Windows Vista: Is there really a lack of interest?

by Bharat Suneja

Almost every single day for past few weeks, I’ve been asked by someone or the other if Windows Vista is available yet, and whether they should upgrade. Last night it was a teenager at a SonyStyle store in San Jose, where I happened to wander to take a peek at new Vista laptops. (Yes, I’m a big fan of Sony laptops and the aesthetics. I think only Apple does it better – and keep telling myself one of these days I’ll switch to an Apple MacBook Pro if it can run Widnows Vista flawlessly, and has all the drivers – including the one for the built-in iSight webcam – Bharat).

However, if many analyst and media reports are to be believed, nobody really cares. Windows Vista suffers from a lack of interest. Nobody camped outside Best Buy and CompUSA overnight to get their hands on the first copies of Windows Vista at midnight, and therefore Windows Vista is doomed!

The fact is, more than a few folks I know delayed computer (particularly laptop) purchases over the last few months (including yours truly… – Bharat), as they awaited newer laptops pre-loaded with Windows Vista. No, the “express upgrade” or other such free offers for Windows Vista were not attractive enough – it would still leave it up to users to upgrade their OS, and perhaps even pay a small shipping or media charge to computer manufacturers for getting the Vista media.

Unlike the much hyped Sony PS3 (and perhaps the Wii – which wasn’t suffering from any shortages afaik… ) launches in recent memory, Windows Vista is not a piece of hardware that can be in short supply. Unlike hardware, you can buy it online, and download it. Besides, the demographics that Windows Vista caters to is much broader than the one game consoles cater to.

The product launches one should compare Windows Vista’s launch with are not the PS3 or the Wii, or even the Xbox 360 if you will. The ones that even come anywhere close are Apple’s OS releases (with all of Steve Jobs’ media finesse and personal charm thrown in… ), or the new Linux version from your favorite Linux vendor.

Yes, it was too long in the making, which had some impact on the excitement such a launch could generate.

Paul Thurrott sums it up in his WinInfo column [read “The ‘Duh’ Starts Now: Weighing in on the Vista Launch“] on WindowsITPro. “Put simply, Vista was a blockbuster waiting to happen. The fact that there were few people lining up the night of the launch says more about the maturity of the market than it does about Vista’s performance”, says Thurrott.

The sales numbers over the next few months and years will speak for themselves, and perhaps create a bigger impact than the product launch.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Justin February 5, 2007 at 5:28 pm

You should try a ThinkPad. The 14.1″ T60 is a very, very nice machine. Far more pleasing than a MacBook would ever be.


Bharat Suneja February 5, 2007 at 7:53 pm

I’ve used a T60 before – not the new wide-screen version though. Do continue to consider Thinkpads, they’re one of my favorite laptop brands – but aesthetics weigh heavily in my decisions on which laptop to buy, and there’s no beating Apple – and even Sony for that matter – in that arena. :)


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