Microsoft (MSFT) Vista was released worldwide on January 30, 2007. It was the most recent generation of the flagship product of the world's largest software company. Vista was created to improve the security of the most widely used PC operating system in the world. The securities features were not much better than the previous versions of Windows based on most reviews of the software. Vista was also not compatible with a number of older PCs which limited the number of users who were likely to upgrade from the earlier version of Windows, known as XP. Many analysts claim that Vista also ran more slowly on PCs than XP. All of these factors prevented Vista from being viewed as clearly better than its predecessors. According to research site Net Applications, as of last month Vista's global share of PC operating systems was less than 24%. Windows XP had 62% of the market and Apple's (AAPL) OS X product had over 9%. When Vista was launched, PC Magazine said, "Call it a nice-to-have product rather than a must-have." Microsoft recently announced its first quarterly revenue drop in 23 years. The day of the earnings release CNNMoney observed, "Microsoft's Vista operating system, which was released in early 2007, never took off like the company had hoped. Sales in the division that produces Vista fell 16% in the previous quarter. User satisfaction has been underwhelming, and IT departments have largely opted to stick with Vista's predecessor, Windows XP." The company is rushing Vista's replacement, Windows 7, to market and hopes to have it out by the end of the year.
Douglas A. McIntyre
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