Microsoft admits Vista failure

With two overlapping events, Microsoft admitted what we have been saying all along, Vista, aka Windows Me Two (Me II), is a joke that no one wants.It did two unprecedented things this week that frankly stunned us.

Dell announced that it would be offering XP again on home PCs. The second that Vista came out, Microsoft makes it very hard for you to sell anything other than Me II. It can’t do this on the business side because it would be laughed out the door, but for the walking sheep class, well, you take what you are shovelled.

This is classic abusive monopoly behavior, Microsoft wrote the modern book on it. It pulled all the major OEMs in by twisting their arms with the usual methods, and they again all fell into line. Never before has anyone backpedalled on this, to do so would earn you the wrath of Microsoft.

But Dell just did. This means that Me II sales are at least as bad as we think, the software and driver situation is just as miserable, and Dell had no choice but to buck the trend. If anyone thinks this is an act of atonement for foisting such a steaming pile on us, think again, it doesn’t care about the consumer.

What happened is the OEMs revolted in the background and forced Microsoft’s hand. This is a big neon sign above Me II saying ‘FAILURE’. Blink blink blink. OK, Me II won’t fail, Microsoft has OEMs whipped and threatened into a corner, it will sell, but you can almost hear the defectors marching toward Linux. This is a watershed.

The other equally monumental Me II failure? Gates in China launching a $3 version of bundled Me II. Why is this not altruism? Well, it goes back to piracy and how it helped enforce the MS monopoly. If you can easily pirate Windows, Linux has no price advantage, they both cost zero.

With Me II, Microsoft made it very hard to pirate. It is do-able, you can use the BIOS hack and probably a host of others, but the point is, it raised the bar enough so lots of people have to buy it. Want to bet that in a country with $100 average monthly salary, people aren’t going to shell out $299 for Me II Broken Edition?

What did MS do? It dropped the price about 100x or so. I can’t say this is unprecedented, when it made Office 2003 hard to pirate it had to backpedal with the student edition for about $150. This time though, things are much more desperate.

If you fit Microsoft’s somewhat convoluted definition of poor, it still wants to lock you in, you might get rich enough to afford the full-priced stuff someday. It is at a dangerous crossroads, if its software bumps up the price of a computer by 100 per cent, people might look to alternatives.

That means no Me II DRM infection lock in, no mass migration to the newer Office obfuscated and patented file formats, and worse yet, people might utter the W word. Yes, you guessed it, ‘why’. People might ask why it is sticking with the MS lock in, and at that point, it is in deep trouble.

So, it did the unthinkable, and dropped the price. I won’t bother to hunt down all the exec quotes saying how people can’t afford clean water would be overjoyed to sell kidneys to upgrade to the new version of Office, but they are out there. This was a sacred cow, and it is now hamburger backed up against the wall.

These two actions by Microsoft are proof of what was suggested three years ago. Microsoft has lost its ability to twist arms, and now it is going to die. It can’t compete on level ground, so is left with backpedalling and discounts of almost 100 times.

What we are seeing is an unprecedented shift of power. It is also an unprecedented admission of failure. And the funniest part about the moves made? They are the wrong things to do. Microsoft is in deep trouble.

via Inquirer

31 thoughts on “Microsoft admits Vista failure”

  1. You discredit yourself by calling it “ME II” in the first place. Second, nowhere did Microsoft ever “Admit” to anything. What about windows vista is so bad? And specifically, not the generic “It has holes, its unstable, and it sucks,” answers. What reasons do you have for calling it bad other than the fact that you are too cheap to pay for it?

    That is really what this entire article boils down to. You don’t like the fact that Vista costs money, so you call it ME II, take the fact that Microsoft wants to do something noble for 3rd world countries, and turn it into them admitting something they never admitted. Get over it. There is no “unprecedented shift” going on here.

  2. Vista is actually a steaming pile of overpriced shit chock full of expensive (to you) DRM. Microsoft caved to the RIAA/MPAA with their new content protection schemes and you get to pay for it. Want some reasons to call it bad?

    1) Games run slower on it.
    2) Driver support or lack there of
    3) DRM|DRM|DRM

  3. This is pure microsoft-bashing, nothingn more, nothing less.

    Give me some good reasons, not the ones you heard from the linuxboys… no driver support? I’ve never had it so easy before, you plug it in, it all goes by itself, and if it doesn’t because it’s not a common piece of hardware, the xp drivers work!

    aero-theme gets disabled while playing games, drm has been cracked, you got some real reasons you would like to share with us?

  4. I used to call Windows Vista “XP’s Me” too. Instead of writing a brand new kernel, Microsoft added services (a lot, maybe too much about security and copy protections, indexing) and softwares (sidebar). Aero is nice, but I prefer a ugly system performing faster (I actually use a Royale Noir XP theme that looks really nice). Vista is a little bit better than XP (Windows Explorer, Sound Manager) but it eats too much resources.
    Vista kills about 25% frames per second in games. They’re trying to force everybody to use Vista because of DirectX 10 exclusivity, but most of the game developers will support DirectX 9 or lose a lot of their sales.
    I erased Vista from my second disk and installed Ubuntu. But I have to be realistic. XP is still the best choice between ease of use and power.

  5. Look, fellas, listen. This isn’t just MS bashing. Vista sucks, and that’s a fact. Go on slashdot and search for Vista, you can find numbers to prove it. I work for a company that buys over 100 new computers every year. We actually took the new machines running Vista and installed XP in its place because they were too slow to perform reasonably over our domain. Yes, for the average user who does nothing but word processing, e-mail and AIM, Vista is a functional OS. However, for people who want to do more than one thing at a time, Vista is sluggish because of the amount of resources it uses. Think about it. When you installed IE7 on your XP box, didn’t you notice that the internet got a little more frustrating to use? I actually noticed a load increase of roughly 20% from IE6 to IE7.

    Vista doesn’t just have bugs and holes. XP had bugs and holes too. XP still worked. XP was stable, mainly because it was built the same as Windows 2000, which is possibly the most stable Windows ever compiled. Vista was built from scratch, and look how it turned out. Yes, it works for “common” pieces of hardware — if by “common” you mean “Microsoft-endorsed.” For the few of us who have weird network cards or SATA controllers, it takes a lot of effort to bring the computer to a state in which Vista will run.

    So thank you, Dell, for admitting that newer isn’t always better.

    And I’m sorry, but how is China a third world country?

  6. Not Me Too, but DOS 4.0 Redux. Remember Dos 4? Such a pile of crap that Digital Research almost got its foot in the door before M$ recovered? What saved their bacon was QBasic, and they were only able to pull that off because they already had QuickBasic 4, so all they needed was to cut it down a bit to make a killer replacement for GW-BASIC. DR couldn’t match that, and that made all the difference, in the days when end users could still write their own software. Now, the alternative OS is free, and all we have to do is convince Aunt Minnie that “You get what you pay for” doesn’t apply to software.

  7. 😈 I agree, Vista BLOWS!

    It does have holes, you have to be very lenient with it’s inability to be compatible with everything yet, it isn’t that pretty, resource hogging is no fun, DRM is the devil, their security patches and the like make you more vulnerable to attack, games are laggy as hell, and lastly IE will always suck.

    On the upside many of the viruses/trojans/wormz, etc aren’t compatible with Vista either, so cheers for that improvement! =P

    -zero, the binary king

  8. My new laptop came with Vista pre-installed, and it was nothing but a headache. An example of one problem among many: I wanted to view the help file of a program I downloaded, sounds simple enough, but guess what? Vista is not backwards compatible with help files made for older versions of windows! There is absolutely no reason for this, if I can run a program in Vista, I ought to be able to view its help file.

    Now I run Ubuntu and everything is much better.

  9. sorry vista haters your all retarted, your bashing a beta, which in fact is 500x times safer then Xp because none of the viruses from the past work anymore? i have a piece of advice for other morons. read what you need to run vista, it sais 1 gb of ram minimum, wouldnt that stand to reason that if you wanted to run VIDEO games, HUGE video games that take up shitloads of ram that you would want more then the minimum? oh, and did i mention

    vista, is a beta, service pack one isnt even out yet!!! ITS not finished! there still working on it!!! this is like bashing a child because he hasnt grown up yet, useless, retarted, and can only cause problems if anything.

  10. we were comparing it with when XP first came out, it was stable, same with 98 and 2K, but ME wasn’t and neither is Vista! I use far above the minimum (4gb) of ram, and have a top of the line “supported” graphics card, my current desktop was a bundle from Best Buy, so it worked out of the box of course, but it was sluggish, didn’t play games well until I upgraded the actual computer, and then the patches started rolling out. They alone took my interest in Vista out the window. Within a week I was reinstalling XP Pro again.
    and for an ani-freak Ciel, i’d not be one to call someone a retard… especially when you say,”this is like bashing a child because he hasn’t grown up yet, useless, retarted, and can only cause problems if anything.” aren’t those retards the children that can’t grow up?

    oh and it isn’t a beta, longhorn was the beta, this is the real deal, and we aren’t happy! 😯

    -zero, the binary king

  11. Load of crap: The DRM is not cracked in fact it is built into DX10 video cards. If you want real reasons here are some:

    TCO (total cost of ownership) much higher on Vista because it takes 2gb of RAM to run smoothly. I had a meeting with Microsoft last week and they offered to upgrade about 1500 devices from 1gb to 2gb of RAM to get them on Vista. Vista also costs 2X as much as XP.

    Vista is no more secure than XP (despite what the tragically ignorant Ciel says)

    Vista is incompatible with vast amounts of older hardware. It forces you to upgrade your old printers/scanners/cameras because it will not work with them.

    Vista has been compromised by the US Government. It spies on you and reports back to them. Don’t believe me? Here is a Slashdot link:

    For gamers Vista gives 10-15% slower FPS

    DX10 only games will be cracked to run on DX9 video cards (already been done) so no reason for gamers to ‘upgrade’

    –I’m tired of listing reasons but there are many more.

    Zero if you were using 4gb of ram on Vista and actually seeing them you would have had to be running the 64bit version which is incompatible with tons of stuff (I know i run it at work… great for testing Virtual Machines on but not much else) you are right about the beta status of Vista… it is not beta. companies rarely release beta soft for sale. SP1 is already being tested for Vista (again I know cause i’m testing it) it’s basically a collection of hotfixes.

  12. yessir AeroSquid!

    i have the x64 version (came free due to my esteem as the king of binary =P), i ran the 32bit version that came with it, and though, hey maybe the 64 would work just a little swimmingly, but no was wrong! So I grabbed some old XP discs and put that in there. Works like a charm now. Still had to upgrade ram and the like for a dual-boot with Gentoo/Ubuntu and to do graphics intensive apps (games xD).

  13. its absurd and unreasonable to say vista is less secure then xp even if it WAS more vulnerable then any other new operating system. because the keywords new.

    and cracking stuff and trying to work with that is a huge pain that will only get harder. until eventually Microsoft will lock it down so tight, and after that everyone will wonder, what jackass decided it would be fun to crack everything. plus for all you know they’ll find a way to detect it and i doubt they’ll take it kindly being able to get any info on you they want just by taking your ip address. lawsuits are something you want to avoid at the cost of a machine you dont like in the first place. at least i hope so.

    RAM does not make all your problems disappear. some video cards even though more powerful then others can have glitches and downsides to there particular model. i can sit here with one video card, 1 GB of ram. and a weak wireless single and do wonders with a LAPTOP windows vista running home premium, let alone a desktop which i personally don’t trust any new operating system on until sp1

    This is like the amateurs who say they hate Internet explorer show me whats wrong and i see that they’ve for some reason installed every peace of flipping spyware in existence like all the search toolbars.

    Hey, i have some advice for you to figure out what might be going wrong, ever heard of pc pitstop optimize? its site has a lot of useful info on making sure your PC is ready to do whatever you need it to do. one recommendation is 50% free hard drive space. this rule applies to XP, 95, whatever. look for more rules there, find out why your pc isn’t running correctly like mine is.

    wow… i just noticed i dissed myself in my last post.

  14. Maybe they should have called it XP SP3 with XP Plus Pack.
    It is after all only XP Sp3 with a few cool and not so cool tools tacked on.

    It’s a shame that computer hardware has come so far, so incredibly far in the last 12 years, yet computer software has progressed so little.

    12 Years ago you were on the high end of the curve if you had a 386 with 4 meg of memory. Your windows ran fine in that much memory.

    Now you need a PC that is thousands of times faster, with a huge front end processor cache, screaming fast hard disks, a couple of GIGABYTES of DDR memory coupled to the CPU on a private high speed bus, just so the OS can get out of it’s own way and does not totaly suck. Oh and you should have a dual processor core too, because that will help with OS bloat.

    If you do a Win98 install on a set of brand new hardware it flys. It is fast, it is snappy and it is hampered by running on top of the old 16bit dos. That a modern 32 bit OS is such a dog that it needs a PC about 100 times more powerful just so it does not suck is a sad comment on OS bloat.

    Dont call it ME II, call it XP sp 3 with the DRM Plus Pack.

  15. Or just buy a Mac, and skip the whole headache.

    I was a PC user for years, ever since DOS. I recently bought an iMac…and I’m converted.
    I edit movies in FinalCut, Firefox runs fast, and movies look great on the big screen.

  16. All I can say is that Volkswagens are still selling, still around, still praised, and still breaking…

  17. Absurd and unreasonable, yes I think that about sums up Vista’s worth to the world. Cracking isn’t a pain if you know how to do it correctly, and a program is hackable period, that’s why it’s called “software” (or at least that’s my interpretation). You cannot be detected if you don’t want to be. Your IP address can be changed to whatever you want, or masked completely with a few keystrokes, and what do we not like about our machine? You cannot receive a lawsuit unless you were caught doing something wrong.

    Ram isn’t a cure, I’ll give you that, but it does help the process heavy Vista, and even does wonders to speed on XP and 2K. I only have one video card, and 4GB of ram on my desktop, and one video card and 2GB of ram on my laptop. I can usually do the same productivity on either one, neither running Vista of course, whether in my car Wardriving or at home coding on my desktop. I never trust my operating system, that’s why I monitor it and keep it in check.

    An amateur who hates IE isn’t an amateur, he’s next to godly. IE is alright if you need to use it and have it tweaked correctly, but saying that an amateur should love it is doing too much. I think it’s funny that I could load every spyware imaginable onto my IE and it won’t do anything to me, because I don’t use it! =)

    Lastly, DO NOT — USE PC PITSTOP OPTIMIZE! For the love of all things good, don’t use online assistance tools! Any software that you have to buy is not worth paying for, there are open source methods to use, and usually they are much better in the long run! So Ciel what is wrong with your computer that you need to go to PC Pitstop for?

    If you need computer help, I mean you need it badly, ask one of the computer nerds at your school/church/work; they’ll set you straight and probably kick your a$$ for using Vista. 😛

    -zero out!

  18. I personally liked Vista, until my dvd drives and ethernet ports quit working 👿 and now I’m back to using XP because everything just works better in XP. 😛

  19. ANYTIME a major update to any OS comes out there will be problems. Anyone who buys the first version should be ready for issues/problems. If you’re relying on your PC for work, just wait until the OS is stable. NT servers are probably still running in closets around the world. W2K servers are everywhere. Businesses that finally got stable with XP are likely staying with XP. Vista is new. If you don’t have a new machine with lots of RAM and time to troubleshoot, you should expect to be disapointed.


  20. that was bs, zero. i didnt tell you to buy pc pitstop optimize i told you to read there website because it had useful tips for free, i didnt tell you any bull about you using spyware on internet explorer i told you that your argument is just as stupid as am amateurs saying that IE is bad because its vulnerable yet they download a trillian addons that are also spyware like all the search engine toolbars, and furthermore, you only need 1 GB of ram to run vista with all its fancy jazz. so its safe to say if you have twice that. 2 GB, then you have enough. with 4 GB of ram you obviously have another problem.

    dont twist my words to mean something they dont, little kids made that look completely and utterly retarted about the trillianth time they did it.

    theres one bad thing about windows vista, its too user friendly, same reason i hate macs and because of that im not looking forward to getting used to finding ways around that. XP was user friendly enough. let mac handle the new bees of the hive let people who have either enough common sense or know what there doing use windows.

    oh yah, and let me repeat myself, i bought a LAPTOP and it runs windows vista without the slightest hitch.

    with a smooth boot of about 2 minutes – ps, 2 minutes isnt long, neither is five minutes, can you wait five minutes? if not stay off computers.

    958 MB ram
    AMD turion(tm) 64 x2 1.80 GHz processer
    140 GB hard drive with 116 GB free after i installed everything ill need
    Nvidia Geforce Go 6150
    comes with a dvd/cdrom drive several USB ports and anything else i could possibly ask for.
    looks pretty too, but thats a bonus in my opinion i never cared since i used to be a 95 and 98 user until xp came out.
    oh, and this is an HP pavilion dv2000

    obvious question, if it is so useless and just an upgraded version of xp, why cant xp computers handle it?

    the answer? because it has so much more stuff on it. the fact is you have to upgrade your hardware over time. you cant sit there with a 1 GB hard drive like you used to… wether you like it or not, you need a better machine to run better stuff if you use an older machine to run better stuff. expect impared performance because in some way shape or form it will effect you. even if it randomly falls on your toe and because its so heavy being an old machine breaks it. yah i know that was a joke but i wasnt kidding about the rest.

  21. Ciel: Yes, new versions of things usually take more system resources to run. Of course, new versions of things also generally make good use of that, and include new stuff that actually matters. What did Vista improve on? They have a prettier interface (which I can get for free just by skinning XP), more annoying (yet not any better) security, extra big-brotherish worries, and a double-size price tag for the full version. On top of that you want me to go from a ~30-second boot time to 2-5 minutes? And have a large chance that at least some of my hardware isn’t even accepted by Vista (even new hardware)? Oh, and in your own words, it’s a beta. Why on earth should I pay $400 for a non-functioning, non-improved version of what I already have?

    JK: This is the reality of the Windows world, but why does it have to be? Why is it that this company is incapable of actually TESTING its product BEFORE releasing it to paying customers? My copy of Fedora 7 is amazingly stable straight out of the box, and it openly admits to being a perpetual beta for Red Hat Enterprise! In what business model was it decided that paying customers should be used as part of the testing team? And when did those paying customers come to accept this situation? Makes no sense.

  22. :mrgreen:
    @Ciel ==// Okay, I’ll give you that I mashed your words pertaining to PC Pitstop. However, I didn’t say to not read their website, nor did I say that IE was bad because of vulnerability to whatever, and I also didn’t say anything about Trillian (a chat/IM client made by Cerulean Studios, solid program but Pidgin (previously known as Gaim) is a lot better and free, plus has a lot more IM interfacing going on.)

    Twisting words isn’t childish, you have to do it sometimes to prove a point to someone who cannot form clear and precise sentences. You were saying first that we were stupid for bashing Vista, but over time you’ve added to the flames with little tidbits that prove our cause for bashing is relevant. I have to say that your boot time for a laptop is actually good, my older Dell laptop (yeah I know Dell, psh) has a boot time of 60sec solid, and that’s because I scraped the OEM bullshit and opted for a fresh install of everything.

    Next why is it obvious that I’d have problems with 4GB? The PC had that much ram to begin with, installing x32 makes only 3G visible, and installing x64 I have 4GB, there isn’t any problems with ram in Vista other than that. Also why is it an obvious question that an XP computer cannot handle Vista? I don’t recall anyone inferring as to why that is. I thought it was more obvious that it just came with the price tag.

    @JK ==/ Thank you for your insight, everything you said was true.

  23. Well…. I just have one question. What can you do with Windows Vista that you can’t on XP? Why would an *operating system* need 15 GB of Hard Drive (MS’s recommendation, not mine) do do what XP could do with a quarter of that? Are you telling me making something ‘pretty’ takes that much space? (ok make it two questions..) Why would you need 1GB of RAM minimum, 4 times what MS claimed XP needed (actually they said what, 64 MB when it first came out?) Just to do the same crap you did with XP? Look up MenuetOS, an Operating system that fits on a single FLOPPY DISK (no I don’t mean CD, I mean one 1.44MB floppy disk.) Now granted, it doesn’t have many of the things Vista has, but you’re telling me 14.9985 gigabytes are needed to fill in the blanks here?

    How can anyone look at the facts, look at Vista, and say it’s one for the ‘win’ column?!? It’s the HARDWARE that makes Vista operate normally. Run XP on that laptop, and I guarantee you you’ll see the difference. I run Ubuntu Linux and Mac on my personal computers, I run XP and Vista because the tech support issues line my wallet.

    Funny though that people are so brainwashed into believing MS is out to make the the best computer they can, that when their system seems to work just fine, it’s Windows’ excellent job of handling things… When Windows tanks, who gets the blame? The user? The tech/IT dept.? Stick to playing FreeCell, that’s about the only thing Windows is good for.

  24. so weight a Minuit here, Microsoft has released Vista which has system reqs of # 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
    # 512 MB of system memory
    # 20 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space
    # Support for DirectX 9 graphics and 32 MB of graphics memory
    # DVD-ROM drive
    # Audio Output
    # Internet access
    for home basic and wasn’t bill gates, the owner(?) of microsoft, the guy that said that the biggest computer we needed was 128 kb or sumthing

  25. okay guys… I’m a computer tech with over 15 years in the biz. I’ve worked with every M$ O/S ever made.

    Zero, I agree with you. Vista is the typical “bells and whistles” approach to a new operating system.

    Ciel… I have 6 computers running at all times in my house, and I hate to tell you this… Vista really is a piece of crap. I have one laptop that I can’t downgrade to XP because there aren’t any XP drivers for the devices (I blame dell for this). My original main tower could run Vista and it was only a 1.0 GHz AMD, 512 Gb Ram, 120GB HDD. So don’t be trying to say that “you can’t run Vista on an XP machine”… Not only was I able to do it (without overclocking – cause if you have to overclock, you should have just bought the speed you wanted in the first place), but I was also able to run Vista from WITHIN XP Pro in a virtual machine.

    I have another tower that I just installed Vista on… I’m going to be dumping it back down to XP Pro. Why? Cause it’s slower than snail shit. Degraded game performance, sluggishness across wireless networks, and quite frankly, if I wanted the bells and whistles, I would just install Ubuntu and throw Beryl on it. (Which I’m going to dual boot with).

    In short, Vista blows. It’s a resource whore.

    Oh, you’re an idiot for thinking that “viruses are incompatible with it”. Seriously dude… It’s still WinBlowz… It can still get viruses. If viruses weren’t a problem, then why does it have to inform you that “You may not be protected from malware and viruses”??? C’mon dude, take your head out of your ass. I almost chortled when i read that bs about “50% of hdd free”.

    I audibly called you an idiot when I read your little “2 minutes to boot up”. Dude, if you’re waiting that long for boot up, there’s a problem. My current tower (which isn’t godly by todays standards: AMD 2800XP+, 1024gb DDR, 400gb HDD) boots up in under a minute. No, this isn’t bullshit, I’ve timed it. So, if my OLD computer can boot XP in under a minute, and your NEW laptop can only boot Vista in 2 minutes, you’ve got a problem.

  26. Well I would just like to say that I have been a windows user since 3.1. As of yet i have not tried Vista and i am in no hurry to try it but i will say that xp in my opinion is by far the best os microsoft has came out with. Now as far as linux is concerned well i have tried several flavors of it and only recently found ubuntu and i think it is every bit as good as xp other than a few proprietary issues it is well worth having instead of windows. If i had really any big issues with windows it would be the things you have to do to keep viruses and spyware off your machine. And the fact that when you remove programs with add/remove it does not delete all the files, linux does. I am not trying to sell linux but since i have tried ubuntu i gotta say i love it.

  27. Another customer that has been kicked in the butt of MS. My new new laptop is so slow even with 2gb of ram. I use my old xp pro more than my new one now.

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