More on Vista adoption...
26/05/08 21:06 Filed in: BitDepth+
At least one reason why users may balk at installing Windows Vista is the footprint on disk that the software requires. Having migrated directly from Windows 2000 to Vista; I wasn't prepared to have the barebones OS to balloon from less than 2GB to more than 11GB.
For a user who is juggling space on a laptop, this can be a challenge on an older system or one with a smaller hard disk. I run Windows in virtualisation using Parallels, so I essentially have an 11GB folder on my drive that I access only occasionally.
Regular users will just have to plan their systems to allow for the extra space that Vista needs, and it may not be out of line to “nuke and pave” your system, copying off crucial data and reformatting the disk before reinstalling the system.
IDG News reported on April 17 that Steve Ballmer said of Vista at a Microsoft event “Vista is bigger than XP and it’s gonna stay bigger than XP. We have to make sure it doesn’t get bigger still.”
There’s another interesting aspect to the continuing presence of Windows XP on Wintel computers. Quite unlike the sluggish reception of Vista, upgrades to Internet Explorer, Microsoft’s market commanding web browser have been rapidly adopted.
The weblogs for this site suggest that the largest percentage of visitors, 34.5 percent, are using Internet Explorer 6, the default browser for XP, but those numbers are closely followed by those for IE7 at 27.2 percent. IE5 is way down at the bottom of the chart with just .4 percent of users.
Updating a web browser is much cheaper and far less labour intensive than updating an operating system, but this points to an interesting trend in computer use, one that suggests that for many users, maintaining a compatible Internet experience is more important than upgrading the desktop experience.
Microsoft has kept its advertising for Windows Vista low profile since the launch, suggesting the company has clearly chosen to pursue a path of attrition and replacement in the migration to Vista.
But for that strategy to be successful, every new computer that ships must arrive with Vista preinstalled on it and that hasn’t been the clear-cut case that greeted the arrival of Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows XP.
With those launches, the improvements from the previous OS to the new one were so glaring and self-evident that system builders were falling all over themselves to licence the newest Windows.
In contrast, some system builders have successfully fought to hold on to the right to include XP on their systems.
In one remarkable example, Lenovo has instituted an “XP Downgrade” for its computers which allows users to buy an XP installer disc for a system that shipped with Vista until January 2009.
Dell Computer, Hewlett Packard, and Sony have all announced plans, as of April 2008, to take advantage of this “roll back” proviso in Microsoft’s licensing agreement, essentially allowing these volume licensors of Windows to sell customers two options of Windows (only one can be installed at a time on each system) when they buy a computer.
Dell plans to offer XP Professional preinstalled for qualifying customers for free on certain systems under the downgrade licensing arrangements. Sony and HP plan to allow the process to proceed through their channel partners or to allow customers to handle the downgrade themselves with the XP installer disc.