How can Microsoft overcome Vista's lingering image problem?

Mike Nash, Corporate Vice President of Windows Product Management, has a tough problem on his hands. Microsoft and its hardware/software partners have done a lot in the past 16 months to make Windows Vista a better operating system. With Service Pack (SP) 1, Microsoft has addressed some of the performance and reliability problems that has made Vista the butt of so much bad press when it launched.

But convincing the PC-buying public that Vista isn't their worst nightmare has proven challenging — especially as the result of continued press reports, comments on blogs and in forums (almost always from anonymous users who may or may not have actually tried using Vista in the past month or two) and clever ads, especially by Apple, which disparage Vista and anyone dumb enough to install it. Ask the average consumer on the street about Windows and many will insist XP is less annoying, more stable and works just fine, thanks.

If you were Nash & Co., what would you do to try to turn the public tide?

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(ANova said @ #9.6)

Or maybe you just need to take off your MS branded goggles.

Yeah, that's it. I think Microsoft is perfect.

(GreyWolfSC said @ #9.7)

Yeah, that's it. I think Microsoft is perfect. :rolleyes:

Then why do you always stick up for them and think criticisms people genuinely have are PR generated stunts?

Alright we all know some people love Vista and others hate it. (And some have absolutely no clue and call it "me two")

What I hope Microsoft sees is a gigantic opportunity here. A lot of people are unimpressed with Vista. So, if Microsoft learns from all their mistakes and develops some real innovations people will truly be "WOW'ed" by Windows 7.

Seize the opportunity. XP and Vista customers are already looking forward to the potential of Windows 7. If executed properly it will even attract Linux and Mac fanatics.

This is one of the biggest opportunities Microsoft has had in a long time. I hope they take complete advantage of it.

Right on. I hope so too.

With the EU nipping at their heels like a little Chihuahua, and from what I've read so far on Windows 7, I think they just might get it this time. It's probably their last chance.

What they really need to do is go back to making an OS, that's it. No crap-ware. Stop wasting time and money on activation. Do you realize the infrastructure needed to support their activition system. Scrap that and then pass on the saving to the consumers and then maybe people won't have a reason to pirate their OS.

How come if someone uses Windows they are a "user" but if they use *nix or Macs they are a "fanatic"? Os's are just tools. You pick the best one for the job you are doing.

The only way MS will attract these "fanatics" is if they build an OS that will better cater to their needs. One of these needs is obviously open source with relaxed licensing.

(lbmouse said @ #10.2)
How come if someone uses Windows they are a "user" but if they use *nix or Macs they are a "fanatic"? Os's are just tools. You pick the best one for the job you are doing.

The only way MS will attract these "fanatics" is if they build an OS that will better cater to their needs. One of these needs is obviously open source with relaxed licensing.

I thought it was obvious the person was referring to the hardcore fanboys who won't try anything other than Linux or Apple. The person isn't saying all Linux or Apple users are like that. I've met more than a few people who use all three.

It doesn't bother me if one person prefers one over the other. That's there choice. But it does bug me when they talk about people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Linus Torvalds as if they're Gods. That's when they become "fanboys" to me.

I think at this point the problems surrounding Vista is mostly FUD. My advice to MS would to be include a fully functional retail version of Word 2007 with every Vista Home Premium+ license. That should stimulate a good stir around the OS.

Although I agree with this article, i do not like how the summary was written. When the title aid "image" problem, I was thinking "graphics."

The worst of Vista is MS spend many years working on Longhorn and finally they was forced to launch a ripped version called Vista.

Actually the code switch was a good move. Keep in mind Longhorn was based on XP Professional code and if they wouldn't have made that code switch, Vista wouldn't be as secure as it is.

What hurt them is having to remove all those good features Longhorn had. If they would have tried working all that back into the new code, they might still be working on it

"Wah, not another article bashing Vista!"

The whiney comments like that are far more repetitive than articles about Vista, and this article isn't "bashing" Vista, it's saying that it suffers from an image problem, which it clearly does, because although it's not hard to find hordes of fanboys online, I don't think I've met anyone in real life who prefers it over XP.

XP is an old OS, it's been an old OS for years, and it's in dire need of replacement or updating. I just don't think Vista is the thing to replace it. I gave Vista a fair shake, and used it exclusively for three months. While I didn't feel anything quite so strong as "hate" for it, I found it to be lacklustre and disappointing, significantly slower than XP (to the point of causing frequent frustration, and yes, that was on a 3GHz core duo, 4gb ram, 8800GT graphics etc). Whenever you release a product, you're likely to get a portion of people who hate it no matter how good it is, and a portion of people who love it no matter how crap it is, which is what we see in the comments here every time an article about Vista is posted.

I'll keep an open mind to trying to make the switch again some day, but they have a lot of work before it's anywhere close to as usable as XP, and I suspect Windows 7 will be out before they get it to the point where it is a good OS. Fingers crossed for Windows 7 not being as big a flop as Vista is.

Sure you have; me.

In fact, I was an XP beta tester (from the "Smooth Running" program). I had, in fact, migrated from Windows 2000 Professional to XP Professional, then to XP MCE 2005, and to Vista Ultimate when it shipped. (I have since applied SP1.)

However, one thing separates me from the anti-Vista bashers - I don't just run a single program on my computer at a time. Not counting IM software (and I run Yahoo, Windows Live, and AIM Pro all at once), more often than not I have *at least* three other programs running (not counting Web browser windows and their associated tabs). It is under multi-tasking that Vista shines compared to XP (in my experience). Some tasks that I would not dare run in the background in XP (CD or DVD burning, for example) I not only run in the background in Vista, but run them in the background with confidence. The stability to run multiple medium or heavy applications at once was never part of the XP code base; it was, however, part and parcel of Windows Server 2003 (which Vista is based on) because that is what a server OS is supposed to be able to do. I find that I can really push my system to its limit with Vista; however, with XP, the operating system would fall down before (often well before) reaching that limit. However, in order to get there, you need both a solid core operating system and solid device drivers. If you really don't push your system very hard (outside of benchmarking), XP may suit you just fine. However, the harder you push your hardware, XP's inherent weaknesses start becoming rather evident, as does the operating system's sheer age.

Speed is *not* the most critical part of an operating system for me - stability under load is far more critical.
It's why I switched from Windows 98 Second Edition to Windows 2000 Professional in 2000, why I would move to Windows XP less than a year later, and why I use Vista today.

I for one don't think Windows 7 will have such a dramatic change from Vista than the drastic changes between Vista and XP. I think that if a certain program or driver does not work in vista, what chance will it work in windows 7. That is honestly 1 of the biggest reasons why people have problems with vista.

Longhorn's goals were mostly new features and what not, but when XP suffered all those attacks, MS decided to scrap what was done with longhorn and have security as their number 1 focus. Well at this moment, it looks like they were successful in attaining that goal.

Now for vista's image problem... as long as those pessimists are alive and vocal, vista's image will not improve. People in this world are ignorant to certain things. What's going to make them turn around and give vista another shot? They have already made up their minds about vista, and changing it will be an impossible task

(some_guy said @ #15)
Now for vista's image problem... as long as those pessimists are alive and vocal, vista's image will not improve. People in this world are ignorant to certain things. What's going to make them turn around and give vista another shot? They have already made up their minds about vista, and changing it will be an impossible task

I agree

95% of those people are Apple/Linux only users (and I don't mean all of you) and people who barely used Vista at all.

I got a friend who was one of the ones who hated Vista simply based on what he read about it on the internet. Then I finally got him to try it out and he bought a copy of Vista Home Premium and uses it now. To be honest, I didn't see that coming and thought his opinion on Vista wouldn't change. Really surprised me that he changed his mind like that.

It really annoys me when people read something on the internet (bad Vista review for example) and base their own opinion of Vista or anything else based on one article they read somewhere. That annoys me more than anything. People need to stop basing their opinions on what others think.

#1 DONT FORCE PEOPLE TO USE IT!

This is the number one issue with Vista. Forcing people to upgrade their OS due to a change in DirectX. Which means gamers are being forced to ugrade their OS so they can make use of their hardware.

What happens when you try to force people to do something they dont want to do. They dont like it!

You will have those who refuse to update, simply because they are being forced to.
There will be more people pirating it, because they dont want to pay for something they are forced to have.
It's going to be bad publicity from all those people who simply dont like it.

Let people have the choice to upgrade when they want, if they want, and you will probably have a lot more happy Vista users. How many of those upgraders would have stuck with XP if they didnt have the DirectX10 issue?

(LTD said @ #1)
Rebuild Windows 7 from the ground up. Fresh new code.

Otherwise, it'll continue to suck.

Zzzzzz...

(LTD said @ #17)
Rebuild Windows 7 from the ground up. Fresh new code.

Otherwise, it'll continue to suck.

thats was what vista was... rebuilt from the ground up...

(GEIST said @ #18)
I wished i could make money from writing the exact same **** over and over again.

Which OS gets a ground-up rewrite with every new version? I missed that one.

I think he was referring to writing the same article over and over again. But you're right, the OS is not a rewrite. Although if you rewrite an OS, then it'll take a while to find all the bugs in all that new code. If you keep hardening code over time then it will get better, but you're stuck with the design decisions you made. Modular really does seem to be the way to go, but then people can take out pieces and insert their own so as an OS vendor you can't really have full control over that kind of environment. Unless I guess you sign everything and require it to work all together, but that would place artificial limits on what your users and developers can do.

Generally Vista is perfectly fine for practically everyone who uses it. Just those who don't like it (+Apple fanboys) like to flame it constantly. With 150,000,000 Vista sales now its no surprise some people have issues. As more people use Vista than Apples no wonder you hear more people complain about them.... that's just common sense to figure out.

If you look on-line you can find more people dissatisfied with iPods than any other MP3 player - not because they are worse - just so many people have them more people complain.

Everyone's bored of the Vista bashing, it happened to XP on release and will continue to happen. Nothings perfect - get over it.

Now there are people rushing to the "windows 7 waiting line" wagon... lol

Just use whatever you like, and if somone wants to post about praise or complains, do it but provide info. just say "vista is bloated" "xp is better" "xp sucks" "vista rules" etc...

I use vista because i choose to test it and i kept it. XP is still fine but i prefer more eye candy and the stability vista has in my computers.

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