According to various reports, Vista has been downgraded to XP on a third of machines globally. Both TGDaily and TechNewsWorld are reporting claims that approximately 35 percent of Vista machines, both in the enterprise and home editions, have been downgraded.
However, have a closer look at the story and the stats appear to be a bit more shaky than the bold headline figures suggest. The stats were collected by a company called Devil Mountain Software, which is running a project to collect web metrics. Fair enough. All of the stories I've read on this have mentioned that Devil Mountain Software collects information from the "exo.performance.network" of around 3000 volunteers.
Of those 3000, a sample set of approximately 1000 were running Vista, according to TechNewsWorld. Under 35 percent of those had purchased Vista machines that were then downgraded, said the article.
Devil Mountain Software identified the Vista machines based on make and model -- "particularly HP, Dell and IBM systems" that had shipped in the past six months, said TechNewsWorld. "They compared that to the number of machines reported by their monitoring agent to be running that version of Windows in the field," TechNewsWorld added.
Now I'm no Microsoft apologist, but for this survey I think that a sample set of around 1000 machines just doesn't give an accurate enough picture to be able to say that a third of the world's Vista computers have been downgraded.
However, so saying, the story does highlight another set of dodgy figures -- Microsoft's Vista sales. While Microsoft has claimed victory in this respect, with over 180 million Vista licences sold, the metrics show that at least a proportion of users or OEMs are purchasing the licence, then downgrading to XP.