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Has Microsoft Disavowed Vista?

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Technically, Vista is pure misery. It eats system resources like an elephant does peanuts, Windows break and its so-called improved security is a joke. I know it. You know it. Even Microsoft’s most devoted yes-men know it–although they won’t admit it–and perhaps Microsoft knows it as well.

What else can explain why Microsoft is now leaking news about Windows 7, the next version of Windows? Oh, officially Vista SP 1 is still the big upcoming news, although I think most businesses are actually more interested in XP SP 3. The simple truth is that no matter how Microsoft and its partners like CDW spin it, Vista is not being picked up by corporate users. Even Bill Gates’ vaunted 100 million Vista users number should be taken with a large—very large—grain of salt.

Most of the information is dripping out of the blog, Shipping Seven. But, it’s more than just Shipping Seven, which may, or may not, be real. Microsoft is hard at work, harder than one would expect, with Vista just over a year old, in getting its next desktop operating system ready for action.

As Directions on Microsoft analyst Michael Cherry recently told eWEEK’s Peter Galli, “I don’t think Vista is as bad as Microsoft has convinced people it is.” What should Microsoft do then? Cherry recommended that Microsoft “discuss the next version of the operating system, currently referred to as Windows 7, and what it will do.”

Could Vista have missed its shot? Yes, yes, I know, how can I say this when there are tens of millions of copies of it out there? Easily. It’s one thing to drop copies of Vista Home Basic and Premium on Best Buy customers who don’t know any better. It’s another thing entirely to get CIOs and IT managers to spend—or should I say waste?—billions on Vista.

For now, whether Microsoft likes it or not, XP, and not Vista, is the Windows those businesses will continue to use. And the companies that want to move on to a truly better operating system? They’ll be moving to Linux or Mac OS.

A version “Has Microsoft Disavowed Vista?” first appeared in eWEEK. >

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