Vista: you’ve come a long way baby

Okay, so Vista wasn’t a hit when it arrived but things are changing and as Ed Bott points out the campaign is just beginning to surface. The ad above goes to “Windows Vista: Look how far we’ve come.” which then offers this

When Windows Vista debuted in January 2007, we declared it the best operating system we had ever made. “Windows Vista is beautiful,” The New York Times raved. It’s humbling that millions of you agree.

But we know a few of you were disappointed by your early encounter. Printers didn’t work. Games felt sluggish. You told us—loudly at times—that the latest Windows wasn’t always living up to your high expectations for a Microsoft product.

We know that’s what some people are saying on the Internet. And in its early days, Windows Vista did experience some compatibility problems. But thanks to our industry partners’ efforts during the past 18 months, here’s where things stand today.

and there follow a list of stats such as

  • Windows Vista now supports 77,000 printers, cameras, speakers and other devices.
  • Over 2,700 software programs are now certified to work on Windows Vista, including 98 of the top 100 consumer applications.
  • 62% of small business said Windows Vista saves them time, and 70% said that it makes them more productive, according to an independent survey
  • 71% of Windows Vista customers liked it better than their last operating system.


Not a bad start but a long way to go.

Comments (13)
  1. Why aren’t Microsoft writing more apps in WPF to run on Vista? Yahoo have a beta of their Messenger using WPF. Why not use the power of the platform?

  2. wisemx says:

    Love it.

    Running SQL Server 2008/VS2008 on Vista is the best ever.

  3. that’s a great questions Vijay and one I asked our Vista leaders last week. We have the Expression Suite written in WPF but I agree we need more – I think you’ll see more coming soon!

  4. Pedant says:

    It is 2000 years since *everyone* thought the Earth was flat 😛 Will we have to wait that long for Windows 7?

  5. TJ says:

    Seriously? The best ever, XP is the best ever. I use Vista everyday(big mistake on my part), and its very slow. So what if its "Beautiful", I want something thats functional.

    Vista is just like windows ME, if I had the time to wipe my HD xp would go back on it in a heartbeat, or maybe 2008 server.

  6. liam westley says:

    Of course, the elephant in the room with the Microsoft marketing blurb is that it doesn’t mention anything regarding compatibility applications with 64-bit Vista.

    Given multi core CPUs, virtualisation and bigger app footprints, users won’t want to suffer sub 4Gb memory with 32-bit Vista for much longer.

    As an example – there is no 64-bit Firefox, even version 3, and the planning for version 4 does not include a plan for 64-bit either.

  7. tzagotta says:

    @liam: >>Given multi core CPUs, virtualisation and bigger app footprints, users won’t want to suffer sub 4Gb memory with 32-bit Vista for much longer.<<

    I disagree. For the vast majority of users, 32-bit Vista is just fine because they simply have no practical need for 4GB+ of memory. What apps are you envisioning that people are running that need that much RAM?

    For professional users running certain types of memory intensive applications, 64-bit desktop OS makes sense. But for the rest of us, 64-bit vs. 32-bit is academic.

    I do think, however, that the uptake for 64-bit will be quite a bit higher for Windows 7 simply because of low RAM prices, unless the DRAM industry corrects the oversupply and weak pricing problem between now and then.

  8. TJ says:

    The thing is just because memory prices are lower and CPU’s are faster doesnt mean MS should write bloatware.

    The WDM in vista is such a memory hog, and what does it really do for the end user?

  9. Jeff Lynch says:


    I’m a developer, Microsoft MVP and long time user of Windows including Vista. I’m also an OS X user (MacBook) and I disagree completely with the assumption that spending $300 million on ads such as this will change the user’s perception of Vista being "slower" than OS X. The fact is that given the same Intel chipset and the same amount of system memory, my MacBook starts faster, runs longer on it’s battery and shuts down faster than my Dell D830. I also run Windows XP on my MacBook using VMWare’s Fusion product and it starts faster and shuts down quicker as a virtual machine than Vista does running natively on my Dell.

    I would much rather see Microsoft spend their $300 million on improving the speed and stability of Vista rather than running ads like the one above. I realize that MSFT doesn’t control the hardware the way Apple does but I still feel that given the same chipset and memory, there is no reason that Vista shouldn’t startup just as fast, run just as long and shutdown just as quickly as OS X does. It’s a level playing field between these two operating systems right now and I know for a fact that you folks have the talent, the resources and the opportunity to make this happen.

    The question is, will you?

  10. Paulie says:

    Two points:

    1)  I was shocked to receive marketing literature from Microsoft recently about selling Vista on the basis that SP1 is available.  I dare anyone to go out to a customer and try and sell a product on the basis that a service pack is available, what excitement.

    2) Another example of a previous comment.  I run Vista on my desktop and XP on my laptop.  My Desktop machine is absolutely top spec and should blow the laptop away.  It’s not even close to the performance of the laptop.

    Seems Microsoft is trying to convince users Vista is the right choice merely by convincing them.  Unfortunately after a few days of usage, most people are quite convinced!

    It makes answering the question of "hat operating system should I use?" very difficult from an IT consultant’s perspective.  If I recommend Vista and they hate it, they blame me.

  11. PierreMF says:

    I thought that the world was flat since Internet exists !!! (Steven Friedman wrote a book on this subject 😀

  12. Gareth Brown says:

    Whilst Vista looks great, it is a different experience when compared to XP because it is a different product.  With integrated desktop search being the key benefit, it is not the looks or the number of supported devices that matter – as a business I only care in increasing productivity.

    I have maybe 10 devices and they do all work with Vista – is my system bloated with support for the other 76,990 I don’t use?  Of course I don’t care either way, but that is what the messaging makes me think!

    In my experience, having delivered new desktops into many businesses with Vista pre installed, XP is chosen because it reduces risk to business productivity – although I have seen great increases in productivity when deployed into information worker roles.

    Does the messaging need changing – YES!

  13. Jeff

    my guess is that we’re spending much more than $300m on developing the OS – whether that’s SP1, further updates or I guess you could include Windows 7 in that to some extent.

    I have an MBP too and though it runs Vista well I find battery life MUCH worse than my Vaio laptop. Boot time is quicker on the MBP but I know the teams are working on that big time with OEM’s.

    COmparing to a Mac is obvious but hard too as we don’t control the h/w optimisation experience in the way Apple can be focusing on one set of hardware. I’d be willing to bet that the Vista team with comparable h/w and drivers and firmware specifically optimised for that machien they’d have similar or better perf than OSX.

    The real question for me is which OEM is going to help us step up and really show how good Vista *can* be.

    Please don’t take this as a cop out – things should be better but I think some dedicated work with OEM’s can really show Vista’s true colours. That work shouldn’t be left to the end user to figure out – this thing should fly out of the box and I think it will….soon

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