Windows Vista’s availability at the end of January 2007 signaled the beginning of the end for Windows XP. Nothing spells out the situation more clearly than statistics illustrating the oscillations of the shares associated with Windows XP and Windows Vista, on the operating system market.
From 85.30% in December 2006, following the business launch of Windows Vista, according to data from
Market Share by Net Applications, Windows XP has dropped to just 81.94% in June 2007. Eroding XP’s share is of course Vista. By contrast, Microsoft’s latest operating system jumped from 0.93% in February 2007 to 4.52% the past month. Just in the first 100 days on the market, Vista sold approximately 40 million licenses, outperforming XP by more than two to one.
But if it were up to Microsoft, outside of the $500 million Wow marketing campaign, Vista sales would be a little more modest. On the official Windows Vista website, Microsoft has set up to answer three simple questions: “What’s changed from Windows XP?“, “What’s new in Windows Vista?” and “What’s new on Windows Vista desktop?” Now… not only is Microsoft not doing itself or Vista any justice, but in fact it is delivering a disservice.
There are – according to Microsoft – just two new details on the Windows Vista desktop, the Windows Sidebar and gadgets and the search box integrated on the Search Menu. Both features can be easily accessed in Windows XP via third party desktop products. Now, in all fairness, while you could do without the Windows Sidebar and the gadgets, the built-in desktop search mechanism is a Godsend. This however, does not change the fact that neither of the two features are unique to Windows Vista.
Microsoft also underscores various aspects of Windows Vista that have evolved compared to Windows XP. And they are: the Start menu, the default search functionality (again), the new Control Panel, My folders, the Windows Explorer menu, Windows Photo Gallery (Windows Picture and Fax Viewer), Windows Contacts (Windows Address Book), Windows Mail (Outlook Express), Windows Fax and Scan (Fax Console) and Windows Meeting Space (NetMeeting). In parentheses are placed the old features from XP.
Now I don’t know about you, but I can’t seem to think that Windows Fax and Scan is going to get XP users convinced to switch to Windows Vista. Or maybe to the new Windows Explorer menus, or the “one of a kind” Windows Mail.
But what about all the new and exciting features added in Windows Vista Ultimate? Microsoft has chosen to emphasize searching and organizing, security, Internet Explorer 7, Windows Aero, sync and sharing, Windows Easy Transfer, Ease of Access Center, Parental Controls, Backup and Restore Center, Networking, Windows Meeting Space and Windows Media Center.
By the looks of it, Microsoft could sell a drowning man a tube of oxygen. Now don’t get me wrong. I use Windows Vista, and also occasionally Windows XP, Tiger and Ubuntu. I wouldn’t trade Vista for anything in the world, but the features Microsoft wants to sell, and the way the company places the focus on various areas of the operating system leaves something to be desired.
Microsoft, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Eye Candy, Interface, Article