Microsoft Details The Reasons Why The Vista Launch Crashed And Burned

Maximum PC has an “exclusive interview” with a Microsoft exec where he comes clean about the failure of Vista. It’s a rather frank interview that I strongly recommend that you read, but here’s the summary as to why Vista bombed (from page 3 of the article):

  • Our Microsoft source blamed bad drivers from GPU companies and printer companies for the majority of Vista’s early stability problems.|
  • He described User Account Control as poorly implemented but defended it as necessary for the continued health of the Windows platform.
  • He admitted that spending the money to port DirectX 10 to Windows XP would have been worth the expense.
  • He assailed OEM system builders for including bad, buggy, or just plain useless apps on their machines in exchange for a few bucks on the back end.
  • He described the Games for Windows initiative as a disaster, with nothing more than 64-bit compatibility for games to show for years of effort.
  • He conceded that Apple appeals to more and more consumers because the hardware is slick, the price is OK, and Apple doesn’t annoy its customers (or allow third parties to).

You can read the full article here. The article is remarkably candid and it shows that Microsoft is no longer drinking the special kool aid. The article also goes into great detail about how they fixed Vista so that it is better. To be fair, some of Vista’s more annoying “features” have been fixed. However, one must wonder if even with SP1 out in the wild if it is too late for Microsoft. Maximum PC throws in its $0.02 worth on that:

“If you already have Vista, there’s no reason not to use it, but should you go out and buy Vista today? Probably not. With Windows 7’s launch scheduled for early 2010, we’re actually closer to that date than we are to Vista’s launch. If you’ve ridden out the storm on XP so far, it probably isn’t worth investing in Vista for just a year and a half of use.”

That sounds like the advice that I give those who ask me about Vista. That’s a problem for Microsoft, but great news if you’re Steve Jobs or Linus Torvalds.

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