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Vista, IE Struggle with Market Share

Your non-news news of the week is that people still don't like Vista. Specifically, some research group called Janco -- we've never heard of it, so get that grain of salt ready -- says that Vista still has a market share of less than 15 percent after almost two years of availability.

Not quite 15 percent? That actually sounds a bit high to us, but we got to wondering...where was XP at about the same point in its lifespan? Well, after a very quick Google search (no, we're not even going to pretend that we use Live Search, or whatever it's called), we found a vague, six-year-old reference on a message board to a long-departed article, which apparently stated that XP had gained 20 percent market share in less than a year.

What really strikes us, though, is the tone of the posts on the vintage message board. Sure, there are complaints about XP there -- specifically about how it "phones home" -- but, at least in this particular board's little corner of the Web back in 2002, there wasn't the poison attitude toward the OS that we see so often with Vista today. (And, yes, we also love the reference at the bottom of the page to the $45 copy of Windows 98.)

Still, some of the stuff sounds familiar -- folks talking about waiting for service packs before installing XP or being "sick" of hearing about the then-new OS. Microsoft is pushing Vista hard again, trying to shake the notion that it's a failed product. It's certainly not picking up much momentum, though, and it has had plenty of time to get rolling. We do kind of wonder how folks plan to move from XP straight to the post-Vista version of Windows (effectively making XP their OS for nearly a decade), but at this point we're sure that a lot of people are going to try to do just that.

On another note, Firefox -- according to these Janco people, anyway -- is eating away at Internet Explorer's market share rather quickly. Apparently IE is down to just less than 60 percent market share, whereas it had 80-plus percent three years ago. And Firefox is roaring with almost 20 percent. What really surprises us, though, is Netscape(!) clocking in with a seemingly impossible 11 percent market share.

What? Netscape, at 11 percent? Are there that many people still living in 1997? Maybe so. After all, those of us who still use XP are living in 2002 -- and we like it there.

Will you stretch XP out until the next version of Windows arrives? If so, how? Let me know at lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on 08/12/2008 at 1:22 PM


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