Microsoft South Africa has conceded there have been difficulties for resellers and end-users around the launch of its Vista operating system. It states there have been problems with its communications to its channel.
Microsoft Windows business group lead Colin Erasmus says these communications were not properly planned. It has three campaigns in the pipeline for this year to rectify the situation, he notes.
Local distributors, OEMs and resellers have been battling with bulk image blasting, the time and expense of downgrading unhappy customers back to Windows XP, and second-line support.
Says Tarsus CEO Pierre Spies: “Vista doesn't support bulk image blasting; it's just not here yet. We believe the product was launched too soon. [Microsoft has] a lot of catching up to do. Corporates are buying new machines with Vista on and downgrading to XP, in anticipation of Vista being ready in the next two to three years. They are buying the licence, but do not plan to use it until the product is ready.”
Spies says the situation is interfering with the company's business model. “We're taking serious flak. We've got people arriving in droves to downgrade.”
He says the company is downgrading roughly 25% of the Vista machines it sells. ”Consumers are not taking a long-term view like the corporates are, they just want it gone.”