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Vista Sales Expectations Too High, Office Doing Well

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the business-of-windowing dept.

Microsoft 320

PetManimal writes "A comparison of first-week retail sales of Vista compared to first-week sales of XP back in 2001 found that Vista sales were 60% lower. Steve Ballmer has admitted that earlier sales forecasts were 'overly aggressive,' but at least there is some good news for Microsoft: early Office 2007 sales were very strong compared to the early sales of Office 2003, despite almost no advertising or marketing until the retail launch at the end of January."

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Queue up the chair jokes! (5, Funny)

mingot (665080) | more than 7 years ago | (#18040682)

Then let's settle into a nice discussion about how vista sucks because it's more of the same and office 2007 sucks because it's not more of the same.

Re:Queue up the chair jokes! (0, Troll)

bitbiter (632065) | more than 7 years ago | (#18040944)

You Don't suppose that it's because the "main stream" thing that windows has over linux sucks on Vista. How stupid can M$ be...come on guys.....games..........games.......3d sound.....games...got the hint yet...LOL

Re:Queue up the chair jokes! (5, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041034)

> Then let's settle into a nice discussion about how vista sucks because it's more of the same and office 2007 sucks because it's not more of the same.

You are coming to a sad realization. Deny, allow, or throw chair?

Re:Queue up the chair jokes! (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041040)

But what about Naomi?

KFG

Re:Queue up the chair jokes! (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042018)

Ah, memories.... The Electric Company....

The boy sees the chair.
The boy wants to sit in the chair.

And what about... Naomi?

Are you sure you want to execute vista-jokes.exe? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18041758)

*Open FireFox*

You are trying to open a web browser, do you want to open it?
[ Continue ] [ Cancel ]
*continue*

This web browser was not signed by Microsoft, operation aborted.
[ Okay ]
*click* *Open IE*

You are trying to open a program made by Microsoft. Good choice!
[ Okay ]
*click* *slashdot.org*

You are opening a port to connect to an external website. Are you sure? It might be dangerous.
[ Continue ] [ Cancel ]
*continue*

You are connecting to Slashdot.org. Are you sure you want to go there? How about MSN instead?
[ Continue ] [ Go to MSN ] [ Cancel ]
*continue*

You appear to be posting to Slashdot. Any comment you write might be read by third parties. Are you sure you want to continue?
[ Continue ] [ Cancel ]
*continue*

You appear to be posting material that is disparaging to Microsoft. This is forbidden by section 66, paragraph 6 of your Windows Vista Super Mega Chair Monkey Team Hyper Force Go! ULTIMATE Edition EULA.
[ Report Yourself to Microsoft for Being Naughty ]
*BANG* ...

For sale: Like-new computer w/Vista. Slightly shotgunned.

Thing is... (5, Insightful)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 7 years ago | (#18040704)

Vista received a huge marketing campaign, but most people who kept track of what Microsoft was doing for the past 5 years know that Vista could've been much better than what it turned out to be due to the development crash in August 2004.

Office, on the other hand, was praised as something which would make life much easier for people because of the new ribbon. There's even a home and student version for people who can't afford paying for standard edition.

Re:Thing is... (5, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#18040754)

Replace "most people" with "most people on Slashdot"... Most people have no idea what MS has done in the past 5 years, nor do they care. The NASCAR scandal is all they can handle right now.

Re:Thing is... (0, Offtopic)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#18040800)

Ah, I'm too quick with a comment. I need reading comprehension lessons, sorry! :)

I think you're being a bit unfair..... (4, Funny)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041126)

Seriously..you assume that all non slashdotters are NASCAR fans?

I would really rip into you if it were not so busy following the Anna Nichole Smith scandal ;)

Re:I think you're being a bit unfair..... (4, Insightful)

DrDitto (962751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041212)

Yesterday I sat in a coffee shop for 3 hours. I heard two groups of people discuss who they thought was the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby.

Re:I think you're being a bit unfair..... (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041996)

I'd like to apologize on behalf of regular society for the fact we don't visit coffee shops to discuss more meaningful things like Vista sales compared to XP's or Office 2007's ribbon bar. Instead, we discuss fun things like Anna Nicole Smith to blow off stream from the stress of our regular lives.

Re:Thing is... (1)

robbiethefett (1047640) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041128)

wtf is the nascar scandal? im not saying this to prove a point, i really have no idea what you are talking about.

Re:Thing is... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041258)

LOL - some of the drivers have been cheating... it's all over the "regular" news. One of the drivers (Waltrip) was even crying... quite funny to the non-fan.

Re:Thing is... (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041328)

Seriously, what NASCAR scandal?

Unless you're talking about a realization that the "SC" in NASCAR means "Stock Car" and the cars they race are anything but "stock" being the source of the scandal, then I have no idea what you're talking about. Is Dale Earnhart dead or isn't he?

Re:Thing is... (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041354)

What? How do you cheat in NASCAR? They using some sort of non-regulation parts or something? Furthermore, as I ask this, I wonder why I care.

As an aside, that's a pretty cool user number.

Re:Thing is... (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041498)

Well, while I'm guessing most people really don't care, I'll answer anyway. Most were not really "cheating", just subtle violations. The lastest was the car was an inch lower than allowed (sacrifices safety for speed). Another biggie was an "illegal" substance in the fuel.

Re:Thing is... (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041658)

Hey ! Uncle Moonshine forgets which barrels are which sometimes, it was an honest mistake !

Re:Thing is... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041610)

Not as cool as a four-digit user number, oh elder lord and master.

Re:Thing is... (4, Insightful)

Clazzy (958719) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041390)

But the people on Slashdot are the people who buy the operating systems. The average person would never go out to the shops and buy Vista, they'd buy a computer with it preinstalled.

Re:Thing is... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041760)

Sadly, you'd be mistaken! I've had to clean up a few botched installs of XP now. Yes, you can botch it, no, I don't know how - I've only seen the aftermath. The worst one was my mother-in-law's computer. It had 32MB of RAM (IIRC) and the Windows 98 version of Norton antivirus loaded on to it. Believe it or not, I was not summoned to fix the computer because it took 1/2 hour to start up, but because she couldn't get the Zip drive to work. I remember being surprised about the amount of RAM because I was certain that XP checked for at least 64MB.

Re:Thing is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18041400)

...the same people you are refering to will never go out and buy a new OS... "My computer works just fine as it is, thank you".

Re:Thing is... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041840)

Well, my dad (before talking to me) upgraded both of his home machines to XP because they "wouldn't network" with his work laptop that had XP pre-loaded. My aunt has XP on her ancient Gateway for some reason... apparently someone from her church loaded it on for her. Of course, he didn't bother getting her modem to work with it even though she was on dialup... but that's another story.

But clearly you are right, no one is buying Vista like they did XP.

Re:Thing is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18040816)

I have a feeling they're also not comparing with their best selling / most popular releases of Office. Heck, everybody I know is still using Office 2000 or Office XP on their XP machines, because there just aren't any compelling reasons to splash out more money on incremental upgrades that add little functionality most users care about.

Re:Thing is... (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18040844)

Vista had a lot of marketing among the technology industry, but it also had a ton of bad press from beta testers reviewing it (You are posting a comment critical to Windows Vista, confirm or deny?). The mass media marketing did not really get into gear until fairly recently, and by that time anyone who was familiar with technology was already spreading the news that Vista was not very much different than XP except that it broke a lot of things that work under XP without providing a well-known mechanism for backward compatibility (even XP's broken Win95 emulation mode was better than nothing).

When faced with a new product that works almost the same as the old product except that existing software doesn't work very well on it, I don't see why it's such a shock that uptake has been so slow.

Re:Thing is... (3, Insightful)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 7 years ago | (#18040936)

I'm not surprised at all either. Vista offers nothing substantially new that justifies the price of an upgrade. Sure, it has a fancy new interface and supposedly better security, but at the end of the day it's just a little bit of more of the same. There's only so much you can squeeze out of a desktop system - after all, it's only the bones of the system. The meat is in the applications. If your OS is already quite good enough and does everything you need it to do, why shell out for an upgrade?

However, Office 2007 at least supposedly offers a revolutionary new way to use the application. It seems that this promise has enormous appeal for people. For instance, I'm having a harder time than ever debating the merits of OpenOffice. It seems Microsoft could have a winner there, loath as I am to admit it. Doesn't change the fact that I'm sticking with OO and Linux, but still ...

Re:Thing is... (3, Interesting)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041844)

I was in a "forced" to upgrade to XP situation recently. But that's like 5 years after XP was released. It was one of those situations where the software probably didn't really require anything specific to XP, but the installer did an OS check and wouldn't install on 2K. I can see this from the software company's point of view; 2K is no longer supported by MS, why should the software company waste resources supporting it? Still, they could have just said "it'll install on 2K but we'll only provide support if you have problems on XP."

Anyway, it was recent enough that MS offered a free upgrade to Vista when it was released. So now I have a free Vista upgrade that I'll hold onto until I run across an application what won't run on XP. So, that'll maybe be five years from now, when a lot of the bugs in Vista have been worked out and a lot of the opressive DRM has been disabled, I'll run across some app that wants Vista and I'll have it.

Or, if Linux developers can manage to keep up, I'll be able to do what I want in Linux without needing a PhD in Linuxology. I still use Linux for most of my work. Games and video editing are on Windows. That's just the way it is right now.

Re:Thing is... (2, Insightful)

coastin (780654) | more than 7 years ago | (#18040940)

I thought the campaign was starting to slow down a bit. weak sales would explain that. With 5 years to forget why someone should rush out and buy the next OS, MS has re-trained many of their user base not to need the newest thing. It will take some time for them to re-train the user base to want the newest thing again.

Re:Thing is... (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041866)

MS has re-trained many of their user base not to need the newest thing.

Only the smart ones. One of our users went out and bought Vista day one because it's the latest and greatest. They actually called it that. Scary.

Pity the AV software we use doesn't work on Vista yet... Oh well.

Re:Thing is... (1)

Yendys (729283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041174)

One should also keep in mind that corporations often have to buy the new office in order to stay up to date with other corporations that made the switch due to compatibility issues, ect. System Admins are more than likely going to hold off on upgrading their corporation to Vista until the "kinks" are worked out and theres been more time to evaluate the OS...

Thing is...Old chesnuts. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18041412)

"One should also keep in mind that corporations often have to buy the new office in order to stay up to date with other corporations that made the switch due to compatibility issues, ect."

That's assuming two things. One that people are having compatibility issues, and two that they haven't installed the compatibility pack. But nice try. Now if you'll excuse me, I have an old Linux distro to install. The review is this Monday.

Is anyone surprised? (2, Insightful)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 7 years ago | (#18040734)

confirm response, accept or deny?

Vista bugs me too much. I killed it.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (5, Insightful)

SirMeliot (864836) | more than 7 years ago | (#18040956)

I'm not remotely surprised. XP was a huge upgrade from Win 98. In comparison Vista's more like Win Me

Re:Is anyone surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18041132)

You mean 2000? I actually never upgraded directly from 2000 to Xp as Xp didn't really offer any better reliabilty or significant features over 2000.

2000 was actually the "revolution" in microsoft's line of operating systems. Unencumbered by activation, stable, relatively fast and easy to use, 2000 held its own. Nor was there great controversy surrounding it.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (1, Insightful)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041294)

I actually upgraded from 2k to WinXP for $5 (through my University). I'm not sure if it was worth the $5. I basically got a version of Windows that could apply anti-aliasing to my desktop background.

That being said, Vista is a larger upgrade than Win98->WinME or Win2k->WinXP. But not nearly large enough to justify the price. Businesses don't seem too enthusiastic to switch over either. I imagine Vista will gain market penetration through Dell and its ilk rather than people going out and buying licenses.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (1, Insightful)

ThePlague (30616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041436)

I'm still using 2k on most of my work/home computers. I've run into only one or two things that don't work under 2k that do work under xp, but those are simply the "purposefully broken" stuff, like the latest MS messenger and some lame ass d/l management utility "needed" for a game expansion pack. BF2 Special Forces, if I recall correctly. I didn't get it, though there was a workaround for it.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042044)

XP was an entire kernel change. Vista, however, is so rushed and incomplete that SP1 is actually coming later this year. A service pack in the same year of release. Ouch.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (2, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041648)

confirm response, accept or deny?

We've come a long way since "Abort, Retry, Fail?", haven't we.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18041700)

I think Windows Vista is a great upgrade and successor to Windows ME.

All I can say is: (1)

ricebowl (999467) | more than 7 years ago | (#18040938)

"Wow."

...

And now I feel dirty...

But then again perhaps the lower sales reflect a consumer base more accustomed to the failures of Version 1.0, or, for those with more technical experience, are aware that much of Vista's development cycle seemed to consist of stripping out features, such as WinFS and whatever else it was.

It could also, of course, represent a level of success with the still-competent Win XP.

...I know this is /. so I'm hoping, at best, to modded funny for that last sentence, there's still no dumb-ass mod, right..?

Re:All I can say is: (1)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041036)

for those with more technical experience, are aware that much of Vista's development cycle seemed to consist of stripping out features, such as WinFS and whatever else it was. How can one strip out features that they never happened to implement in the first place? That was not part of the development cycle, but the planning cycle, also known as bait-and-switch, wishful thinking or vaporware cycle.

Re:All I can say is: (1)

ricebowl (999467) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041454)

How can one strip out features that they never happened to implement in the first place? That was not part of the development cycle, but the planning cycle, also known as bait-and-switch, wishful thinking or vaporware cycle.

Ah? My mistake then, I never really followed its development from inception, I only really started to pay attention once it started hitting its beta test-release. I was just aware that a lot of planned features weren't in there as initially announced.

Re:All I can say is: (1)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041848)

I think his post was more a subtle jab at MS then at you. It is pretty much their style to promise the moon when a competitor comes out with a good product so that people hold off on buying it, even though they never deliver said moon. I believe sony used a similar tactic on the dreamcast. IIRC, Microsoft has been promising WinFS or something like it since 1992 for whatever their next operating system is going to be. At this point, it seems safe to assume they just plain don't know how to do it and it ain't going to happen.

Re:All I can say is: (2, Funny)

FuturePastNow (836765) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041654)

Ah, another person Experiences the Wow. Cherish this moment.

I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18040978)

Why didn't they make Office 2007 Vista-only?

Not Surprising (4, Insightful)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18040996)

Having had access to the Vista RTM for several months through my MSDN subscription, Ive had a decent amount of friends and family asking me if they should upgrade. I always tell them thats its a fairly nice OS but its not worth the money. Take it if its free, but otherwise stick with what you have. There aren't enough feature updates to justify spending $100+.

Not surprising (4, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041002)

People rarely talk about just how viral Office updates are. You save a doc in 2000 format, and suddenly 97 can no longer open it. Save it in 2003 and 2000 can't open it. And so on. A customer/vendor/friend sends you a doc file, and you can't open it. Time to upgrade!

Re:Not surprising, or why OpenOffice is gud (2, Informative)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041064)

People rarely talk about just how viral Office updates are. You save a doc in 2000 format, and suddenly 97 can no longer open it. Save it in 2003 and 2000 can't open it. And so on. A customer/vendor/friend sends you a doc file, and you can't open it. Time to upgrade!

That's one of the nice things about the free Open Source software in Open Office - you can open and save to all the formats.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041204)

I'm not sure how this is offtopic. I totally agree. I recently had to install office on my computer to send out some documents, and paused when considering the version. Should I install 2k7? I ended up going with 2k3 because I was afraid people wouldn't be able to read my documents.

Its not out of the question that people would upgrade just to make sure that they can read the latest Microsoft formats.

Re:Not surprising (3, Informative)

mingot (665080) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041394)

Why? Is saving as "Word 97-2003" document difficult?

Also, folks using Word 2000 and later can use the new formats with a compatibilty pack [msdn.com]

Re:Not surprising (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041464)

Only because I had a brain fart and forgot you could do so.

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18041652)

You can. Most people are completely unaware of either of these concepts. I hadn't heard of the compatibility pack until your post.

John

Re:Not surprising (1)

goldspider (445116) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041418)

You've always been able to save documents in previous Office versions' format, all the way back to Word 6.0 format.

Re:Not surprising (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041598)

You're a rare and thoughtful person. Most people don't think in terms of the receiver. They only think in terms of themselves as the sender... unless of course themselves as the receiver. It boils down to who they think of the most. You don't want to make upgrade decisions for others, so you don't "upgrade." Other people, on the other hand, aren't thinking in those terms. They think, "We have the newest, and we can read all your stuff just fine. The problem is on your end." And so the cycle perpetuates.

When people finally get all caught up with the needless upgrade to Office2007, I think it would be VERY interesting to see if someone does the research to find how much money Microsoft made from it without providing anything more useful than a newer UI feature.

Makes me want to design a cell phone and slap a bottle openner on it so I can use it to open up beer bottles. I think *that* is just a bit more useful than a ribbon bar.

Re:Not surprising (1)

JoelMartinez (916445) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041894)

Makes me want to design a cell phone and slap a bottle openner on it so I can use it to open up beer bottles. I think *that* is just a bit more useful than a ribbon bar.
I would actually buy that! :-)

Re:Not surprising (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041288)

True. And the biggest honcho in the company, the CEO or the CFO always replace their laptops every six months or one year and they cant be bothered to change their preferences to save in an older format by default. So suddenly no one in the company is able to open an attachment from the big cheeses. Another round of upgrades for all. The IT department does not care because that is how their budget increases and they wined and dined by the vendor. The working stiffs dont bother because they get a day or two break for "retraining". Free pizza on these days mostly. Big cheeses dont care because their competitors too are blowing the same amount of money so they can all pass it to their customers. Only the slashdotters bemoan the vendor lock and the inefficiency.

Re:Not surprising (3, Informative)

mingot (665080) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041442)

You save a doc in 2000 format, and suddenly 97 can no longer open it. Save it in 2003 and 2000 can't open it. And so on. A customer/vendor/friend sends you a doc file, and you can't open it. Time to upgrade!

You're misinformed. All versions of office from 97-2k3 can open each others files with no need to do anything special when saving or loading.

Re:Not surprising (2, Informative)

goofballs (585077) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041562)

slashdot crowd's supposed to be informed techies, and this gets modded insightful? he's wrong on all counts- office has had the same format from 97-2003.

Not worth it, either (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041008)

Microsoft replaced a hundred menu items with a dozen toolbar buttons. Granted, buttons change with context, but on the other hand, 12 100 and there is no way to see all the program's functionality in one place. They should have just kept a menu bar, then it would be a clever innovation. In IE7, which uses a similar trick, there is no easy way to open a local file rather than an HTTP URL without re-enabling the menu, which is not an option in Office. In Media Player, its totally baffling that the default screen has a huge visualizer, but they couldn't find place for a little menu bar.

Re:Not worth it, either (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18041076)

Try using the ribbon on a nice new widescreen LCD... it takes up WAY too much real estate. And thanks for proving that you believe me too stupid to make good decisions on customizing my toolbars.

Re:Not worth it, either (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18041932)

Evidently you aren't smart enough to log in to /.

Re:Not worth it, either (1)

ILikeRed (141848) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042006)

Calm down Steve, you guys got over Windows ME, this will pass also.

Not worth it, either-Bows and ribbons. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18041234)

The sales of MS office show that the ribbon interface is part of the reason. Especially without the marketing push.

Reminds me of Lowered Expectations (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041022)

Look, the reality is at most 10 percent of business even wants WinVista (remember WinMe?), and the consumer interest is even lower than that.

Most of the sales of Microsoft Office will probably be for people using MacOS - where Microsoft makes the highest return per unit sold - but here we'll only buy an Office upgrade if it runs on XP, as we have no interest in the video and speech aspects of WinVista - we're doing serious research, and the idea that someone can walk in to an office and have our computer do things by talking to it is just nuts.

Re:Reminds me of Lowered Expectations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18041500)

"and the idea that someone can walk in to an office and have our computer do things by talking to it is just nuts."

Yes, coz you know EVERYBODY has a microphone plugged into their PC & turns the speech recognition feature on...

(rolls eyes)

Reminds me of Lowered Security. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18041834)

"we're doing serious research, and the idea that someone can walk in to an office and have our computer do things by talking to it is just nuts."

Yeah! It's much better when they can walk in and start typing.

Imagine if people actually had a choice! (5, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041046)

A comparison of first-week retail sales of Vista compared to first-week sales of XP back in 2001 found that Vista sales were 60% lower.

And of those who did buy Vista, most didn't even want it!

I've helped four friends/family/FOAFs out so far who just bought a new PC and wanted to know how to get rid of Vista (the major OEMs no longer even give you a choice of XP).

They all, without exception, had the same set of complaints... They didn't know where to get at all the normal Windows tools, and despite having "upgraded" for a faster computer, their new machines, it felt significantly less responsive (I've translated a bit, and removed the streams of obscenities).

Short of piracy (or actually buying XP), I explained to them how to make Vista as XP-like as possible. Still not perfect, still a CPU and memory hog, still moved quite a bit around from the XP layout, but at least they could then use it.



Pathetic. If Microsoft wants to offer a new OS, fine. But they've gone out of their way to make it almost impossible to get a new, legal copy of XP, just so they can boost Vista's market penetration.
what OS they want?

Re:Imagine if people actually had a choice! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18041102)

You should have just convinced them to buy a Mac.

Re:Imagine if people actually had a choice! (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041604)

You should have just convinced them to buy a Mac.
At the point where they have the new PC at home AND their complaint is that Vista is not enough like XP and what they really want is XP, getting a Mac really isn't going to make them happy. As a Mac developer, it would make ME happy, but for most people my welfare isn't their main concern.

Re:Imagine if people actually had a choice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18041484)

So Vista is crap and XP is getting euthanized. This means Windows has no future. Seriously, it's time to look at other options.

Re:Imagine if people actually had a choice! (2, Interesting)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041550)

I was recently shopping for a new computer for my in-laws. I didn't want Vista. All the big-box stores had practically gotten rid of their XP PCs. Best Buy and MicroCenter had some left, but they were marked down.

What I found most disturbing was that the majority of the Vista PCs were severely under equipped for the job. Sure, they had a plenty fast processor, but most only came with 256MB or 512MB of RAM and integrated video cards that used up to 50% of the system's main RAM! Still, the PC area was packed by folks looking for a new Vista-installed PC.

The clerks in the area immediatly tried to show me one of these worthless systems, but I firmly told them I was not interested in Vista. One took me aside saying he didn't blame me and confirmed my assessment that most of the systems they were selling wouldn't even run Vista very well. Instead he pointed me to the small stack of XP systems they had left which were marked down 20%. We ended up choosing a Gateway system that has a Pentium D processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive for $600.

Re:Imagine if people actually had a choice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18041740)

lolxp

Re:Imagine if people actually had a choice! (1)

PPGMD (679725) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041832)

This problem isn't confined to just Windows Vista. When Windows XP first came out it had the exact same problem, most of the value systems (even until SP2 came out) were 128 MB RAM with on-board graphics that consumed 16-32MB of that precious RAM. Sure it ran Windows, but it didn't run it well.

A great example of why thats an issue is this, Windows XP SP 2 clean install with just the usual drivers took 70-90MB of RAM on average, lets low ball all the numbers. After 16MB graphics you have 112 MB of RAM left, take out 70MB for the OS and related stuff you have 42MB of RAM. Thats 42MB to run all your applications, IE takes 15-20MB for each window, Office takes 30-40MB for the average application if you factor in the helper application, iTunes takes the same.

The base RAM of these value machines up until recently (only in the last couple of years have 512MB+ machines enter the low end of the price scale) was no where near enough to run Windows XP smoothly, and know you want to give these users Vista. You got to be kidding me. But that being said Vista does run fairly well on the low end machine much better then Windows XP did when it was released. Also at Dell and others in the business machines you can still get Windows XP and likely will be able to get it for the next year or so, you just aren't likely to see the choice in the consumer machines, and not at all at the big box stores.

Finally the problem isn't just confined to Windows, I heard the same thing about the early low-end Mac Minis and OS X.

Re:Imagine if people actually had a choice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18041862)

If XP systems are marked down 20% only to create the illusion that they're outdated, the current Vista craze might be the best thing to happen in PC history. Now is the right time if you're looking for discounted XP systems.

Re:Imagine if people actually had a choice! (1)

PPGMD (679725) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041968)

Pathetic. If Microsoft wants to offer a new OS, fine. But they've gone out of their way to make it almost impossible to get a new, legal copy of XP, just so they can boost Vista's market penetration. what OS they want?

I don't think it's Microsoft that is making it impossible for Windows XP to be available, OEMs like Dell and others still offer Windows XP on their business side. It's likely market economics, the number of people that knowingly WANT Windows XP is going to be much much lower then the users that want Windows Vista, or simply don't care one way or the other which OS their computer is running, as long as it runs.

As a VAR/OEM I can still order Windows XP Pro, as a consumer you can still purchase Windows XP Pro both OEM and retail. It's just that fact that the Windows XP and Windows XP machines aren't likely to move, so stores don't want to stock very many if any copies of Windows XP, and Windows XP machines. Even major CTO companies like Dell don't want to keep 2 more supply lines of Windows XP drives and stickers in their consumer product factories, and have to deal with the related issues.

So I don't think this is a grand conspiracy my Microsoft to boost penetration of Windows Vista, I think more likely it's market economics of supply and demand, along with the cost of keeping a slower moving product in the warehouse in place of a product that is going to move more quickly.

I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

The reasons are obvious (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041172)

People upgrade to keep current and compatible. I find little to no software that doesn't run on Windows 2000, forget about XP and Vista. They have XP because all the computers they bought came with it. Little incentive really came into play to upgrade to XP just as little incentive exists for upgrading to Vista.

People upgrade MS Office to ensure that when they are doing business with people, they will be able to open up the documents sent to them. MS Office is probably the ultimate achievement when it comes to viral marketing. (Or maybe I'm not using the term correctly?) But what I'm trying to say is that it has nothing to do with new features or new UIs and everything to do with supporting new file formats. And while end-users don't understand that it's a practice that is abusive to consumers and the marketplace in general, they understand that if they don't upgrade, they will run into problems such as not being able to open documents critical to their business activities.

Re:The reasons are NOT obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18041656)

People upgrade to keep current and compatible. I find little to no software that doesn't run on Windows 2000, forget about XP and Vista. They have XP because all the computers they bought came with it. Little incentive really came into play to upgrade to XP just as little incentive exists for upgrading to Vista.

Check the article again, the slow retail sales are in comparison to the XP release. So your argument doesn't really hold.

Re:The reasons are NOT obvious (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041728)

The argument is that there *was* little incentive to go from 2000 to XP right away. Through time, it happened anyway but mostly because 2000 was less available or at least less visible. Now here we are with Vista and the same thing is happening.

In short, I'm arguing that history already shows us what to expect. There are no apps that induce upgrading to Vista and Vista itself is not motivation enough.

Re:The reasons are obvious (1)

GregPK (991973) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041754)

Actually there are better reasons and yes there has been marketing... The Microsoft field representatives have been pushing hard on Office 2007 for months at retail causing the typical RSP(retail sales person) to have full belief in pushing Office 2007 products from day one. They pushed on Vista quite hard but the typical RSP repsonse on thier belief in Vista as a product is "I'll wait 6 months before I upgrade and have an opinion since they didn't give me a copy but overall I think its kinda pretty but a little slow". The Microsoft reps seem to have a visible well pronounced belief in the Office 2007 product as well. Thier Vista belief seems to be quite limited and this I think is reflected at retail and sales even. Also, over 80 percent of product decisions are made at retail and its reflecting this. As it is... Microsoft's best option is to limp along till summer. Then while thier stock price is low. Work hard as hell on the service pack 1 out by july which better include at least one major extra feature like WinFS. Get a new version of xbox 360 out at the current premium price while dropping premium and core 100 bucks. Getting Rev 2 of the zune out before holiday. Push like hell. Do retail training meetings across the country or Roadshows as they used to call them. Give away Vista Premium service pack 1 to Rsp's by mail no later than July and offer Office at a discount to them along with it. Do something about the decreasing Morale among the Microsoft field reps (Give them a raise, give them product, benefits, I don't know why but they are depressed lately I've even heard a manager talking about the possibility of getting one of them to work for his Best Buy. Gawd!!! Who would go back to retail??). Then watch as thier profits fly. - Viken

Hardware? (3, Interesting)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041214)

Could it be that no one has the hardware to run Vista with all of its features turned on, and to make such an upgrade after purchasing Vista would invalidate the license, forcing another purchase of Vista?

People will wait until they need to purchase a new machine that it comes with Vista.

Re:Hardware? (1)

teh_chrizzle (963897) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041870)

i don't know about vista (haven't made the switch yet), but i have been using office 2007 at work on a 3 gig P4 with a gig of ram and it's visibly slower than o2k3. not unsuable by any stretch, but not nearly as snappy as i had become accustomed to with XPpro/o2k3pro

VISTA = Anna Nicole (0, Offtopic)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041232)

Seductive, Bloated, Addictive, Attractive, but DOA.

You left out... (0)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041426)

"Dim-Witted" and "Money-Grubbing"

{ please, discuss among yourselves }

Things have to *work* first.... (4, Interesting)

chaboud (231590) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041274)

My mother in law saw Vista on my laptop, saw me searching, using the start bar, and using Office 2007. She was very eager to upgrade, and she asked how she could do that.

I explained that she could buy the disc at a place like Office Depot, Best Buy, or wherever else she likes to get software (she's always just stuck with the OS on her machine from birth->death), but I also warned that she should make sure that the software she wants to run on her machine will run without problems before she bothers to do a big upgrade.

Quickbooks, some realtor software, and something her office uses have notes about compatibility problems with Vista. She stopped looking after that.

This is the first Windows release that I've used in which roughly half of the things I install have had some compatibility issues, noted in advance or discovered by me. It doesn't keep things from being usable in the general case, but it's more than just media FUD at this point.

They/we will fix it with OS/software updates over time.

No surprise (3, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041290)

A new OS is a much bigger commitment than a new Office suite. You generally are going to have zero compatibility problems with old documents and that's all you really need to worry about. If you end up not liking it, it's also not a big deal to replace it with your old version. A new OS is much more serious, and there are many more compatibility issues to worry about. It's not the kind of thing most want to rush in to.

I've been testing Vista at work and it's a good OS, but not ready for deployment yet. It's not Vista itself, it's apps and drivers. There's still plenty of hardware with drivers that aren't up to snuff, and a number of apps need to be updated to work on Vista. It's not the kind of thing I'd recommend most users walk in to yet. In another 3-6 months I'll probably look at deploying it to some of our labs.

Office, on the other hand, we are installing for anyone that orders a new copy. The volume keys are valid for either 2003 or 2007 so we are installing 2007 and will revert to 2003 if they don't like it. So far, nobody has asked to revert. There's just not really any technical issues. Yes there's a new interface and all, but all your documents open and that's the real concern.

Warned not to upgrade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18041460)

The tech support of both the university I work for and the one I am visiting stated in absolute clear terms: "DO NOT UPGRADE TO VISTA" because all those organizational apps they created over the years do not work in Vista (or at least not tested).

Upgrading to Office 07 is easier - provided you save documents you want to send to others in the older formats.

all this will change soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18041544)

Given directx 10 will not run on XP I have the feeling that the way MS will screw consumers will be the same BS that Microsoft has always used. Get a major manufacturers to release DirectX 10 only cheapo must have video card and or sound cards. This is the same thing they did to windows 2000 and 98. What will happen is that the devices will work in a crippled fashion with older versions of DirectX...but the dumb consumer will want all the features so will go out and either buy a new computer or a copy of Vista. Just watch I am willing to bet that the all in one CPU/GPU offering from AMD will require DirectX 10.

This is not a foot race (3, Insightful)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041570)

Thing is, MS has the legs in terms of cash to wait for Vista to mature into a market force, even if all of us wait for Vista to mature into a better OS. People howled when XP came out, and now people don't want to give it up. When Win95 came out, it sold very well despite all the Win95 = Mac 88 jokes. Within three years expect Vista to the dominating operating system. Today's expensive hardware required to run the fancier parts of Vista will be next year's cheap hardware. The drivers to run everything will come and DX10 games will eventually show.

I will wait until I need to/want to upgrade, but I expect Vista will grow in usage even if I never adopt it. Whatever adoption rate regarding Vista is happening today, don't expect it to stay that way. Also don't expect MS to be crying that everyone isn't picking up a copy today.

Amazing! (5, Funny)

TheOldSchooler (850678) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041606)

It's almost as if the crappy product with very little innovation is selling poorly, while the well thought out product that has some innovative features is doing nicely. Who woulda thought.

Windows (1)

JPMaximilian (948958) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041636)

XP has only recently had the majority of it's major bugs ironed out, and by that I mean to a point where the OS is usable/not a virii-sponge, so why would the average user upgrade to vista?

Summary is misleading (5, Informative)

donutello (88309) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041678)

Ballmer didn't "admit that previous sales forecasts were 'overly aggressive'".

The implication of that statement is:
- Ballmer/Microsoft issued a sales forecast in the past
- They were pressured on the accuracy of said forecast
- They admitted that their forecasts were overly aggressive.

However, that's not what happened here. The sales forecasts in question were made by external analysts. In this case, it's Ballmer and Microsoft disagreeing with the forecasts. The word "admit" implies that you are conceding something that you tried to conceal before.

Why does Slashdot need to spin every story to try and make it sound even more negative than it is?

still running 2000 (1)

misfit815 (875442) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041742)

and i see no reason to upgrade - even to xp

Re:still running 2000 (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041998)

I was right there with you until I ran across an app where the upgrade required XP. I was shocked. I'm certain that, like a lot of websites that require IE, they didn't really require XP. The installer just refused to install on 2K.

As a side, what are my video editing and DVD creation options on Linux that don't require 10 hours of fussing and has a clean usable interface?

One of the reasons I stick with Windows (for this task) is because one $80 package does it all and it does it well with a nice friendly interface. It seems to me that, with Linux, if I can find a decent video editing package, I need to use non-integrated tools for DVD authoring.

Why would anybody want Office-2007? (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041748)

Unless you need more than 256 columns for excel, why on earth would anybody pay for such a worthless "upgrade" ? I suppose, eventually, you will get office-2007 docs that you need to open, but that will not happen for time yet.

Why would anybody want a car? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18042032)

A horse and buggy should be fine for anyone. The buggy whip makers would love you to death. Also, a 8088 with 640k ought to be enough for people like you. You could use Wordstar, dos 1 and an old daisywheel printer. All of that should be enough for you, why upgrade?

Why office 2007 sales are better? (1)

kkkalf (853313) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041854)

The reason Office 2007 is selling better than Office XP at the time is that Office XP was a step back in terms of usability compared to Office 2000. Office XP is too cluttered and un-intuitive. Now people are hanging to anything offering a different alternative to Office XP.

Slashdot Readers (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18041858)

You know, for a bunch of highly technical people, you're suprisingly retarded. Please, save your garbage about how Vista sucks, how much of a resource hog the OS is, and how you helped your family gimp their computer back to lolxp.

Vista is, in fact, an amazing OS and huge step up for the world and to refute that and try to impose your stupid on normal people is really arrogant. You can hate a company for your social ineptitude, that's fine. Just keep it to yourself.

Can't find XP on the low end anymore (4, Informative)

rasper99 (247555) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041900)

It's interesting that Dell doesn't sell XP on the low end machines but it's still available on the mid and high end. Their consumer calls go to India and business calls don't. Are they turning the home users into a large beta test group using the cheaper support resources?

They also have a laptop for $499 which they haven't had in quite a while. It's only available with Vista. Maybe M$ is giving it away (or almost giving it away) to Dell to infect the market?

A quick check of the HP site doesn't seem to have any XP options even on the high end.

Re:Can't find XP on the low end anymore (2, Insightful)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18041930)

I'm guessing the high end would more for gaming, which apparently has issues under Vista at the moment. Also, could be that they sell more high end stuff to businesses, who usually aren't eager to adopt a "new" technology like Vista.
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