A Windows Vista reality check for Microsoft

“Judging by the grief that Microsoft is getting over delays in the release of Windows Vista, and the buzz surrounding the price it plans to charge for the next generation operating system, you’d think we were all hankering to get our hands on this hot new piece of software,” Owen Thomas writes for Business 2.0.

Thomas writes, “Don’t believe the hype: There won’t be lines around the block at midnight when Vista hits store shelves early next year, analysts say. ‘I don’t expect anyone’s going to be camping out at Best Buy waiting for this product,’ says Citigroup equity research analyst Brent Thill. ‘I think the pace of adoption will be slower than the market expects.'”

“‘Consumers perceive what they have as good enough,’ says Joe Wilcox, an analyst at JupiterResearch. ‘A pattern we saw with Windows XP is that people would buy an XP machine and keep the older machine with the older operating system. They don’t see the benefit of upgrading the older machine.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Good enough? Some people have really low expectations. That’s sad.

Thomas continues, “The modest expectations for Vista do give rise to a radical question: How many tens of thousands of engineers might Microsoft have fired, and how many billions of dollars might it have saved if it had just not bothered to develop Vista in the first place? Most of us would have kept buying Windows anyway.”

MacDailyNews Takje That’s even sadder, but don’t bank on people continuing to buy Windows anyway. Apple has other plans. Embrace first, then extinguish. Most people think they need Windows. People who buy a MacBook or iMac now because it will allow them to run Windows will quickly find out what every Mac user already knows; they’ll find themselves booting Windows less and less out of preference for Mac OS X.

Thomas continues, “Microsoft’s at long last trying to leverage its monopoly power by raising prices. Of course, it’s doing it in a subtle way. The Basic version of Vista is priced similarly to the last version of Windows XP at $199 for a retail license. But Microsoft is betting that PC makers will want to push higher-end machines that run Windows Vista Premium. Microsoft won’t comment on the prices it charges PC makers for Windows, but analysts believe Microsoft will charge them about $40 more for that version of Vista as well.”

“The end result: The average price of Windows will go up, even as most other components that go into a PC drop in price,” Thomas writes. “Will Vista Premium be worth the extra cost? Essentially, the features you get with the more expensive version are better security, a prettier user interface, and the audio-video software formerly found in Microsoft’s Media Center edition of Windows XP. That doesn’t seem like a lot for five years’ work, or for $40 extra.”

“So here’s a modest proposal: Boycott Vista. Keep your old Windows XP PC around. Don’t buy a new one. That’s the only way we have to let Microsoft know Vista is an overhyped, late, and pointless update to XP – a perfectly fine operating system,” Thomas writes.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Tom S.” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: One tiny clarification: Windows XP is a “perfectly fine” operating system if you don’t know any better and/or you’re a masochist. Somebody send Owen Thomas a Mac, so he can see how silly he sounds. We have a better proposal: Get a Mac.

For our Windows-only visitors via Google News and elsewhere: Are you really going to spend that kind of money on an operating system that is trying so desperately to be Apple’s Mac OS X? Most likely, you’re going to need a new computer to run Vista anyway. Why not use that money toward a new Mac instead? Install your current copy of Windows XP on it via Apple’s free Boot Camp or Parallels US$79.99 Desktop for Mac. From what we see, you won’t be missing out on much by ignoring Windows Vista (some call it “Windows XP SP3”) and you’ll be gaining so much more with Apple’s virus-free Mac OS X and iLife applications running on elegant and inexpensive Intel-powered Apple hardware.

See:
$399 for Windows Vista Ultimate?! (Hint: Get a Mac) – August 29, 2006
Development approaches of Mac OS X Leopard vs. Windows Vista yield very different results – August 15, 2006
Analyst: Apple’s new Mac OS X Leopard sets new bar, leaves Microsoft’s Vista in the dust – August 08, 2006
Symantec researcher: At this time, there are no file-infecting viruses that can infect Mac OS X – July 13, 2006
Sophos: Apple Mac OS X’s security record unscathed; Windows Vista malware just a matter of time – July 07, 2006
Computerworld: Microsoft Windows Vista a distant second-best to Apple Mac OS X – June 02, 2006
Analyst: Windows Vista may still impress many consumers because they have not seen Apple’s Mac OS X – January 05, 2006

Now is the perfect time to consider trying something new (and you can still run your Windows applications, too)! At some point in your life, you’ve probably told someone, “You don’t know what you’re missing,” right? Well, we’re saying that to you today. Get a Mac! You deserve it. And the Mac community will be here to support your new adventure every step of the way. Why do we care what you use? Do it and you’ll find yourself telling people to “Get a Mac,” too. Switching from Windows PC to Mac really is a revelation.

Find out more about Mac OS X Tiger here: http://www.apple.com/macosx/tiger/
And Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard (coming spring 2007) here: http://www.apple.com/macosx/leopard/

Apple’s Intel-powered MacBook starts at just $1099. And, Apple’s Intel-powered iMac starts at only $1299.. Apple’s Mac mini starts at just $599 (For $200 more than a box of Vista Ultimate, you get a Mac, Mac OS X, iLife, and so much more)!

Don’t just take our word for it (we are MacDailyNews, after all). Check out the related articles below and see what independent reviewers have to say about the Mac and Mac OS X:

Related MacDailyNews articles:

Apple Mac mini desktop (6.5-inches square by 2-inches)
Apple Mac mini Core Duo: The fruit takes root in the living room – July 24, 2006
Mossberg: Apple’s new Mac mini ‘a solid addition to any entertainment center’ – March 09, 2006
PC Magazine review gives Apple Mac mini 4 out of 5 stars – March 08, 2006
Chicago Tribune: Apple’s new Intel-based Mac mini might make you switch from Windows – March 07, 2006
Mac mini 6-button remote, Front Row typify Apple’s ‘sophisticated simplicity’ strategy – March 06, 2006
Reader report: 1080p 24fps playback on Mac mini Core Duo plays fine – March 03, 2006
Apple’s new Mac mini a HDTV media center in disguise? – March 01, 2006
Apple’s new Mac mini: perfect for HDTV – March 01, 2006
Analyst: Apple’s new Mac mini ‘a good first step into the living room’ – February 28, 2006
Apple introduces new Intel-based Mac mini – February 28, 2006

Apple iMac desktop
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Digital Trends Review: Apple iMac 17-inch Core Duo ‘silent, beautiful, very fast and reliable’ – July 12, 2006
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BusinessWeek: Apple’s new iMac Core Duo is an iMac on Steroids – February 02, 2006
Thurrott: ‘I highly recommend Apple’s new Intel-based iMac’ – January 31, 2006
Thurrott: ‘Nothing on Windows approaches the quality of Apple’s iLife ’06’ – January 31, 2006
Computerworld: Apple’s MacBook Pro ‘fast, really fast – looks like a real winner’ – January 28, 2006
InfoWorld: Apple perfects the desktop personal computer with new iMac Core Duo – January 25, 2006
PC Magazine review gives Apple iMac Intel Core Duo 4.5 out of 5 stars – January 20, 2006
Mossberg: New Intel-based iMac the best consumer desktop with the best OS and best software bundle – January 18, 2006

Apple MacBook notebook
The Seattle Times: Apple Macbook is best computer for school – August 26, 2006
PC Advisor: Apple MacBook ‘a terrific piece of hardware, quite a product’ – July 31, 2006
Apple 13-Inch MacBook benchmarked: it’s fast – July 24, 2006
Washington Times: If you want a stylish, great, capable portable, buy an Apple MacBook – July 18, 2006
AP: Apple’s MacBook should give makers of Windows-only notebooks nightmares – July 07, 2006
Boston Herald: Apple MacBook superior to iBook predecessor in every way – July 03, 2006
MSNBC’s Krakow: Apple’s MacBook ‘the best notebook computer I’ve ever used’ – June 28, 2006
The Washington Times: Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook ‘is one powerful, affordable Mac portable’ – June 23, 2006
IT Business Net reviews Apple 13-inch MacBook: ‘Insanely great value, Strong Buy recommendation’ – June 13, 2006
Computeract!ve: Apple MacBook ‘the best of both worlds’ – 5 out of 5 stars – June 13, 2006
Washington Post: Apple MacBook leaves iBook in the dust – June 11, 2006
Mossberg: Apple’s new MacBook surprisingly inexpensive, offers vastly superior Mac OS X – June 08, 2006
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Apple Mac Pro desktop
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36 Comments

  1. MDN advice: “Install your current copy of Windows XP on it via Apple’s free Boot Camp or Parallels US$79.99 Desktop for Mac.”

    My experience with some OEM versions of Windows is that will only install on the OEM’s hardware. Will the OEM version of Windows XP that came with–say a DELL– install on Mac?

  2. Microflop knows that the game is just about up so they decide to wring the last few drops of cash out of their consumers with a more expensive product. This could be their last hurrah with profits on a steep decline in future years as people inevitably wise up.

  3. Spark,

    Then go and buy an OEM copy of XP if you can find one or have somebody who will get one for you.

    The conditions for using an OEM copy of XP is that it must be sold with a piece of new hardware, so if you’re buying a new Mac you’re covered, and that you must support the ‘end’ customer.

    The latter condition is also a no-brainer: Apple aren’t going to support you, neither are Parallels and Microsoft don’t provide any real support for the private customer. So, by a process of elimination, you’re supporting yourself.

    Over here in the UK, the company I run, is about to start offering Mac products to our small highly selective customer base with OEM Windows pre-installed under Parallels and/or Boot Camp and we’ll support our own base, I believe some resellers are doing the same in the US.

    Do it one way or the other: the net result is that I can add Windows (and Parallels) to a Mac for around £125.00 + taxes. And you can add Linux, Solaris and others under Parallels thus making the deal even more attractive.

  4. Mr. Owen is a very sad but accurate reflection of how and why Windows has been able to continue for as long as it has. Windows users are stuck so far down in a dark hole that they can no longer see any daylight whatsoever, and the truth be told, many Windows users are going to follow their OS of choice right on down to the bottom. “‘Consumers perceive what they have as good enough,’ says Joe Wilcox, an analyst at JupiterResearch.” That about sums up the attitude of both the average and more well educated Windows user.

    On the other hand, we Mac users don’t make it real easy for Windows users hauling around that kind of dogma, to switch. We tend to give the impression that we’re looking over the fence taunting them to switch, and that puts an entire generation of pc users, (and their dogma), on a line where no self respecting Windows user ever dreamed they’d be, having to seriously consider using something else – heaven forbid, maybe even a Macintosh. (And frankly, I don’t feel a bit sorry for them.)

    Over the last five years I have to say I’m noticing a marked decrease in flaming and ridicule from co-workers and friends that are committed Windows users. I for one want to believe that I’m going to live long enough to see a new and different world when it comes to personal computing. Of course this can never happen in a world where one OS manufacturer, namely MS, dominates, and right now history is, hopefully, coming fully to some kind of an ultimate crossroads where diversity and quality are perceived as the primary needs of the consumer, where the consumer comes to demand these things, and that competition ensures that their will always be manufacturers striving to give us what we REALLY WANT AND NEED, rather than telling us the way its going to be.

    Exit Microsoft Windows.

    I want to believe…

  5. I use XP Pro SP2 plus Norton’s ‘full meal deal’ every day. Not because I want to but because I have to.

    It is a pain in the butt, not to mention expensive to maintain the ecosystem of Norton plus Windows but it is secure and useable. It’s not fun to use, it’s not intuitive, it’s not pretty but it is useable.

    Upgrading to Vista makes absolutely no sense. It would be a step backwards until Vista SP1, maybe even Vista SP2.

    Buying a new Core 2 Duo Macbook Pro and installing a sandboxed copy of XP on Parallels software makes a lot of sense.

    Where are the Core 2 Duo Macbook Pros?

  6. Sorry to be contrary but XP is a fine operating system and and serves me quite well thank you. I won’t be upgrading to Vista since there’s nothing compelling about it. I like OSX a lot but there’s nothing there that compels me to jump over either. I may switch to OSX someday and I may not, however I certainly don’t need to bash Windows or MS in order to feel good about myself.

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