Windows 7 will be released any day now, so its a good time to reflect on exactly why Windows Vista was such a huge failure in the market place. I believe the following points pretty much some it up.
- The main reason why Vista failed was because it was the first OS by Microsoft to integrate hardware acceleration into the user interface. Typically running Vista meant having to upgrade hardware, the corporate world were simply not willing to roll out new hardware for no perceived value other than a flashy user interface. The actual visual effects were not typically usable, more of a novelty (need I mention the winkey tab effect). Win 7 however allows some level of interaction with the direct 3d interface, giving it purpose. Lets not forget that its nearly defacto for hardware to now have direct 3d processing capabilities, and the overall price of this capability has dropped considerably.
- Windows Vista added very little new value to the world of computing. Windows XP can do anything Windows Vista can. Some argue that Windows Vista is more secure, however Microsoft had at the time released XP Service Pack 3, which really evened out the scales. Win 7 might not do a whole lot more, but what it has done is added better support for multi core computing, added some useful user interface features, and really polished things up under the hood.
- Hardware manufacturers were slow to deliver drivers for Vista. For the first year of operation Vista was not widely supported, and mostly XP drivers did not work with Vista. Windows 7 in contrast does support Vista drivers.
- Vista got a terrible name quickly, and home users and gamers ran a mile. Microsoft marketed Windows Vista all over the place, they spent an enormous amount on bill board and tv campaigns and everyone was excited to rush out and get it. However the excitement quickly turned into frustration and anger. Gamers found their games ran slower (sometimes by as much as 30%) than on XP. No matter how you look at it, What ever XP did, Vista took longer to do it. Most people felt cheated.
- Vista was the first OS to support DX10 gaming, however neither DX10 gaming was really advanced, nor the hardware to run DX10 games, meaning most people just ended up blaming Vista for this.
- Finally Vista just ended up becoming an embarrassment, even after service pack 1 was released, and hardware support improved, Vista never dropped the stigma attached with the name Vista. Microsoft ultimately took a word with no meaning to anyone “Vista” and turned it into one of those words that when you hear makes you feel sick in your stomach.