Blinded by Vista Sales Numbers

This is one of those rare occasions when I can pull up an old post, dust it off,  and voila! – I’m done.  Yes, I am lazy – but hey, I can’t help, this is one of those “I’ve told you” moments.   Here’s what I wrote last year:

Time for a reality check. Product quality, customer satisfaction and market success have very little to do with each other when you have a monopoly.

The Vista problems are real, they are not fantasies created by bloggers. But how exactly are consumers supposed to revolt? They still need computers, and despite Apple’s respectable growth, they still represent a fraction of the consumer PC market. Try to buy a PC today, it’s hard to NOT end up with Vista (even I got one)

Customer demand for Vista? No, it’s customer demand for computers, in a market with no choice. I’m not “making this up”, Donna. It’s all in Microsoft’s 10-Q:

…Client revenue growth correlates with the growth of purchases of PCs from OEMs that pre-install versions of Windows operating systems because the OEM channel accounts for approximately 80% of total Client revenue. The differences between unit growth rates and revenue growth rates from year to year are affected by changes in the mix of OEM Windows operating systems licensed with premium edition operating systems as a percentage of total …

The increased “demand” for premium versions comes from another well-documented fact, i.e. Microsoft’s new segmentation, castrating Vista Home Basic and essentially making Home Premium the equivalent of XP Home – a hidden price increase, by any measure.

A true measure of “demand” for Vista would be corporate licenses and retail sales, and both are behind. But not for long: eventually, after the release of SP1 corporate IT will give in, too – who wants to be “left behind”, after all.

Today InfoWorld burst the Vista Sales Bubble (if you ask me, there never has been a bubble, but that’s another matter):  35 percent of mainly enterprise-class users “downgrade” their Vista systems to XP.

The numbers speak for themselves, let me just add this: next time you look at Vista Sales figures, remember: these customers did not have the choice to buy XP directly, they had to get Vista on their systems, then “downgrade” (upgrade, if you ask me) to XP.    But by then their transaction is booked as a Vista purchase!

Vista sales figures are inflated, these transactions were not real purchases, just ransom paid to the monopolist for the privilege to use the OS that actually works- XP.


  1. The 35% could be even higher, because many computers cannot be upgraded from Vista to XP.

    I bought an HP notebook last year with Vista. Last month, I asked HP about upgrading to XP. They told me it was not possible, because the computer contained compenents for which there are no XP drivers.

    I wonder what the upgrade-to-XP percentage would be if 100% of Vista-infected computers could change their OS.

  2. It used to be that most people were not even aware of what an Operating System was, just that Windows existed. Now even my grandmother, who can barely send email told me she didn’t want Vista when we went shopping for a new computer for her. Though the tide may be turning, I’m starting to hear bloggers and others raising the “Vista is not THAT bad” flag.

  3. I don’t buy that graph…

    17.85% of internet users are Vista

    1.46 billion internet users

    Assuming the usage rate is consistent around the world…
    1.46 billion * 17.85% = 260 million Vista internet users

    The actually user base would be significantly less (i.e. 180 million as per MS sales) than the above number only if for some reason, Vista users surf the internet WAY MORE than all other OS’s to skew the percentage up to 17.85%. It’s probably more likely that that some Vista users don’t use the internet much because it’s for work mostly. Hence there is likely more than 260 million Vista users.

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