Vista – A mountain to climb first

Roger Ehrenburg over at Monitor 110 highlighted that

Only 15 percent of today’s computers are capable of running Windows Vista Home Premium, considered to be the mainstream consumer version, according to Gartner.

Having run a Vista compatibility test on my own machines, I know that I am in the 85%. Are these old tired machines that desperately need replacing? Nope. They work perfectly well on XP Professional. Moreover, as I increasingly use online applications the need to have a hulking great machine is diminishing. As it is, it becoming increasingly rare for me to use Office 2003 products.

As a consequence of our company’s licensing arrangements, I already have access to Vista Ultimate and the new Office suite at no additional software cost. But I can’t see any compelling reason to upgrade, especially when it necessitates me buying a new machine.

What’s more interesting to me is the notion of launching a product that you immediately preclude 85% of the market from using. Sure, people will upgrade the computer eventually and when they do perhaps it will ship with Vista but that’s a long rollout cycle. Indeed Gartner apparently further proclaim that

Windows Vista will be running on more than half of the world’s consumer PCs by late 2008, but it won’t be the dominant operating system for corporate computers until 2010

So, 5 years in the making and a further 3 years to achieve mass market. That’s a heck of a bet on the longevity of this software and its future-proof capabilities.

UPDATE – looks like I’m not the only one thinking along these lines. Fred Destin is too.

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