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More Tales of Vista Woe

It's kind of been (bash) Vista week again here at RCPU, so we might as well carry the theme to its undeniable conclusion: reader e-mails! Hey, we wouldn't run these if we didn't get them. And we'll run pro-Vista e-mails...as soon as we get some more of them. In the meantime, Ronald is up first:

"I am a Microsoft partner; however, I cannot in good conscience support Vista. Even after Service Pack 1, Vista does not network properly with XP. In addition, its file structure seems to lose files and folders for no apparent reason. Vista is also far slower than XP at opening programs as well as opening folders. Most of my small-business accounts have refused to switch to Vista. I am now custom-building machines with XP for them. When my supply of XP runs out, I do not know if I can sell them Vista systems. I have lost some home users to Macs due to my former customers' frustration with Vista.

"Microsoft must improve the networkability of Vista and fix the lost file problems and speed issues. If they cannot, they should bring back XP. To save face, they can make some graphic changes and rename it to XP Pro Advanced."

Lost some customers to the Mac, huh? More on that in a minute. For now, we like the idea of XP Pro Advanced.

Nat sounds a lot like Ronald in his e-mail:

"I have tried Vista personally, and I have installed it on a few of my customers' computers. I gave up on it myself when I couldn't print to the lower paper tray of my office printer and when my mailing label documents would not open in Office 2007. I am an avid user of the Windows Explorer in XP, and I like it. The version in Vista is awful; I kept getting errors when I was trying to move groups of files. The Control Panel also had me baffled with all of the re-named items. Customers also complained, and I think that I only have one that has stuck it out -- the rest have had me take them back to XP. None of my commercial customers has switched; I still sell them XP on new machines that I deliver."

Nat, we hear you...but the question is, does Microsoft? Maybe it will if Rusty's e-mail is a sign of things to come:

"You said that Apple and Linux are not any real threat to Microsoft in the enterprise. Well, it is interesting that I am seeing other articles that are talking about how Apple is starting to get enterprise penetration. Also, when I sit out front of the Apple store here, I see Macs going out the door several per hour. Also, Apple is posting amazing increases in sales compared to this quarter last year.

"I think people don't understand the ground swell that is starting to happen. I work in computers and have for more than 20 years. I am at the point now that we are starting to change all the computers in the house to Macs. I know several co-workers who are making the switch, too. In the one of the most recent Reader's Digest magazines, there was a listing of the things true computer people will tell you to fix your computer problems, and one of them was to buy a Mac. Although I don't see Microsoft toppling any time soon (people have been predicting similar things for IBM forever, too), I do see it continuing to lose market share to Apple (and Linux) month by month. I also think that Vista is one of the biggest reasons for the migration now, kind of like the final straw."

Rusty, great comments. Let's be clear about what we meant regarding Microsoft not being threatened. From what we're reading (and what you're reading, too, apparently), yes, Macs are making an impact in the enterprise and taking market share from Microsoft. (In the consumer space, its more traditional realm, the Mac seems even stronger.)

By saying that the Mac wasn't a serious threat, we meant that we don't see Microsoft's market share getting hacked down to, say, 50 or even 75 percent any time soon. It's still 90-plus, as far as we know, which gives it a long way to fall before Microsoft has to really start freaking out. There are just so many companies with big investments in Windows that it's hard to imagine Apple or Linux eating away at Microsoft's enterprise dominance in any serious way in the next few years.

However, we can easily imagine the SMB market moving toward the Mac and Linux, and if Windows 7 is as big a dud as Vista, some bigger shops might look in those directions as well. So, we take your point (and you did say that you don't see Microsoft toppling any time soon) -- Windows is on the way down (for now, largely thanks to Vista), and other alternatives are on the way up. We'd agree with that. We just don't think that the change will be as much revolution as evolution. And we're not ready to count Microsoft out...yet. By the way, we love the Mac at RCPU, in case we haven't mentioned that in the past.

Thanks to all who contributed to this topic. It remains one of our favorites. We had a couple of late e-mails that we couldn't sneak in, but we'll try to get to those later. And we're always open for more Vista e-mails at lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on 08/21/2008 at 1:22 PM


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