Windows Users Not Quite Ready for Vista

A Harris Interactive survey shows most users not as willing to upgrade their current systems to install Vista, at least not yet.

Windows Vista has been shipping officially since November, and with Microsoft claiming 20 million licenses sold in February soon after the consumer version hit the channel, Microsoft's successful track record with new releases overall rolls on.

But when drilling down on the consumer upgrade picture, it gets a bit fuzzy. A two-part survey from Harris Interactive shows that consumers who already own computers are not as apt to upgrade to Vista now, and most of them have plans to stay put with their current OS.

Back in December, Harris found that among 1,028 U.S. adults, 87 percent said they were aware of Vista. Of those, 20 percent said they planned to upgrade. Another survey of 2,228 U.S. adults in March after the official launch of the consumer version showed even fewer, 12 percent, were hot on the newly launched OS.

Here's where the upgrade picture seems to show a glimmer of good news: Among December respondents who indicated they had plans to buy a new PC, 15 percent said they'd wait for Vista. In the March survey, 20 percent were ready to buy a new PC with Vista installed on it.

And that data bodes well for PC sellers and retailers. Of those who said they plan on upgrading within the next 12 months, 48 percent said they plan to do so by shoring up their computers to meet Vista's hardware requirements, while 31 percent are considering a new PC purchase with Vista already installed.

Michael Gartenberg, an analyst with Jupiter Research, contends that the Harris poll points to obvious timing problems with this release: "It's not that most people aren't ready to upgrade, it's that people need the motivation to upgrade." He adds, "Vista launched at a slow time of the year in terms of when people do these types of things -- it's not back-to-school, it's not the holiday season. There's no impetus to go out and buy that PC right now."

Gartenburg believes Microsoft's success with Windows XP compounds the problem of selling consumers and businesses on the benefits of upgrading to Vista overall. "[Windows] XP did what consumers wanted it to do. When what you've got on the market meets the threshold of 'good enough,' then you've got to get consumers beyond that and say, 'there's even better.'"

Despite the results of the survey, Microsoft says Vista sales outpaced first month sales for Windows XP.

About the Author

Michael Domingo is Editor in Chief of Virtualization Review. He's been an IT writer and editor for so long that he remember typing out news items in WordStar.

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Reader Comments:

Sun, Aug 5, 2007 Dean Thailand

I bought a new acer notebook,already installed Window vista home premium a month's back.It is far behind to XP. It doesn't with old program. It is not good time to upgrade to Win Vista.I go back to win XP now.

Fri, Apr 13, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

WEll , other than driver issues.. This OS ROCKS. from a early dos guy, with mcse's in 4.0, 2k, 2k3.. I would have to say, that i can do all the things listed in the literature, and more.. A first for a OS taht microsoft promotes.. out of the box...
I admit it crashes, but they are all driver related... But productivity, within a week, from the group of 10 people we piloted it out to, increased. SAME hardware versus XP..
Just like the migration from 98 to 2k, same pains,

Thu, Apr 12, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

We will continue to use win xp until the next OS from Microsoft. We will skip Vista entirely.

Fri, Apr 6, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

I think most IT pros are waiting for the correct hardware to run Vista before they move forward. People who purchase an off the shelf system from their local electronics store are kidding them selves. For some reason they think the machine is going to run Vista successfully. The current machines were never build with Vista in mind. We've got to wait for the hardware people. I'm waiting for Intel to release Centrino Pro in May before I move forward. Just my 2 cents... Peace

Fri, Apr 6, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

I upgraded two months ago and have had nothing but headaches. I have error messages popping up everytime I boot up and everytime I insert a USB drive or MP3 player. I have tried deleting the drivers, deleting the folder (Sonic DLA, removing it from startup programs in MSConfig, and removing all references to it from the registry - all to no avail.
I have been with MS since DOS 3.0 and this is the WORST upgrade I have ever done. The only OS I have ever seen from them that is worse is Millenium edition.

Thu, Apr 5, 2007 Bruce Texas

I upgraded a month or two ago - I'm NOT impressed at this time - pretty does not equal better. My main anger with MS is that they have removed the ability to fax from Home and Home Premium - a first for them. Luckily I still use my XP and it perfoms beautifully. I got Vista to play and experiment with (and the only version I could afford - Home Premium) and then found out that there was no faxing capability.

As I said, I won't recommend Vista until MS ponys up with faxing capacity service pacs for Home and Home Premium. Until then, XP still rocks for my world!!

Thu, Apr 5, 2007 William Arkansas

I don't know where they get their people to poll, but we opted to wait until this summer to start switching to Vista, except for our Technology Division. We are all using it and Office 2007 Ent. and we all like it. We are having users bug us everyday wanting to switch now. I just found out that I can no longer purchase licenses for Office 2003 on our Select contract, so we are having to switch to Office 2007 on all new purchases and I have many labs to purchase new systems for in the next three months and close to a hundred other individual systems. I have gotten a verbal agreement that we can purchase systems with XP Pro until the end of the year, maybe. The only reason we are waiting to switch is there aren't any text books we can purchase for teachers to use in their classes and a problem with Adobe products not being on the certified software list, since we are mandated to use thir products to teach in our Multimedia classes and then again we are mandated to use the latest Office products in our business classes.

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