Is Windows Vista really going nowhere?

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A discussion on Twitter early this morning about Windows Vista has got me thinking about faith.

I’ve been a Windows Vista believer since the operating system was in beta.

Even in the face of relentless negative opinion – seemingly everywhere you look – about Microsoft’s latest OS, I still reckon it’s pretty good.

Yes, it does still cause ‘issues’ far too frequently although I also reckon that most now are to do with other software, in my experience especially drivers that don’t work as you’d expect them to.

It looks as though Nvidia continues as a major culprit. I’ve had headaches with Nvidia drivers in my Dell XPS desktop which has a GeForce 8800 GTX graphics card. On the other hand, no issues at all on my Sony Vaio notebook which also has an Nvidia card, the GeForce Go 7400.

I’m still quite happy to carry the Vaio around sporting a Vista sticker like the one above. As my Dell desktop has one too.

Yet I can count on only two hands the number of people I know who not only run Windows Vista but also think it’s pretty good.

Everyone else I know who runs Windows still runs XP – and they have no intention of changing that.

Indeed, I see reverse evangelism at work, with very strong opinions offered and suggestions made to ditch Vista and return to XP. Plus of course the exhortations to dump it all and get a Mac, something I naturally expect from my Mac friends. (Curiously, I’ve yet to hear any friend seriously suggesting Linux.)

Such talk began early last year.

I don’t want to do that, even though I increasingly feel that some bad experiences during 2007 were more to do with Vista than with hardware as I’d believed.

Reading bad press is one thing – you make your own decisions on what you do or don’t do after reading, even stuff like this – but seeing this graph in an eWeek feature about Vista in the enterprise does put things in clearer perspective:

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What this graph, based on research from Forrester Research, says to me is that Vista is going nowhere in businesses because everyone is still perfectly happy to continue with XP.

A less charitable view than that might say that it’s not so much everyone is happy with XP, it’s that no one wants to touch Vista with a barge pole.

So eWeek has this to say:

[…] While Windows as a broader product is in no danger, Vista is in real trouble. [Forrester analyst Thomas] Mendel wrote: “Vista is having a tough time in enterprises.” He noted that Vista’s modest gains are coming from Windows 2000. “Its drop of six percentage points mirrored Vista’s growth” and XP’s adoption “remained fixed.” Mendel warned about the future:

“2008 will be a make-or-break year for Vista: One-quarter of enterprises have scheduled 2008 deployments, but given the slow start, little gain in productivity, and the timetabled release of Windows 7 in H2 2009, businesses may decide to pull back rollouts or skip the version altogether, pushing Vista the way of Windows Millennium.”

Ah, Windows Me. I bought that when it was released in 2000. Boy, was it the worst piece of software I’ve ever experienced.

More than anything so far, the yawning gap as illustrated in the eWeek graph has shaken my faith in Windows Vista.

Are all the naysayers right after all?

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Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Chris Gordon

    Add me to your list of Vista users/fans.
    I bought a Dell 830 laptop with 4GB ram and T7800 CPU. It came with XP Home oops, I meant to get XP Pro. Now what?

    I researched, then decided.
    First, I upgraded to Vista 64 bit. Then I upgraded again to SP1, and then installed SQL Server 64 bit (Developers edition). Finally I loaded virtual PC 2007 and loaded XP pro into a VPC.

    It all went very smoothly. Even the VPC went absolutely flawlessly. Memory, disk, CD, even network, all recognized and working. (Well, the wireless network took a *bit* of extra work and research)

    The performance of Vista SP1 makes it all worthwhile. I can see all 4GB of memory (XP only sees 3.5).

    I’m a fan!

  2. Andrew Badera

    I’ve been running Vista for over a year now, heavy development use. Ran Vista Business x32 on an older, lighter weight Compaq laptop, effects turned down, but Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server Express, Office, IE, FF all no problem.

    In October I picked up a Dell Core 2 Duo notebook, bumped the RAM up to 4GB, have been running Vista Business x64 ever since. VS2005, VS2008, SQL Server, etc. etc. again, no serious problems.

    Early on, I did have a few NVidia-related crashes. I don’t believe I’ve seen one of those in 2008 however. I will say, though, that I don’t get the kind of performance I expected out of the NVidia.

    I have had a couple possibly hard drive-related BSODs when using one particular application in one particular way, but nothing critical.

    One issue that irks me — Dell dropped their x64 support, haven’t brought it back, don’t seem to want to discuss the issue. On 64-bit Vista, the onboard “hi def” Sigma Tel audio pops and clicks. As of a couple months ago, there was still no solution, patch, workaround, NOTHING.

  3. neville

    3 more fans, terrific!

    That’s interesting re seeing 4 gigs of RAM, Chris. I see only 3.2 gigs on my Dell (which has 4Gb). I understood it was a tech limitation but from your experience with SP1, Vista sees all of the RAM. That’s good!

  4. Shel Holtz

    Is it redundant to say, “Me too?” I have Vista running on my laptop, which was an upgrade, and my desktop, which was an original install. Both run practically flawlessly. My MacBook Pro had far more problems, and continues to even with a new hard drive. (That oughta generate some comments.)

  5. Francis Wooby

    I had some serious meltdown issues (with both me and Vista) on my Toshiba Satellite, which I purchased in early 2007. A few months ago I upgraded to Vista Ultimate, and things have gone much more smoothly since, although there are still quite a few bugs.

    I’m not all that tech savvy, so I’m at the mercy of Microsoft to tell me when there’s a problem and how to fix it–easily. This is why I usually don’t mind shelling out the big bucks for their software.

    With Vista, though, I’m not sensing that MS has admitted to how numerous the problems are.

    I’m not one of those people so quick to say it sucks, but I do think it was launched too early, with too many compatability issues with other software still unresolved. Because part of Windows’ strength as a product is its compatability with other software, I consider this to be a Windows problem.

    If Microsoft would acknowledge that there are quite a few problems, apologize, and let me know that fixes are on the way, I’d feel more at ease. Acting as if this is just par for the course, however, is souring me as a customer. If I want to be ignored by my computer makers and software developers I’ll buy a Mac.

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