Vista is greener and more secure, says Microsoft

According to a senior UK manager for Microsoft, Windows Vista is growing in popularity due to its security and green credentials

Eighteen months after its launch, Windows Vista is growing in popularity because of its low power requirements and good security, a senior UK manager for Microsoft has claimed.

Speaking at a round-table in London on Wednesday, John Curran, director of the Windows group for Microsoft in the UK, said: "First and foremost, businesses like Vista for security". The operating system (OS) "has, since its launch, been the safest operating system on the market with the fewest vulnerabilities of any OS available," he added.

Curran said that, after security, the most important feature for corporate users was Vista's contribution to the "green agenda". The savings possible here "really help drive down the carbon footprint and help drive down the costs in an IT environment", he claimed.

While Curran said he accepted Vista "has had its critics", he said he believed much of the criticism had been "driven by perception from the very early days of Vista", and suggested that criticism was no longer valid.

There has been widespread criticism of Vista's use of power and resources. Notably, in January 2007, the UK's Green Party attacked Microsoft and Vista in particular for its use of "more expensive and energy-hungry hardware".

The various arguments over Vista are between "the subjective and the objective views", Curran said. "The objective view is that Vista is being adopted at the same rate, in fact a slightly quicker rate, than XP was adopted," he said. He added: "Some of the sentiment you see was driven by those who were using it from the very early days, were frustrated by the initial experiences and had that perception."

Curran also released some details of UK sales of Vista. A year-and-a-half after launch, the company has a 30 percent take-up in the market in total, he claimed. Vista has a five percent share of the corporate market for operating systems in the UK — a figure that is "entirely what you would expect for an operating system at this stage".

In addition, Curran said Microsoft has so far sold 140 million copies of Vista, a figure the analysts at Gartner approximately agree with. Although it did not give a figure for sales of Vista at this point in time, Gartner said that last year 54 million copies of Vista Home and 29 million copies of Vista Business shipped, and that by the end of the year 172 million and 138 million copies respectively will have been shipped.

At this rate of sales, by the end of 2010, 267 million copies of Vista Home will have shipped worldwide, along with 305 million copies of Vista Business. In Europe, 86 million copies of Vista business will have shipped by the end of 2010.

Curran added that the release of Vista Service Pack 1 was "a major milestone", and claimed Vista was "the fastest-selling operating system in the history of operating systems".