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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