Save XP!

InfoWorld is hosting a petition to Microsoft to save XP and continue to sell it past the middle of this year.  You can sign their petition .  I signed the petition, but the real petition for MS may be the numbers coming in for XP sales, which are still strong.  On this Amazon bestsellers page, as of 2/1/08, places #1,2,3,5 where XP and only #4 was Vista. IT News builds on my Amazon analysis:

Gates, in
Las Vegas Sunday, boasted that Microsoft has sold more than 100 million
copies of Windows Vista since the OS launched last January.

the number at first sounds impressive, it in fact indicates that the
company's once dominant grip on the OS market is loosening. Based on
Gates' statement, Windows Vista was aboard just 39% of the PC's that
shipped in 2007.

And Vista, in terms of units shipped, only
marginally outperformed first year sales of Windows XP according to
Gates' numbers -- despite the fact that the PC market has almost
doubled in size since XP launched in the post 9-11 gloom of late 2001.

five years ago at CES 2003, Gates said that Windows XP in its first
full year on the market sold more than 89 million copies, according to a Microsoft record of the event....

A survey published by InformationWeek last year revealed that 30% of corporate desktop managers have no plans to upgrade their company's PC's to Vista -- ever.

As de facto IT manager for my company, you can include me in that 30%.  My other posts on Vista here.

Update:  Face-saving suggestion for Microsoft:  Rename XP as Vista Lite or some such.  Then they can keep it and claim 100% acceptance of Vista.


  1. Spruance:

    If the Oppen-Sourcerers would invest solving the mail attachment problem, my company would long have changed flags. My company simply cannot afford sending OpenOffice attachments the majority of our partners cannot decode. And vice versa. Im my eyes this is the reason why nobody moves - it will isolate him as a minority. No CIO can risk this.

  2. Kyle Bennett:

    Instead of Vista Lite, they can go the Coca Cola route and rename XP as "Vista Classic".

  3. Daren:

    I bought a MAC. Problem solved.

  4. Nick S.:

    "My company simply cannot afford sending OpenOffice attachments the majority of our partners cannot decode. And vice versa."

    OpenOffice Writer can save and open Word documents. OpenOffice Calc can do the same for Excel spreadsheets. I (and many people I know) use OpenOffice to save files we share with our friends and coworkers who use Microsoft Office, and they don't know the difference.

    OpenOffice will even read Microsoft docs that Office 2007 refuses to open "for security reasons". They aren't perfect, but the compatibility is pretty good.

  5. DKH:

    I wish another product would step up to fill in Microsoft's weaknesses. But I don't really think there is anything out there that really offers a value proposition that can replace Microsoft's.

    Apple seems to be having a resurgence, but I would be unwilling to pay their prices when the same quality hardware can be had a fraction of the cost from another source. The fact that I like to play computer games also ties me to the Windows line (and you, too, Coyote?).

    Linux fails the usability test. It has been getting better in some ways, but whenever I use it, I find myself Googling for an inordinate amount of "how-to" information that is much more intuitive in Windows (or maybe I already know how to do it). But, Microsoft may only be winning that battle due to "network externalities." Linux also fails the uniformity test. The variety of flavors makes it hard for programmers to develop for it, and for users to install programs. That's not the "free to use" that most people are looking for.

    For my part, I have no overall problems with Windows Vista. The laptop I am using to post this has Vista and there have been no problems. There are some particular areas where I feel it has become less usable than XP, but that is maybe to be expected with any new OS. For example, the file explorer is not as nice as it was in XP (I made heavy use of the "up one level" button, which is now gone; it was a lot easier to click "up one level" three times than it is to read the file path and figure out what folder I want to go back to). The lack of icons on the start menu for "My Computer," "My Network Places," etc. also disappoints me. The overall lack of problems with this laptop might have something to do with the fact that laptops are generally more integrated products than a user-built desktop PC.

    Microsoft does add some nice features to Vista. My understanding is that the sound architecture has been rewritten (much to the dismay of sound card owners/manufacturers) to separate it from the kernel, thus increasing system stability. This should be better for the long run, and Microsoft understandably wants to lower the chances that third-party software can crash a system and affect the image of their product (who says private parties won't sacrifice current profits for the future?). Additionally, there is DirectX 10, which will become essential for games at some point.

    At the risk of becoming very long-winded, I think part of the slow sales of Vista are a result of the anti-Microsoft hysteria of the Google/Apple/open source crowd. They have somehow successfully created an image of Microsoft as one of the evil, greedy, capitalist companies that are looking for a way to screw you over and take your money (like Wal-Mart and Exxon, right?). I'm a little disturbed to see some of that mentality on this blog, but maybe I'm reading too much, or too incorrectly, into your writings. However, stipulating that Linux is currently unsuitable for mass consumption, I don't see that Apple is any better in this regard than Microsoft. Apple may even be more aggressive than Microsoft in locking the consumer into their product line.

    Maybe, as a nearly lifelong user of Microsoft products, some of these views are from too narrow a viewpoint. But for right now and the foreseeable future, Windows remains the OS with the best value proposition to me.

  6. Spruance:

    Nick S. -

    that's true - OpenOffice _can_ do this, but it doesn't automatically so. There is no way to tell it to send MS compatible attachments by default, or defined by a table of recipient domains. It would create a real mess when employees forget to do the correct conversion before they send their emails!