Q:I was reading a bunch of “Biggest Tech Disappointments of the Year” stories, and Vista was on most of those lists. Do you think Vista has some work to do, in terms of convincing people it’s something that they need?
A: Vista passed 100 million (units shipped), which is a pretty phenomenal number. A lot of people put it on their favorite-products-of-the-year (lists) because they are using neat new features that are there. We certainly got a lot of feedback about getting device drivers (out). There were some compatibility things we didn’t handle well. Definitely, we’re a lot smarter there.
I’m proud of the product. There are a lot of things that, as the year went on, we got the polish and the extra drivers out there. Vista will be a lot stronger in the next year. We’re taking the lessons learned from that and building the next great version of Windows, which will be even better.
Bill, I’m sorry, but we’re not buying.
To clarify: we’re not buying your story, AND we’re not buying Windows Vista.
First of all, 100,000,000 units shipped does not mean 100,000,000 bought. As a matter of fact, it means nothing at all, really, except that several million copies of Vista are sitting on store shelves. I’ve seen them. They’re lonely. They are cold, shivering in the aisles of Best Buy.
Secondly, people didn’t rush out screaming, “I must have Vista!” They needed a computer, often a laptop, and all of the new computers were bundled with Windows Vista (with Windows XP almost always removed as an option). People didn’t beg for it; most of them don’t even know what the differences were until they got it home and said, “What is THIS?”
Thirdly, WHO is putting Vista on their favorite products of the year lists? Steve Ballmer? The man, who has no doubt seen the same kinds of articles that I have (which nearly unanimously condemn Vista as almost unusable), told you that people are disappointed with Vista.
YOU KNOW PEOPLE ARE DISAPPOINTED WITH VISTA! For God’s sake, Admit it! It’s not like this is a matter of debate; people flat out hate the stupid thing!
Dell, after initially offering only Windows Vista, caved in to customer demand and began offering Windows XP (an unprecedented move) after all of the bad press Vista received. They’re not doing it anymore, but I have a feeling that they reconsidered their position after a few phone conversations with Monkey Boy Ballmer.
It’s sad enough to think that Gates has passed the torch to a certifiably insane Steve Ballmer, but to think that he doesn’t have the guts to be honest about a failed product is kind of disappointing. Have you heard of this latest corporate philosophy called radical transparency? TELL YOUR CUSTOMERS that you screwed up! Let them know that you’ll do better and work harder in the future to reward them for their confidence in your products.
Of course, if you’d ask Steve Jobs, he’d probably tell you that the iPhone’s keyboard is a magnificent leap into the 30th century.