Earlier this week, Gianfranco Lanci â€” president of Acer, the world’s fourth-largest computer maker â€” told the Financial Times that “the whole industry is disappointed with Windows Vista.”
The PC company executive said Vista has not generated as many sales of new computers as it should have over the past seven months, and that the new operating system has stability problems.
According to Mr. Lanci, many Acer customers are asking for PCs with Windows XP installed instead of Vista, in part because the new software requires a much more advanced set of hardware, but also because of reported stability issues with Vista.
Acer is not the only computer manufacturer to be distancing itself from Vista, however, nor is it the only observer to be less than impressed with the impact the new software has had.
Dell, the world’s second-largest PC maker (just behind Hewlett-Packard), was planning to phase out sales of PCs with XP in favour of the new operating system, but changed its mind after more than 11,000 users voted to keep XP on Dell’s IdeaStorm website.
Microsoft recently reported strong financial results, with record annual revenue of more than $50-billion (U.S.), up by 15 per cent over the previous year.Much of the credit for that goes to Vista, Microsoft said, although the release of Office 2007 also accounted for some of the strength. Some analysts were less than impressed, however.
“Vista appears to be disappointing,” Lehman Brothers analyst Israel Hernandez told the Seattle Times, noting that revenue growth for the Windows division was below his expectations.
Although some of the complaints from Acer and others may be an attempt to blame Microsoft for their own shortcomings, the reality is that Vista is not dramatically better than XP, and so many customers may feel less than compelled to upgrade, particularly if XP is performing well.
That said, Windows Vista is almost certain to become the default PC operating system over the next several years, as users and businesses upgrade their computers (and Microsoft phases out support for XP, which it says it will do next year).
The only question now is how fast or slow that upgrade process will be, and at the moment it seems to be slower than even Microsoft expected.
Source: The Globe and Mail