Muted response to Vista launch

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

software: Analysts now expect many companies, consumers to adopt wait-and-see stance

Jim Jamieson

Microsoft Corp. launched its long-awaited Vista operating system this morning, but don’t expect to see consumers lining up to buy like they did with previous versions.

The new software, combined with the same-day global launch of Microsoft’s new Office suite, makes this the most significant technology moment for the Redmond, Wash., company in 12 years since the launch of Windows 95.

“We’ve been getting orders on the web, but there will be no midnight madness for us,” said Cedric Tetzel of London Drugs.

“But the Premium version of Vista will make a lot of noise in the marketplace.”

Microsoft hasn’t helped itself with numerous delays in the launch, choosing to bring out the final product with four different versions: Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Ultimate.

To solve some of the confusion, Microsoft offers a downloadable tool through its website ( that will analyze your PC and tell you if it has the power and hardware to run the new software.

If your machine is more than a year old, it’s probably not worth the bother.

As well, London Drugs and Future Shop offer free consultations for those who are considering the upgrade or buying a new computer, with Vista pre-loaded.

Although advance reviews have been positive, analysts expect many companies and consumers to adopt a wait-and-see stance before abandoning Windows XP and taking the leap of faith to Vista.

David Milman, CEO of U.S.-based technical-support company Rescuecom, said he advises both businesses and consumers to hold off upgrading to Vista for at least six months.

“The odds that Windows Vista comes out and is going to work perfectly with the different drivers and different software and hardware manufacturers and that people have enough RAM and processor speed is somewhere between zero and none,” he said.

“This is hype to make this transition. Vista is a fantastic operating system, a great step forward, but there’s no reason on Day 1 to drop XP.”

Microsoft will support XP — with security updates and a free tech support — until 2009. It will offer security updates with for-pay tech support for XP for a further five years, to 2014.

© The Vancouver Province 2007

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