It almost seems as though Windows Vista is another Windows ME, the operating system that consumers will forgo until something “better” comes along, and I think Microsoft may be starting to realize this. In a press release yesterday, Microsoft announced that they are extending the date that PC Manufacturers and Retailers are allowed to sell Windows XP. Originally the deadline was January 31st, 2008, but now they’ve been given the green light to sell XP until June 30th 2008. In developing markets, Windows XP Starter edition will be available until June 30, 2010.
While Microsoft says that over 60 million licenses of Windows Vista have sold since launch (which is impressive), many people have their reasons for sticking with XP whether it’s because they’re comfortable with it, they’ve heard journalists bashing Vista, or they’re waiting for Service Pack 1. XP has remained a rather popular choice among consumers, so it makes sense that Microsoft extends this date. If they can’t win over everybody with Vista, why not continue to sell XP and make money off of it, even if it’s not their latest operating system?
According to Mike Nash, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Windows Product Management, the reason for the XP extension was: “While we’ve been pleased with the positive response we’ve seen and heard from customers using Windows Vista, there are some customers who need a little more time to make the switch to Windows Vista.” Some of the main reasons consumers are unwilling to adopt Vista include:
- Driver issues
- Software compatibility
Even with these issues that consumers have pointed out, Microsoft is still very positive and optimistic about Vista. Mike Nash said “It’s early days still, but if things continue as we’re expecting, Windows Vista will be the fastest selling operating system in our history. And while that’s gratifying on one level when you consider all the architectural changes we introduced, it also suggests we’ve done a lot of things right in delivering value to our customers.”
Nash may be right. In terms of the big picture, it is still pretty early on, especially for big companies that have a system lifecycle for all of their equipment and haven’t been able to adopt right away. It takes time for these companies to make changes to their infrastructure to handle a new operating system, so perhaps Vista isn’t another Windows ME after all?