Windows Vista at 1 year: A computer maker's view

I've been working for a while on an upcoming story coinciding with Windows Vista's first year on the market, and I've talked with a variety of people who have been using and working with the Microsoft operating system in different ways.

One of the most interesting perspectives came from Jon Bach, president of Puget Systems, a company in Kent, Wash., that makes high-end custom computers. As a preview, I thought it would be worth sharing some excerpts from his comments ...

On the current demand for Windows XP vs. Windows Vista: "Today, we are seeing still slightly stronger Vista demand than XP, but it's pretty close, maybe 60 percent Vista, 40 percent XP. It was an interesting progression of events following the Vista release, because when Vista first came out, we naturally adopted it very quickly, everyone did, as the next prominent operating system. But we're a custom builder, so we wanted to continue to provide all options, so we kept XP around so that customers who weren't all that excited about upgrading had a choice. So we actually developed a little niche for ourselves there when all the big guys -- Dell, HP -- were going exclusively to Vista. We saw extra-strong XP sales during that time just because we were one of the few people still offering it as an option. But as soon as people realized that Vista had some maturity problems in the code, the big manufacturers promptly added it back. ... We're seeing, you could say 50-50, but it's a little bit swaying toward Vista."

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