back to article Microsoft grows despite Windows Vista

Not that you'd know it from Microsoft's results, or projected revenue, but the giant launched a brand-spanking new version of Windows this year. Not only did Windows Vista - billed by Microsoft as its biggest operating system for 10 years - fail to distinguish Microsoft's latest fiscal year from previous, non-Windows-Vista …


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  1. David

    ...XP, Vista?...

    I see no reason to upgrade from my stable version of Windows 2000.

    If you're serious about business and getting things done, the last thing you want is to be pushed around by MS to keep upgrading your OS.

    Even MS have extended support for W2K until 'at least' 2010.

    In MS' own words "...[W2K]...remains a robust, mature product."

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Several Million Dollars?

    Not to downplay the story, but when your projected revenue is measured in 10s of billions of dollars, 'several million' dollars is the size of the bonuses to the execs, not something that would particularly trouble them.

    Apple becoming the third largest PC seller would be far more concerning for them.

  3. John Stag


    "[We] don't see it [SP1] as a massive driver of uptake in its own right"

    That's because people have rumbled the fact that SP1 will be a rush job to pacify early adopters rather than really fix things.

    Smart people are now waiting for SP2.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    XP Emulator

    I ended up turning off the fancy features of Vista because they were interfearing. Once they were all sorted out, my laptop now works fine. However, I now see that all Vista realy is, an XP emulation for he most part.

    Appearance changes not withstanding in some applications and programs, its not that bad, but hardly worth the upgrade. Thank god I didn't have to pay extra for it.

    Thinking on it, its not realy suprising that Vista didn't grip anyone. All those fancy visual toys add nothing to the actual OS, and seem to be nothing more than a drain on the pc's resources.

    Given all this, its hardley a suprise that Vista hasn't taken off. Three more years development while the hardware industry throws us some jucy new gear, wouldn't have gone amiss, make more use of Vista's new features, or enhance them so there useful.

  5. Nigel

    Windows Vista Bugs


    I put windows Vista onto my main machine one weekend, only to go back to windows XP on the Sunday! Way too many usability issues. I have a single machine with 4GB mem that I use as both media centre PC with a Plasma connected and also as a desktop with a keyboard/mouse/monitor on the end of long cables in an adjacent room. It also runs a linux server in a VM. Its a top-end core2duo box. I do this because I dont want a huge electricity bill!

    - Media Centre does not remember which screen it should start on

    - Mpeg2 video in media centre stutters

    - TV card drivers are immature, and wont scan for all channels

    - Media centre finds 3 copies of each channel and the old XP hack to restrict it to scan only certain Mux's does not appear to work

    - Media centre, when it gets focus, *still* locks the mouse cursor on the second monitor - this is an old XP bug that MS should have fixed

    - Vista performed significantly worse than XP

    - Vista was less stable than XP

    - Switching between media centre and any other app meant the video going wild for 10 secs before settling down

    - Nvidia's video drivers for vista were very immature - performance was on the verge of not being usable

    The only thing I miss about Vista is the nice, new Media centre interface. I shall keep hold of my copy of Vista (free upgrade), and try again in about a year by which time MS, and other vendors might have fixed the issues.


  6. Giles Jones Gold badge


    All Microsoft seem to do these days is give existing code some minor tweaks, add a few gimmics and give the interface a new paintjob.

    Be it Windows, Office or Windows Mobile.

    It's no wonder people can see past this and know they're being had.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: XP Emulator - "interfearing"

    That misspelling is a great way to describe Microsoft's approach to the Vista situation!

  8. Chris Cox

    Vista vs XP

    Many of my customers ask me about the benefits of moving from a stable XP environment to Vista.

    It's actually hard to recommend Vista to the casual user, particularly due to the support headache the inevitable installation of XP drivers or non compatible software will cause. Yes the interface is nice (if you have a decent PC), and yes it's more secure and user friendly, but the main question I get asked is "does it have a word processor etc" - Vista doesn't actually include anything useful for the majority of users over XP and the prospect of buying Vista, Office, a compatible ADSL modem and downloading piles of drivers etc isnt very appealing.

    XP was a reason to upgrade because 98 (and especially Me) were so out of date, for the layman Vista is a facelift that causes more problems than it solves.

    It's hardly suprising that Microsoft's (and my own companies) expectations of a golden goose in the first half of the year didn't materialise.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In bed with MS

    I nearly wet myself when I read the BBC's version of the MS results.

    Needless to say they have just received a mail about accurate reporting from 'Angry in Brighton'

  10. Robert Ramsay

    Vista is the new ME wife bought her new computer before the end of January so she still got XP built in...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing to see here, move along, move along.

    I'm surprised there's any surprise about Vista underperforming.

    MS OSs have been around for long enough now that enough people seem to be realising that each new upgrade doesn't really do anything but bugger around with the GUI a bit, and - very occasionally - add a little more functionality. When all's said and done it does more-or-less the same as the previous version - moves files, allows you to connect devices, and gives you the possibility (vague though it is in Vista) of running applications.

    The problem isn't really that Vista is poor (which it is), but that OSs in general aren't moving forward much because what OSs do hasn't changed very much. This is unlikely to change in the near future and this has me wondering if the next step forward is simply to 'BIOS-ize' the OS and stop all this unnecessary buggering around with installing / uninstalling the OS.

    Mind you, with MS behind a project like that you wouldn't want to buy one of the first line of computers. "Erk! Missing OS! Please buy new chip!".

  12. Steve Sutton

    @chris cox

    "Yes the interface is nice"

    Really? People have been telling me that it looks like MacOS 10 now.

  13. Test Man

    Re: SP1

    Actually, if you look back at Windows 2000 and XP, they had SP1 released less than a year after the retail release date. Therefore SP1 for Vista can hardly be described as a "rush job", seeing as it's fitting into the same timeframe (and might even take longer than previous SPs).

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Smart people are now waiting for SP2?

    Smart people are using Linux.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    doing badly??

    You make $3.03bn net income and people still give you a hard time... Tough audience.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hungry, hungry Vista

    Bought a new machine recently with Vista Business Ed. preinstalled (bought the machine for its specs not the presence of Vista). It lasted 8 hours before I wiped it and went back to XP Pro.

    What really surprised & annoyed (amongst many other things) was the fact that even when all the bells n whistles were turned off, all the "fancy" graphics malarky knobbled and likewise a seriously large number of unwanted and un-needed services, just sitting there Vista used over 700mb of RAM.

    Eventually driven mad by a number of its features it became a part of history on the new machine to be replaced by XP SP2 & Linux.

    As an aside, I'm using XP less and less and turning to Linux more frequently, and no, I'm not a Linux fanboy I just don't want to carry on "using" the crap produced by MS. As far as I am concerned, XP is fine for me for the time being, but when the time arrives, sooner rather than later, XP will also become history on my machine.

    I can't see how MS can continue in this way for much longer, producing upgrades that aren't, as their corporate customers are going to get somewhat annoyed rather rapidly. MS might get the message before they come seriously unstuck. However, chance would be a fine thing eh?

  17. Jim Cosser

    Doing badly? Yes.

    "You make $3.03bn net income and people still give you a hard time... Tough audience."

    Clearly your not an investor, the amount of money they make isn't important compared to their growth over previous years. Vista has stunted their growth (or at the very least is a wasted opportunity)

  18. James Pickett

    Sales figures

    Presumably those copies of Vista that were downgraded to XP (to make it work) were not recounted as XP sales? Be interesting to know the real figures...

  19. Kurt Guntheroth

    Why isn't this news?

    In 1999, you might pay $2,000 for a decent machine. Of that price about $50 went for your copy of Windows. Then you had to add $250 for a copy of Office. That makes needed software something like 15% of the cost of your computer.

    Today I saw a computer at Fry's for $159(!) I can't guess what fraction of this cost was for the stripped down version of Vista that came with it, but I'm guessing $50 again. And office is now something like $400. Or you can buy the stripped down version for $150. But you still have an astonishing inversion in which the software now costs more than the hardware.

    Even modest hardware nowadays is 30x faster than in 1999. By contrast modern software from microsoft is bloated and slow. What happened here? Why are the press so slow to call this unsavory trend? Or am I just not reading the right press?

  20. James Pickett


    "By contrast modern software from microsoft is bloated and slow"

    Indeed. The two Vista systems (Core Duo etc.) I have set up recently have both been slower than my 5-year old laptop running Win 2k. Progress, eh!

  21. david mccormick

    Why buy it when you don't 'own' it

    I was considering upgrading to vista after sp1 as magazine reviews had been cautious but optimistic. What's changed my mind is an experience with XP. After a clean install of windows in a last desperate attempt to get my PC talking to my router (which worked obviously as I'm writing this) I went to activate MY windows only to be told I had exceeded my activation limit ? What is this? I have paid £149 for windows. I expect to be able to install and uninstall as many times as I want to on my own machine. (I format my hard drive regularly as I am a junkie for games demo's and often have pieces of uninstalled demo's all over my machine) Instead I am watching the the systray icon flash up every time I boot up my machine. To top it off. Microsoft are so thick that even selecting the 'No remind me to activate in a FEW DAYS' sees the reminder flashing up after the next reboot. Vista? No

    Serious research into a Linux install? Yes

  22. Don Mitchell

    Vista Good and Bad

    Vista development was bungled, and at least two VPs responsible for it are no longer at Microsoft now (Nash and Alchin). Bad features were planned (e.g., Avalon) and then yanked, sometimes setting the schedule back a year.

    Claims that the Vista UI is copied from the new Mac are naive. It takes years to plan, code and test the operating system, and both Apple and Microsoft started about the same time. It simply is not possible for Microsoft to look at the finished OS X design and decide at the last minute to copy it. Again, Alchin's poor management of Vista simply caused them to reach market later than Apple.

    Despite problems in the first release, Vista contains some deep improvements that will make for a better system after some service packs. The kernel has been refactored and the device driver interface is a big improvement that should make it easier for vendors to write drivers and harder for a bad driver to crash the system (3rd party drivers have always been the major cause of crashes, not bugs in Microsoft's kernel itself). In the new DDI, more work is done by the kernel, and what is left to the vendors can be smaller and simpler. The refactoring of the kernel was a massive undertaking that nobody talks about much, but it reorganizes the modules of the system into more efficient address and temporal locality, and it is fitted with a scaffolding of security relationships between modules.

    Microsofts operating system work continues to be more sophisticated than any of the UNIX efforts, who have done little more than play kernel-feature catch-up since NT was released in 1989.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: ..XP, Vista?...


    Gotta agree with you. Chasing MS is a suckers move, especially when one has a business to run.

  24. callmeshane

    MS Fister......... Oh Ho Ho Ho.... Pigs Bum.

    I am so sick of Microsoft and their bullshit.........

    I now am in open rebellion against them.

    The last remaining dregs of my MS stuff is now firmly on the use it till MS is bankrupt - then when MS is no longer supporting it... it's gone.

    All my systems are now running Ubuntu Linux and I am an active contributor to Open Office.

    I intend to use registration cracks to reinstall XP if I ever have to again.....

    Why??? because I am NEVER ever going to phone microsoft for anything ever again.

    Out of the last 12 phone calls, 10 of them have been shit fights with people so stupid they don't know how to do stuff except spout the company policy by rote - on their buggy software or they tell me that I have to reinstall everything for a drive change, because ALL of the stupid MS backupware - in case of (impending) HDD failure, doesn't - won't and can't - and MS deliberately cripples the XP software to stop people using PROPER drive imaging software to make back ups with.

    Another 2 or 3 months to get my XP based system all configured and sorted out...... to be running nicely.....

    Instead of 2 or 3 hour disk imaging event....

    And a big fat whack of MS Fister is solely dedicated to DRM and crowds like the RIAA etc...

    MS Fister is SPYWARE incarnate.

    10 X the electricity and 10 X the system resources - to be doing not very much more than Linux Ubuntu

    Bye Bye Office Bitch Ms. MS......

    Hello Mr Linux.

  25. Giles Jones Gold badge


    >Claims that the Vista UI is copied from the new Mac are naive. It takes years to plan, >code and test the operating system,

    OSX was released about 2001. Vista was released 2007. That gives Microsoft about 5 or 6 years to copy OSX.

    That is plenty of time.

  26. Don

    Migrating to Linux

    The thing that still kills Linux (Lindows notwithstanding) is the average user. My wife is an average user and there's no way in heck I'd put her in front of a Linux machine, regardless of the interface.

  27. Outcast

    The Missus & Linux

    @ Don

    Women aint as thick as your implying.

    We dual boot Debian 64 & XP on The wifes PC ( I use an AmigaONE) Grub is set to boot Debian first.

    The wife happily rattles around on Debian.

    The XP side only ever gets used for NLE and as I've only got one more wedding to film before giving em up...........

    Even the BBC news vids now work on Debian 64

    Now if we could just get Adobe to pull their finger out with 64 bit flash support.


  28. Neil


    Workbench 1.3 fit on a 720k Floppy. Risc-os was on ROM. These OS's copied files, ran applications and protected the user from the complexities of the machine.

    I understand that OS's have to grow to cater for the number of devices and additional features such as memory protection, but a 4gb installation base?

    I downgraded to XP and now dual boot into Linux. Yes Linux comes on lots of CD's but the majority of the content is optional applications and extras.

    I have followed the progress of the AmigaONE closely, this is a modern OS (or very close to) that can reboot in under 10 seconds. If Commodore hadn't failed so miserably and MS hadn't ruled hardware manufacturers with an iron fist I'm pretty sure we would all be using IBM Cell powered Amigas with a tiny OS footprint.

    The only way I can see MS convincing us otherwise will be if the next OS is coded from the ground up having learned the lessons of 98, XP and Vista, as well as the benefits of OSX and Linux.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh come on! It's 2007, not 1997!

    The thing that still kills Linux (Lindows notwithstanding) is the average user. My wife is an average user and there's no way in heck I'd put her in front of a Linux machine, regardless of the interface.

    @ Don.

    That says much more about you than your wife, I'm afraid. You obviously don't know enough about Linux.

    We dumped Windows just before Christmas last year and my wife (a definite non-techie) has been using Ubuntu Linux ever since. She loves it. Never crashes, never pops up funny dialogue boxes, never acts weird and everything works time and again. She'd never go back to Windows now.

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