoft can quite put their finger on the "Wow" stuff.

[Updated: June 21, 2007 @ 6.40 am]  My blogging colleague Mary Jo Foley has more coverage of the "fact pack" here.


Topics: Windows, Microsoft

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  • The problem.

    MS gets it's ubiquity from its corporate presence.

    Vista is a consumer oriented OS for all intents and purposes.

    MS is getting its lunch eaten by Apple in the consumer space.

    MS is trying to convince corporations they really do need Vista.
    • 3 out of 4 is not bad

      [i]MS is getting its lunch eaten by Apple in the consumer space[/i]

      Vista's outselling Macs, so I guess that statement was backward.
      • Not quite

        PCs with Vista are outselling Macs. That's the present.

        Mac's sales are growing at triple the industry rate. That's the future.

        Leopard presales at are #8. Vista sales are #62. That's the MS nightmare.
        • Thats funny

          Just look at the volume Dell is selling, and you'll see what a joke the Amazon ranking is. A fools 'nightmare' indeed.

          I heard Apple was the future with every release. In 5 years, I'll still be waiting.
        • You've a cracked crystal ball.

          Where's the triple the industry rate?

          Got a source for the amazon rankings? Preferably not an Apple blog.
          • It's not his crystal ball that's cracked

            He was talking sales/growth rate, not market share.


            End of 2006...
            "The sales pushed up Apple's share of the U.S. market to 4.7% by IDC's figures, 5.1% by rival research firm Gartner's. [b]But more impressive, say analysts, is the Cupertino, Calif., company's ability to outstrip other PC makers, and the global average, in growth.[/b]

            ... that laptop sales across the wider industry grew 30 per cent in the period.

            [b]Apple Mac's saw unit growth of 62 per cent overall - over four times the growth rate experienced on average across the industry.[/b]"



            A Mac-friendly site but using independent study numbers.

            "Apple is outpacing the wider industry in sales of laptop and desktop computers, [b]according to a recent NPD report[/b].

            As noted by MacNN, [b]Apple is outpacing industry averages, delivering a 94 per cent increase in retail sales of its laptops in April 2007 - while the wider PC industry experienced just 14 per cent growth year-on-year, despite the recent release of Microsoft Vista[/b]."


            "Analysts predict [b]Macs will continue a double-digit growth rate, outpacing the industry[/b], as Apple gets a boost from at least two more product debuts this year: the iPhone on June 29 and the operating system upgrade due to be released in October."

            Re Amazon "software" best sellers (as of June 21, 1 pm EST)...


            Office 2007 is 1st
            Office for Mac 2nd
            [b]Mac OSX Leopard 3rd[/b]
            Windows XP Home (Full - SP2) 13th
            Mac OSX Leopard Family Pack 14th
            Windows XP Pro (Full - SP2) 18th
            [b]Vista Ultimate Upgrade 54th[/b]
            Vista Ultimate Full 56th
            Vista Home Premium Upgrade 85th

            Not an Apple blog.

            But does it matter when you're so biased?

          • Here's the issue.

            Why, if they are tripling the rest of the industry in sales, isn't their market share going up?

            Many of these reports seem to forget to exclude iPod sales from their reporting on Company profits.

            Also unaccounted for is the people buying apple notebooks specifically to run Windows only.
    • if not for iPod...

      Apple has nothing to stand on in the consumer's space. Most consumers are like me, CHEAP!!! And with Windows OEM scheme, OSX is but a blip in the consumers landscape. I couldn't careless which company wins, I just want something affordable and usable. I'll still be using XP for quite a while myself.
    • 2 out of 4

      Most of the improved security, and particularly group policy and logging functions have no interest to the consumer. Vista, besides the pretty interface, is definitely geared for the corporate environment.

      Vista's market share passed OS X in less than a month, how again is it eating MS's lunch?

      Most corporations, with smart IT departments, already want Vista. Most are pragmatic enough to not just dump new technology on it's userbase though, be it Vista or OS X.
      • See my first reply in this thread. (nt)

      • Vista is wanted?

        I know LOTS of other consultants and IT people who work at many clients and organizations, and NOT ONE of them are in any hurry to implement Vista.

        Please state where you get that information please.
        linux for me
        • google "coroporate vista SP1"

          And read all the results of people that are saying they are waiting for SP1. If they are waiting, they are wanting. no? Simple logic tells you this.

          Claiming you know IT people, *particularly* consultants, that don't want more work is asinine.

          Finding another linux user to agree with isn't representative of the market.
          • Do I want more work?

            Yeah,but I want to solve problems ,not create more of them.

            I've installed Vista business on 4 systems and have had to upgrade back to XP Pro because of the problems I've had with that polished turd.

            When it is ready I will install,but untill them ,it's wait until SP1.
          • More training?

            Sounds like you didn't do your homework. Time to upgrade your skill set?
          • LOL! Ad Hominem attacks!

            You know someone has run out of logical evidence when they resort to ad hominem attacks, but that's the funniest one I have heard in a while. I can see the headlines:

            Vista installs cause headaches for IT professional ergo out-of-date computer skills are the problem, not the OS.

            or, even better:

            Vista so advanced that IT professionals need loads of additional MS certification just to install and configure!

            Now, that's an OS for me!
          • @Cornhead

            I think you've confused User skills with "Consultants" skills.

            Doesn't matter what OS a consultant is working with, a specific skill set is required.

            Nice deflection attempt though.
          • More traing?

            How is more training going to resolve bad or non-existent device drivers?

            I have a customer with an HP 2840 AIO laser that scans across the network fine with XP,not so with Vista.
            HP says the new drivers will be out in a couple of months.

            So my upgrading my skill set will fix this?

            How about printing Adobe documents?Wrong colors.

            Vista slows everything down even on decent machines.

            Slow to boot ,slow to shut down.
            Memory pig.
            Tons of incompatible software glitches even from M$ products.

            Yeah,upgrading my skill set will fix this!
      • Funny

        [b]Most corporations, with smart IT departments, already want Vista[/b]

        Smart IT departments wouldn't dream of vista let alone M$ period
        uM0p ap!sdn
    • Very true

      "MS gets it's ubiquity from its corporate presence.

      Vista is a consumer oriented OS for all intents and purposes."

      The two don't go well together.
      Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
      • Back the truck up, Adrian.

        There is no logical inconsistency here.
        "Ubiquity" does not translate to "fitness for purpose".It's corporate presence is not in any way necessarily indicative of it's superiority, or indeed, it's suitability. It merely means it is there.
        Of course, many conclusions can be drawn from any given datum. It does not follow that they are all correct. Indeed, they cannot be, in the event of REAL contradiction. The statements about vista's ubiquity and it's consumer orientation present no true logical contradiction.
        If you were referring to the application of Vista in the corporate setting given it's obvious consumer orientation, then I withdraw my argument. You are correct, sir.
        The two of those [b]don't]/b] go well together.