Tag: windows_vista

Vista sales numbers don't add up (to much!)

Microsoft are boasting that Vista is selling twice as fast as XP did when it shipped originally.

From the Microsoft release:

Initial sales figures from Microsoft show its new operating system Windows Vista made a splash in its debut. In the first month of Windows Vista’s general availability, sales exceeded 20 million licenses, more than doubling the initial pace of sales for its predecessor, Windows XP. These initial figures reflect the broad interest in the security and usability enhancements in Windows Vista…. Windows Vista license sales after one month of availability have already exceeded the total of Windows XP license sales in the earlier product’s first two months of availability. In January 2002, the company announced sales of Windows XP licenses had exceeded 17 million after two months on the market.

The more than 20 million copies shipped represent Windows Vista licenses sold to PC manufacturers, copies of upgrades and the full packaged product sold to retailers and upgrades ordered through the Windows Vista Express Upgrade program from January 30 to February 28.

It all sounds very impressive until you analyse the numbers as Paul Kedrosky has done – from Paul’s more realistic take on it:

Back in 2002 PCs were shipping at the rate of 10.8m a month into a worldwide installed base of 680m. Today, in early 2007, Vista is shipping into a market where PCs are selling at 21.4m a month, and into a worldwide installed base of more than 1-billion PCs. (All figures from IDC.)

So with more than twice as many PCs selling worldwide now, the Vista sales numbers are struggling to be on a par with XP, as opposed to being twice as good. I’d love to see numbers for how many of these 20m Vista sales were to people who went into stores saying “Can I have a copy of Vista, please?” as opposed to the number who got it because it was the default option on the new Dell they bought online!

More bad news for Vista

According to an article in InformationWeek, a privilege escalation vulnerability has been found in Windows Vista.

The vulnerability was reported to Microsoft by eEye Digital Security on the 19th of January.

Marc Maiffret, Chief Hacking Officer of eEye said:

with this vulnerability, you can elevate yourself to system-level access. Any normal user can do anything they want to the system.

He went on to speculate that:

If it was coupled with a virus or a different remote vulnerability, it would be a lot more serious… On its own, though, it’s only medium [threat]

Oh dear! How much did Microsoft invest in Vista again?

Free downloadable wallpaper files

Tired of looking at the same old desktop on your computer?

There’s a free gallery of very nice downloadable wallpapers for Windows Vista available here.

The photos are from a blogger and prolific Flickr user called Brajeshwar and as well as individual photos, you can also download a .zip wallpaper pack.

I’m not quite sure why they call them wallpapers for Windows Vista though. They are just .jpg files and work equally well on OS X (and XP as well).

Too much choice is not (always) a bad thing

Joel Spolsky has written an interesting critique of Windows Vista where he points out that there are up to 15 ways to turn a Windows Vista computer off (I can think of a 16th – don’t license it and Windows will automatically disable your computer!).

He goes on to suggest ways to trim the number of choices down and effectively bring the number of options down to one or two.

However, Joel uses an out of date reference in his article. He says:

The more choices you give people, the harder it is for them to choose, and the unhappier they’ll feel. See, for example, Barry Schwartz’s book, The Paradox of Choice.

What Joel presumably doesn’t realise is that the Paradox of Choice’s findings have since been discredited by the authors of the paper on which Schwartz himself based his book. In their follow-up paper Knowing What You Like versus Discovering What You Want: The Influence of Choice Making Goals on Decision Satisfaction, the authors realised that when choice was ordered in ways which helped the consumer, more choice is better. Hence the success of Amazon, YouTube, Netflix, etc.

However, in the case of Vista, as Joel points out, who knows the difference between Hibernate and Sleep or Lock/Log Off/Switch User? In this case, it does seem Microsoft haven’t gone far enough to explain the differences and therefore only succeed in confusing their users.

Microsoft Vista finished

With the two simple words “It’s time“, posted on the Windows Vista blog, Jim Allchin announced to the world yesterday that Windows Vista has been released to manufacturing.

Via Rob (well done Rob, you beat Scoble to the post by 48 minutes!).

Vista is Microsoft’s new operating system, replacing Windows XP

The official Microsoft press release is here.

Released to mnufacturing means that the code has been finalised and sent to be pressed on DVDs for subsequent distribution and sale.

When will you be able to get your hands on it? Well, according to Sven Hallauer, release manager and director of program management at Microsoft:

Microsoft is hosting a series of events around the world on November 30 to officially recognize business availability of the 2007 Microsoft Office system, Exchange Server 2007 and Windows Vista, and we announced today that the worldwide general availability launch is January 30, 2007. So yes, everything is on track and we’re very excited about it.

The next question is will your PC or laptop be able to run Vista or will you need to upgrade your hardware to run it?

According to Microsoft, a the minimum spec to run Vista is:

  • A modern processor (at least 800MHz).
  • 512 MB of system memory.
  • A graphics processor that is DirectX 9 capable.

However, to be able to benefit from the new interface, your computer will need to be a Windows Vista Premium Ready PC which includes at least:

  • 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor1.
  • 1 GB of system memory.
  • Support for DirectX 9 graphics with a WDDM driver, 128 MB of graphics memory (minimum)2, Pixel Shader 2.0 and 32 bits per pixel.
  • 40 GB of hard drive capacity with 15 GB free space.
  • DVD-ROM Drive3.
  • Audio output capability.
  • Internet access capability.

The hardware manufacturers are rubbing their hands with glee!

There is a lot of talk about this new operating system because it took so long to come this far. I’m wondering if Microsoft, after six years writing an operating system, finally managed to produce an operating system which is secure!