How Badly Will Vista Hurt Microsoft?

Windows Vista was released to the general public on January 30, 2007 with hundreds of new and improved features and upgraded security – allegedly. The predecessor of Vista, Microsoft’s Windows XP was released five years prior, making it the longest span of time between two new Microsoft operating systems.

With the long wait for a new Microsoft operating system, there was quite a bit of hype surrounding the release. To add to the buildup, this was Bill Gates’s last anticipated launch, since he plans to step down in the next year in order to focus on philanthropic efforts. Despite the hype, however, or perhaps because of it, the public’s reception of the new operating system was definitely disappointing to Microsoft.

Insufficient Speed
According to tests run by a research and development company comparing Windows Vista with its big brother, Windows XP outperformed Vista in every single test. The new operating system is slow and less responsive. XP proved to load more quickly and had a higher responsiveness than Vista, regardless of the computer system and memory allocation available on the variety of computers used in the tests. In some cases, Vista took twice as long to perform even menial tasks, such as auto saving and creating a new document.

Again, Microsoft has been accused of copying Apple with some of the new features available on their recently released operating system. Defenders of Microsoft assert that the company was only including aspect that would come naturally as the Windows operating system evolves. Regardless of whether Microsoft unabashedly “borrowed” some ideas from their rival or not, Vista has enough problems to deal with.

Ditching Vista
In response to the poor performance of the new operating system, many users and businesses are switching back to the trusty old Windows XP. Individuals disappointed with the slow and bumbling operation of Vista are coming back to the stability and reliability of Windows XP. Companies are following suit.

Less than a year after its release, many corporations who had planned to upgrade to Vista are having second thoughts. While more than forty percent of businesses planned to make the switch before the operating system was released, now less than ten percent have stuck to the plan.

Large manufacturers of personal computers such as Hewlett-Packard and Dell are bringing back Windows XP as an option on their best-selling laptops and desktops. With such a trend, Microsoft is reeling from the blow. Before Bill Gates jumps ship to focus on his philanthropic efforts, experts are skeptical that he can stop the bleeding.

A Good Season for Apples
On a positive note, although not for Windows, over the past two years, Apple’s sales have been steadily rising. The hit Microsoft has taken from the Vista fiasco has only helped Apple in their growing season. The ubiquitous iPods and the new and highly lauded iPhone have only increased the company’s rapid growth. The young and trendy Mac who contrasts with the old and stodgy PC in the commercials may not stray too far from the truth in the eyes of many consumers.

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