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XP or Vista - Which is more at risk from Windows 7?

XP or Vista - Which is more at risk from Windows 7?

Postby kanaloa » Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:08 pm

I thought this was an interesting article over at ZDnet... thought I'd share.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes @ ZDNet wrote:It’s been around 30 months since Windows Vista hit the General Availability milestone, and in that time the OS has only managed to claw some 18% of the OS market share. Compare that weak market share to the aging Windows XP, which even today commands an impressive 73% market share. With Windows 7 now only a few weeks away from the General Availability milestone, it’s interesting to wonder what effect 7 will have on XP and Vista market share.

According to data collected by NetApplications, Windows 7 had already grabbed a 0.9% market share by the end of July. That’s pretty impressive considering that the OS didn’t hit the RTM milestone until the 22nd of July. To put things into perspective, the beta and RC code for Windows 7 already commands three times the market share that the iPhone does. It’s also rapidly closing up on Mac OS X 10.4 (market share 1.03%), Linux (market share 1.05%) and Mac OS X 10.5 (market share 3.42%). People are interested in Windows 7, and there’s little danger that the OS launch will fizzle as Vista did at launch .

What I’m going to be watching as soon as Windows 7 is released to an eagerly awaiting public is how the new OS affects earlier versions of Windows. Microsoft’s hope is that 7 will be the OS that convinces those entrenched XP users (of which there are millions) that it’s time to let go of the aging operating system and embrace the future. I fear that reality might be different. I wouldn’t be surprised to see 7 aggressively cannibalize Vista’s market share, bringing it down to under 10% in a matter of months, while leaving XP’s market share in the high 60% region. After all, many of the folks who’ve stuck with XP have done so for a reason. Maybe they’re not upgrading their hardware, or maybe they’re worried about compatibility or performance issues. Whatever the reason, they’ve made the choice, and making a switch from XP to 7 is only marginally easier than switching from XP to Vista. Add to this the fact that the only upgrade path from XP to 7 involves a clean install, which while being the sensible option, is more hassle than most will want to put themselves through.

Windows 7 does have some aces up its sleeve. The main one is that it will run happily on netbooks, which means that the era of Microsoft having to keep shipping XP comes to an end. Since netbooks is a growth area, that will help buoy 7’s market share. Microsoft has also offered 7 at some very deep discounts over the past few weeks, hoping to get sales in before any negative reviews start hitting the web. No matter how good 7 is, a certain level of negative coverage is guaranteed, and Microsoft is anticipating it in advance. That’s also a good move because it means that 7 will have a fantastic launch week that Redmond can brag about in press releases and in ads.

A factor that Windows 7 will have to contend against is the soggy economy. Despite a roaring economy at the time, Vista never managed more than to hobble along. Home users worried about performance, business users kept wondering why they should bother to migrate, and everyone worried about compatibility. It’s clear to me now that despite having plenty of time in the oven, Vista was far from ready at the time it was released. With hindsight, I think that Microsoft would have done better to have sat on Vista for another six to eight months, made it into a better OS, and have avoided much of the negative press it attracted over the past two and a half years.

Microsoft has worked hard to distance itself from Vista (to the point of not even mentioning the OS by name in ads) but I fear that huge swathes of Windows users will take a long time to forget how Microsoft tried to push a broken OS onto their PCs.
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Re: XP or Vista - Which is more at risk from Windows 7?

Postby kanaloa » Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:11 pm

Personally I still believe XP is pretty safe. I know a lot of computer users who don't even care about Windows 7 - and likely won't until their old PC dies. I think Vista is where we'll see the biggest transition - after all, if folks were brave enough to use Vista with all the negative reviews, Windows 7 should be an easy choice for them.

If anything I think we'll see more users dual booting between XP and 7. I dual boot between Vista and 7 currently, but I have stuck primarily with Vista thus far (though I am quickly warming up to Windows 7). I didn't migrate to Vista at home until late last year - just to keep this all in perspective. I was an avid fan of XP prior to that... and I still like the OS (though I do especially like some of the perks Vista has regarding media/photos).

Truthfully though, I'll be shocked if Windows 7 takes the market share from XP. In this economy, and with the way XP remains so reliable (and no real push by software makers to upgrade) - I suspect it's going to be XP (55%-ish), Windows 7 (35%-ish), and then Vista (5%-ish) in that order (the last 5% to other OS's). At least for another year or so.
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Re: XP or Vista - Which is more at risk from Windows 7?

Postby Grav!ty » Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:39 pm

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes wrote:I wouldn’t be surprised to see 7 aggressively cannibalize Vista’s market share, bringing it down to under 10% in a matter of months, while leaving XP’s market share in the high 60% region.

kanaloa wrote:I suspect it's going to be XP (55%-ish), Windows 7 (35%-ish), and then Vista (5%-ish) in that order (the last 5% to other OS's). At least for another year or so.


I agree totally with the ranges in both these views. I see nothing at all compelling enough to cause me to ditch what I regard as being the greatest desktop operating system to-date...Windows XP Professional.

Vista was a dead duck from the get go. Even Microsoft had to acknowledge that eventually. The jury is still out on Windows Seven but in my opinion it is an improvement on Vista. Until there's a good reason to change from XP I'm happy to hang in with it.
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Re: XP or Vista - Which is more at risk from Windows 7?

Postby imnuts » Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:43 pm

Windows 7 won't really take off until businesses decide to adopt it, which they are going to be much more likely to do compared to Vista just because there is an XP Mode that will be available to retain compatibility with older apps. I get the feeling that the ability of the system to boot to a VHD drive will make deployment much simpler as well so they can just make one image that should work with all systems due to the virtualization of it, but I could be wrong with that as I don't know exactly how it works. If businesses start using it though, I'd think that more home users would move to it then as well as they would get to know the OS and features and how things work better.
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Re: XP or Vista - Which is more at risk from Windows 7?

Postby JabbaPapa » Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:28 pm

imnuts wrote:Windows 7 won't really take off until businesses decide to adopt it ...


Absolutely :yesnod: ... although I've seen reports that there are relatively large numbers of businesses already planning to deploy W7, I mean larger than the numbers that planned to deploy XP and Vista RTM at this early stage.

I agree with the gist and many of the details of the article that John has quoted, except that I would think that although there may be an initial spurt of people gladly switching to W7 from either XP or Vista, in the longer term the majority of the market share that W7 will take from other Windows versions will be from XP, simply because people generally don't upgrade their Windows, instead getting new versions preinstalled with new computers -- and older computers (running XP) are more likely to be replaced than newer ones (running Vista).

I certainly agree that it will be interesting to see what kind of marketshare hit Vista will take in the second half of 2009 :yesnod:

Whilst I am in the minority in thinking Vista is a better OS than XP, I am still extremely happy that this new Windows version has been freed from a) the incredibly annoying bugs in the desktop UI that can occasionally slow system responsiveness to a crawl and b) the mind-boggling hardware and drivers installation restrictions, that can sometimes turn basic OS and software installation into a time-consuming project.

W7 is also just blatantly better than Vista, whereas its superiority or not over XP is still a question of personal preference and needs.
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Re: XP or Vista - Which is more at risk from Windows 7?

Postby gries818 » Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:42 am

I was lucky enough to get a copy of Windows 7 and I am more impressed than I thought I would be. I'm running it in Virtual Box inside Leopard, and surprisingily it doesn't slow down my other programs the way Ubuntu does, and it installs way faster than Ubuntu. I can only assume these performance gains would be multiplied when installed on a real computer. I just don't want to risk installing Windows 7 on my Mac.

From what I have seen, W7 definetly cleans the floor with Vista. But while I don't get the extra visual effects because of the virtual installation, I can see enough to know I don't like this more than OS X. The new toolbar just doesn't have the same cool 'element' of the Dock. Internet Explorer 8 isn't on par with Safari or Firefox (though users can obviously install either Safari or Firefox) though websites do tend render better than they do in 8 on XP or 7 on Vista..

The "Libraries" feature is a great improvement. Windows Media Player has been improved quite a bit, though I won't say it's even with iTunes just yet.

Taken in to account, there is a lot of great stuff in 7. I don't know if it is worth to upgrade XP, but I would switch from Vista. I still don't regret switching to a Mac. OS X feels a lot more full-featured with iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, iTunes, etc all built right in. I feel like I have to download a lot before I can do a lot with my computer on 7, and I don't feel that way about my OS X installation.
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Re: XP or Vista - Which is more at risk from Windows 7?

Postby Ztrl » Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:00 am

My Eee PC came with Windows XP Home on it. After I ran XP for about a month with it continually crashing at the simplest of tasks installed 7 and I will never go back again. No crashing and it runs fast and smooth with very limited hardware.
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Re: XP or Vista - Which is more at risk from Windows 7?

Postby gries818 » Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:45 am

Ztrl wrote:My Eee PC came with Windows XP Home on it. After I ran XP for about a month with it continually crashing at the simplest of tasks installed 7 and I will never go back again. No crashing and it runs fast and smooth with very limited hardware.


Hmm, I almost wonder if your XP installation came with Eee software installed that made it crash. That was one of the big reasons why I was fed up with Windows - I don't want to have to reinstall a fresh copy to get stable OS. Keeping it stable shouldn't feel like fighting a war with your PC.
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Re: XP or Vista - Which is more at risk from Windows 7?

Postby imnuts » Wed Aug 12, 2009 3:09 am

gries818 wrote:Taken in to account, there is a lot of great stuff in 7. I don't know if it is worth to upgrade XP, but I would switch from Vista. I still don't regret switching to a Mac. OS X feels a lot more full-featured with iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, iTunes, etc all built right in. I feel like I have to download a lot before I can do a lot with my computer on 7, and I don't feel that way about my OS X installation.


You can thank the US government and EU for that. Personally, I wish the EU and other anti-trust regulators would rip Apple a new one, and believe me, they definitely could. It's for another topic, but don't blame Microsoft for not including stuff in their OS, cause I'm sure they'd love to add the Windows Live apps if they could.
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Re: XP or Vista - Which is more at risk from Windows 7?

Postby gries818 » Wed Aug 12, 2009 3:27 am

imnuts wrote:
gries818 wrote:Taken in to account, there is a lot of great stuff in 7. I don't know if it is worth to upgrade XP, but I would switch from Vista. I still don't regret switching to a Mac. OS X feels a lot more full-featured with iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, iTunes, etc all built right in. I feel like I have to download a lot before I can do a lot with my computer on 7, and I don't feel that way about my OS X installation.


You can thank the US government and EU for that. Personally, I wish the EU and other anti-trust regulators would rip Apple a new one, and believe me, they definitely could. It's for another topic, but don't blame Microsoft for not including stuff in their OS, cause I'm sure they'd love to add the Windows Live apps if they could.


Oh government influence :no

Of course I'm not blaming Microsoft for what they can't include, but that doesn't change the fact that I can't do anything with 7 out of the box. Perhaps MS ramp up spending on its government lobbying... :lol:
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