With Vista transition, Microsoft should take a lesson from Apple

“The looming choice for Windows users is either to stick with Windows XP (and older hardware) or take Windows Vista cold turkey. But Microsoft doesn’t have to be so tough—Apple did it differently with the Mac OS X rollout,” David Morgenstern writes for eWeek.

“While Microsoft’s approach to the 2007 launch of Windows Vista is only now coming into focus, it looks as if the Vista experience will stand in sharp contrast to the way Apple pitched the Mac community on its OS X transition,” Morgenstern writes. “Based on the response to a recent column on Vista’s hardware requirements and performance, it looks as if many readers will be taking a wait-and-see attitude to the upgrade. Most didn’t see much value in moving from Windows XP.”

Morgenstern writes, “Unlike the situation with Vista, Mac users had plenty of time—more than a year and a half—to ignore the new OS if they chose to do so. Customers could make up their minds about OS X in their own time frame and still have the security of knowing their existing workflows would be maintained while upgrading hardware. In fact, support for the Classic environment was only stopped with the release of Intel-based Macs.”

Morgenstern writes, “By my reckoning, Microsoft is sending the opposite message with its Vista rollout: You will be grateful for the ‘Windows Vista Experience’—Period!”

“Oh, and here’s an item for those who harp on the price of Macs. Take a look at the reported savings on ‘additional’ licenses for Vista owners. You will save between $10 and $40 off the price of each additional license when you upgrade or buy Vista new. Apple offers a ‘family’ 5-pack license, with each seat costing $40 each. That’s real savings,” Morgenstern writes.

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews article:
$399 for Windows Vista Ultimate?! (Hint: Get a Mac) – August 29, 2006


  1. The difference here is backward compatibility. Most if not all software that works with XP will work with Vista, including Virus and malware unfortunately. Those that don’t only need a minor patch. Except 64bit drivers of course.

    Classic to OS X wasn’t the same. It was a totally different platform. They had to do an easy over time rollout. There was no other choice for Apple. Besides, when X was released it was a dog and unfinished. The same may be said of Vista, we’ll see.

  2. Peterson reminds me of a small child who think he’ll get that toy truck for Christmas if he just believes hard enough.

    Anyone who thinks that the Vista launch is going to be any more of an “event” than the XP launch (i.e. none at all) is delusional. No one cares about Windows. No one is interested in upgrading. Vista will slowly, glacially, be “adopted” as people replace their PCs. Just how it happened with XP.

  3. What is it about Vista that is so compelling?

    Is it security? Has M$ finally achieved equilibrium in a world fraught with danger? Viruses aren’t going to cease and desist overnight, ya’ know?

    It won’t stop the deadly storm of viruses from pelting the XP sanctuary, or stop the malicious hackers from exploiting systemic weaknesses inherent in the OS.

    The battle-hardened XP users have finally achieved an en-pass by shoring up the vulnerabilities in their fortress and not because they have taken the fight to the enemy. They know they are safe but only as long as they remain vigilant. For the moment they are free to reap what they sow and to continue licking their wounds.

    We are talking about an operating system, aren’t we ferchrissakes? The foundation on which all other work progresses? Microsoft should have risen above these security issues a decade ago. Makes one wonder whether Microsoft has weakened, and left vulnerable, an entire community through sheer ignorance or was it by design? The fact that safety and security from Microsoft is now an after-market purchase plan evens my conviction.

    I have no doubt, a naive Microsoft has learned some hard lessons but at the end of the day they have squandered billions and are still ten years behind the power curve, while Apple Computer continues to thrive and push the envelope.

    Under Ballmer’s leadership, Microsoft will continue to hemorrhage money and languish in a creative vacuum. His motivation has never been about people and the user experience has always been secondary to profit taking.

    In the early days Ballmer rolled around naked in 100 dollar bills until the novelty of being filthy rich wore off and power was the new coin of the realm. Money then power then people, in that order. When you own ninety-percent of the computer market what else is there to accomplish?

    Now that the Market has had a decade to reflect on the value and stability of its creator it wants more. Microsoft’s latest ad campaign would have you believe that you’ve always had that value and stability and instead of focusing on us, you should be focusing on your own people and their risky activities.

    It’s just a dodge, and when that fails Microsoft will have to look you right in the face and state unequivocally, I can give you shelter from the storm, and mean it. Failing that, Microsoft Windows is finished as an operating system and it’s game on for market share.

    That Vista’s market share will eclipse Apple’s Mac OS X market share within the first 48-hours of release, I have no doubt. The question is, can Vista sustain growth under the threat of viruses, or even worse, migration of the faithful? If the recent Vista viruses is any indication, current users and developers will be content to take a wait and see approach much to the distress and embarrassment of Microsoft shareholders. In the meantime Apple Computer continues to promote their strengths.

    Steve Ballmer reminds me of the greedy Mayor of Amity, in the film Jaws, who is trying to convince beach-goer’s to go swimming when the blood of their own stains the water and the threat of being eaten by a shark is very real. Although Ballmer stands there dripping in flop-sweat he’ll try to convince he came out of the water and it’s great!

    If Microsoft wanted to turn this whole affair on it’s ear, they would offer Vista as a free upgrade to all current Windows users. They owe it to the Windows community for all their pain and suffering.

  4. At least Windows users will have something new and exciting to look forward to. When the two operating systems came out in 2001, XP looked childish next to OS X with all the Playskool blues. But now, Vista looks fresh, new, and exciting. The Leopard preview still looks very much like how OS X looked in 2001. Aqua is running dry …

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