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April 5, 2007

Where’s that Vista effect?

Posted by David Hunter at 10:53 PM ET.

It looks like it is finally sinking in among the popular press (not to mention Wall Street) that there isn’t going to be a wave of Vista upgrades of existing PCs. The latest evidence is a survey from Harris Interactive:

Unfortunately for Microsoft, with awareness skyrocketing, the results show that the numbers have not grown for those intending to upgrade their system. In fact, the majority of online adults say they will not upgrade their system in the next 12 months.

Which basically means never. Inadequate hardware, nonexistent drivers, incompatible programs, generally scary conversion stuff – it’s not exactly the kind of proposition you’d expect Aunt Nellie or Uncle Fred to get excited about because quite frankly, Windows XP is “good enough.” However, there may have been some good news for Microsoft in the results:

However, Vista has turned a few heads with those considering purchasing a new system. In December 2006, 15 percent of online adults who were aware of Vista said they would wait for Vista to be released before buying their next PC. True to form, the March 2007 survey found that 20 percent did in fact wait for Vista before opening their wallet. Looking forward from here, one in five (20%) online adults said Vista will accelerate their purchase decision while three in five (60%) said Vista has no impact on their purchase plans

Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but better than nothing.

Finally, speaking of upgrades, the XP users most likely to upgrade are those who bought systems late last year and got Vista Express Upgrade coupons. They have the right hardware and many must have the motivation, but actually getting the upgrades has proved a “Consumer Nightmare“:

“I think Microsoft has really lost some of their more ardent supporters on this,” Hughes says. ” I have always been a die-hard Microsoft groupie, but this whole mess has left a very bad taste in my mouth, and I would be more than hesitant to get involved in an upgrade scheme like this again.”

Still, when all is said and done, this is merely about measuring a transitory start-up effect. New PCs rolling off the line still predominately have Windows operating systems installed with most being Vista and the cash continues flowing into Redmond. It’s just that no sizable initial Vista windfall is apparent.

Filed under Financial, General Business, Marketing, Microsoft, OS - Client, Windows Vista

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