Everybody Hates Vista

Do computer users hate Windows Vista?

I'm asking because, well, analysts are asking. They're wondering why Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) operating-systems division produced just $4.03 billion in first-quarter revenue, $300 million less than the consensus estimate, according to The New York Times.

Gartner researchers might say it's because businesses have been slow to adopt Vista. Mr. Softy, by contrast, says there is no problem, claiming to have sold 140 million copies of the OS.

Is the revolt against Vista real? Or is it hooey, as Microsoft asserts? Let's turn to the web for the answer. A search for the phrase "I hate Vista" brought back:

  • 5,620 hits at
  • 42,200 hits at Google
  • 149,000 hits at Yahoo!
  • And 26,800 hits at Microsoft's own

There you have it. Some users hate Vista. Very, very much.

But it gets worse. Searching Google for "I hate Windows" returns 60,800 hits. Searching for "I hate Macs" returns 22,600 hits. "I hate Mac OS X" returns a measly 585 hits.

To be fair, these results could be as much about market share as anything else. Of course more people hate Windows. More people use Windows PCs.

Even so, the backlash against Microsoft generally, and Vista specifically, is undeniably real.

Is Mr. Softy really this stupid?
Ask trade magazine InfoWorld. In January, editors there launched a campaign to save Windows XP because its successor, Vista, wasn't an improvement. Here's how executive editor Galen Gruman put it at the time:

Over the past year, CIOs and CTOs have consistently told me they see no significant benefits to Vista, and really don't want to spend the time and money to update all their computers, retrain their users, and deal with application incompatibilities for a cosmetic upgrade.


But InfoWorld isn't alone. More than 160,000 have signed a petition at the e-zine's "Save" blog.

Obviously Microsoft has heard complaints. CEO Steve Ballmer told reporters last week that, while the plan is to stop selling XP on June 30, "if customer feedback varies, we can always wake up smarter."

Hitting the snooze button
Mr. Softy has since backed away from Ballmer's comments. Though the retreat is probably a PR move -- necessary bluster to defend an OS that has suffered from endless delays and a lukewarm following -- it nevertheless lays bare the disarray plaguing Redmond.

And I do mean "disarray." Microsoft last week told users that it would post the latest update of XP to users on April 29 via public download. But paying subscribers to private networks TechNet and MSDN -- services frequented by professional techies that deploy Microsoft software in their companies -- would have to wait till May 2, at least. The techies, not surprisingly, cried foul.

Odder still: Microsoft pulled a similar stunt in February over an update to Vista. Subscriber complaints forced Mr. Softy to relent then, too, ComputerWorld reports.

Can Microsoft really be this stupid? The company that became a world-beater by courting developers and techies in a way that Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) never could?

Steve Jobs: Smart and lucky?
For its part, Microsoft said in a statement emailed to ComputerWorld that it was meeting high demand for a Vista upgrade, and that it needed to optimize bandwidth for would-be XP downloaders.

That sounds like blame-shifting toward Akamai (Nasdaq: AKAM  ) , which has long provided Mr. Softy with download support. If so, I'm not buying it. Microsoft does business with Limelight Networks (Nasdaq: LLNW  ) as well as Akamai, and it operates several data centers of its own. Obviously, Mr. Softy has the capacity to do both jobs.

And even if Akamai were the bottleneck for last week's download problems, that still wouldn't explain Mr. Softy's intransigence over XP, especially when so many users -- professional users, mind you, the guys who control budgets -- want to see it continue. Why not wake up smarter, Steve?

It makes me wonder if Apple's Mac market share gains are as much the result of Microsoft's stupidity as Apple's ingenuity.

Interestingly, PC makers may harbor similar feelings. Dell (Nasdaq: DELL  ) , for example, plans to take advantage of a loophole in the Windows Vista licensing agreement that would allow it to sell XP to customers who request it, even if those requests come after June 30. Expect Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) to explore similar options.

For decades, the simple difference between Apple and Microsoft was that Mr. Softy, for all its faults, listened to customers. Apple, by contrast, convinced them to try something entirely new. Both approaches have and can still work.

But only if Microsoft stops plugging its ears.

Read/Post Comments (10) | Recommend This Article (33)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On January 22, 2009, at 6:10 PM, catstwelve wrote:

    My husband purchased a new Sony desktop with Vista, and a pair of digital cable tv tuners, as he was told the computer would play HDTV. Our old desktop plays regular analog tv with no problems, we had no way of knowing that HDTV was going to be a huge headache. But guess what HDTV may or may not play in the windows media center on your pc. It depends on which cable company you have. Sony has refused to take either the desktop, or the tuners back, even though we did not get what we paid for. Seriously, next time it's switch to a Mac for me!

  • Report this Comment On February 01, 2009, at 11:06 PM, rstoplabe14 wrote:

    And you have luck finding a tuner for your MAC, next time just dont get a Sony, its not microsoft's fault for sony's poorly designed and supported product.

  • Report this Comment On February 18, 2009, at 9:48 PM, istariphoenix wrote:

    KEEP XP ALIVE!! Vista SUCKS, and here’s why: 1) Incompatibility with GOBS of software – or it works but not quite the same, 2) Confirmation prompt after confirmation prompt, 3) Programs magically crash under Vista and not XP, 4) Requirement to seek permission from some mysterious administrator, when - OH WAIT - I AM the administrator!!!, 5) DreamScene makes computer (albeit a darn good one) freeze, 6) Inability to install fonts in bulk, 7) Folder settings resetting on their own CONSTANTLY, 8) Graphics editing programs suddenly can’t handle large images anymore, 9) Printers cannot be found, 10) Difficulty visualizing what folder or files are highlighted in Windows Explorer, 11) Switching between Windows Explorer windows takes forever sometimes, 12) Internet Explorer suddenly doesn’t remember passwords or prompt to save them, 13) Desktop search function takes forever and is too complicated, 14) PDF Printer suddenly doesn’t work, 15) Network connectivity is CONSTANTLY lost…need I say more!?!?!?!

  • Report this Comment On April 10, 2009, at 12:26 PM, blackettle101 wrote:

    After another two hours of unplugging printers, unplugging wireless card, rebooting computer, checking the allways allow box over and over, retyping passwords watching the windows is searching for the problem I've had it. If I was getting paid by the hour this would be the system to have. You can be so busy trying to do something as complex as printing a page. None of the software I've used in the past works. None of the patches works. Windows has issues with adobe that go beyond anything I can find. After years of buying Micosoft products I'm now being forced into the Apple. I love my Iphone so this may be a good fit.

  • Report this Comment On May 24, 2009, at 12:06 PM, oolioo wrote:

    Another "Hate Microsoft" article.

    I got 61,800,00 hits on Google for "I love Vista: and it didn't mean a thing. Just like this article's "hits" on "I hate Vista".

    I wish the naysayers would at least be honest - but they never are. They just complain and complain.

    Most of the complainers are so stupid they make a mistake and want to blame it on someone else.

    God help America!

  • Report this Comment On May 24, 2009, at 12:48 PM, ozzfan1317 wrote:

    Ive heard good things about the new OS this is usually how it is for MSFT they alternate good OS'

  • Report this Comment On May 24, 2009, at 12:48 PM, ozzfan1317 wrote:

    Ive heard good things about the new OS this is usually how it is for MSFT they alternate good OS'

  • Report this Comment On July 09, 2009, at 6:06 PM, johneagle wrote:

    Wow, this is sooo unfair to Vista. First off, most of the frustration comes from the fact that UAC (that thing that prompts for admin permissions all the time) is turned on by default. Yes it should be OFF BY DEFAULT.PERIOD. But, in all fairness, you can turn it off in account settings yourself for good. You can also turn off very heavy Aero Glass theme so your slow video card starts performing as in XP. Check. Drivers are just that - you need newer ones whichever OS you go with. Read more and write [complains] less and you'll be happy.

  • Report this Comment On September 21, 2009, at 12:55 PM, downtamun wrote:

    Agree with --- On February 01, 2009, at 11:06 PM, rstoplabe14 wrote:

  • Report this Comment On September 22, 2009, at 4:49 PM, Applelooksgreat wrote:

    whats bill gates thinking about vista is a piece of junk

    that a person cain't use any of their older software on.

    i had a new vista computer for one day before taking

    it back becase i could not use any software that worked on everthing from windows 3.5 to xp. if gates had any brains he would dump vista and go back to

    xp before mac put him out of business. plus when i took that vista piece of junk back i did not get of my

    money back. apple is looking better and better.

Add your comment.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 631429, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/27/2016 5:15:32 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,169.68 -29.65 -0.16%
S&P 500 2,133.04 -6.39 -0.30%
NASD 5,215.97 -34.29 -0.65%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/27/2016 4:00 PM
MSFT $60.10 Down -0.53 -0.87%
Microsoft CAPS Rating: ****
AAPL $114.48 Down -1.11 -0.96%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****
AKAM $68.81 Up +1.11 +1.64%
Akamai Technologie… CAPS Rating: ****
DELL.DL $0.00 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Dell CAPS Rating: *
HPQ $13.99 Up +0.08 +0.58%
HP CAPS Rating: ***