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Microsoft Vista, not so popular

I know, I know, I know that people love to hate on Microsoft and Windows Vista in particular.

So when I wrote yesterday on about whether CIOs might skip Vista and wait for Windows 7, I figured I’d get an email or two.

And I did. But something was a bit different. Usually, when we get emails about stories they come from thinly veiled PR firms. “Hey Zach, loved your story on virtualization. You know, it got me thinking about my favorite new email client that is inexpensive and easy to install for the midmarket.” Junk like that.

The real comments either come anonymously or from personal email addresses. It’s obvious the writer wants to speak his mind, but that this is a one-way street.

Not so this time. Emails are coming in from work addresses, signed from IT managers and other CIO-like higher-ups. I’m not going to publish a writer’s name here today, but here’s a selection of the comments:

1. “I was an employee at one of the largest global technology companies when the transition was to begin to Windows ME. Seems this was a similar scenario. We stayed put on Win 95 and Win 98 machines and came through the storm to land safely on Windows XP. Move to Vista, at least as currently deployed? Based on market feedback and acceptance, I don’t think so.”

2. “Microsoft should refund every dime that has been given to them on this piece of junk! It is a worse failure, in my research, than Windows Me, and I am confident that you are well aware of that story. Vista is an IT professional’s worst nightmare and its compatibility with even Microsoft software that is earlier than 2003 causes problems. I can only say if Microsoft inherits great losses on the product that it was asked for and I do not feel sorry for them.”

3. “The options are: We spend a big chunk of money on Vista and the hardware needed to run that thing, or we stick it out until the next-best version, hoping the economy picks up a little bit.

“Then there is the other option. Install a small and fast version of Linux, run all our applications that way and use OpenOffice and not pay a single dime. We can make it look like Windows XP and users will not have such an abrupt learning curve. I’ll take the latter.

“Once again, congratulations on an excellent article. This is the kind of information that can make Microsoft move on and rethink what users really want: a fast operating system, easy to use and with a small footprint using the resources the hardware has nowadays in an efficient manner. Microsoft has failed at all of them so far with Vista.”

4. “It is obvious to me that the industry in general doesn’t want to use Vista and it has been forced on them. If you look at the take-up there has been and how much of that is from home users who have been given no choice by the likes of Dell, HP, etc. and a small percentage of companies who always just buy what they are told (or “recommended”).

“Why else has Microsoft had to force the situation and try and prevent buyers from purchasing XP Professional after 30th June? If us end users wanted Vista, Microsoft wouldn’t have to be forcing Vista’s sale/take-up.

“We will try and put on hold all new and replacement PCs and laptops for the rest of the year and hope and pray the majority of others do the same, which will hit PC suppliers in the pocket and make them think again.”

Strong stuff. Not surprising, really, but strong.

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Hello Microsoft... is anyone there? Vista is a failure, XP is a solid OS and we cannot use Vista. Our options, continue to use XP or switch to Linux. A Linux switch will not be easy but I at least see a path to something that will work. Vista has made the Linux switch practical and justifies the cost. If all users have to be retrained, applications replaced etc, why go with a high maint doomed to failure solution when there is the Linux option. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Linux fan but I do see the light and Vista is not at the end of the Tunnel.
Sad thing is, M$ is still racking up pips for Vista sales from me even thought I'm getting a free downgrade with every one. I have gotten 5 machines with Vista Ultimate, and reimaged them to XP. I also picked up about 5 copies of XP for when I can't do that anymore. I think our small shop can manage on XP until the next version comes out. Vista is the ME of the 21st century.
Our new laptops will be demoted to XP and will run Ubuntu through Wubi. If a vendor can't supply XP we will not buy the unit. We have high hopes for Google Apps and open source. Microsoft better deliver soon on OS 7 or they will be whistling dicey in the dark by them self. Gone are the days we will be beholden to a single source Vendor. We are none to pleased with Microsoft's failure to deliver on high priced applications and OS's. It is a different world out there. We ask how can Microsoft continue to demand caviar prices for white fish products.