What a difference a year makes. At the first anniversary of the release of Windows Vista, the main players in the Microsoft operating system have shifted positions a bit.
Vista's security improvements attracted customers fed up with vulnerabilities in its predecessors, but by December, Patch Tuesday included multiple fixes necessary for both older OSs and Vista, explains Stuart Johnston at PCWorld.com. That's how it goes, of course, hackers are paying more attention to Vista because of its growing user numbers.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is beating the drum for Windows 7 (though it's denying that it's doing it or that the release date could be in 2009). Analysts are even going so far as to say that Vista isn't as bad as Microsoft has led people to believe -- from Directions on Microsoft's Michael Cherry -- and that Microsoft will have a strong 2008, thanks to Server 2008 -- from IT Business Edge blogger Rob Enderle.
Vista SP1 isn't here yet, but it's almost old news already, even seemingly for Microsoft, which may be turning its back on what turned out to be the red-headed stepchild of OSs. Instead of putting its juice behind the service pack in order to prompt reluctant business and enterprise customers to roll out the OS, Redmond could be jumping ahead to the next new-and-improved OS and related product push.
And is there a winner emerging from this situation? Perhaps it's the PC makers, with a little Linux thrown in, according to The Chief Officers' Network. At this point, both consumer and business customers that need (or are somehow convinced that they need) to purchase PCs may choose between many Vista machines or some without Vista. Which means without Microsoft. If enough hardware manufacturers are ready to get off the Microsoft train, and enough consumers are ready to do the same, as they find that they really don't, and never will, need the newest bloated OS to send e-mail and browse the Web, more value options in hardware should be hitting the market on a regular basis, and then get snapped up by ever-more savvy buyers.