What's Vista's One-Year Grade Point Average?

Uh-oh! Two Fs and only one A mean Vista won't be going to the head of the class.

Windows Vista's one-year anniversary is Wednesday. Microsoft released the software to everybody on Jan. 30, 2007. A day earlier, Microsoft held a launch gala for Vista and Office 2007 in New York.


In this post, I score how well Vista has done in 12 areas since its real launch 12 months ago. Microsoft also launched Vista on Nov. 30, 2006. But the release that matters—when businesses or consumers could buy PCs—happened two months later.

I chose attributes that I believe matter most in evaluating Vista's real relevance, particularly in relationship to Windows XP. The scoring is my own, based on my personal experience using Windows Vista for nearly two years and on my assessment of other users' perceptions and experiences, including Microsoft customers and partners.

n fairness to Microsoft, each grade should be explained:

Technology. Vista isn't exceptionally better than XP, but nuances do matter. Improved manageability, networking, search and security—the plumbing—are worthwhile benefits. B.

Marketing. Microsoft killed the "Wow" ad campaign nearly as soon as it started. Ever since, Microsoft has failed to seriously market Vista. D.

Application Support. Those apps not broken by security and architectural changes run very well. B.

Application Compatibility. Security and architectural changes break too many apps. C.

Supporting Applications. Where are they? Have you seen any? F.

Driver Support. Vista ships with lots of drivers, more than XP out of the box. My grade will be controversial as I place greater blame on hardware manufacturers than on Microsoft for any problems. B.

Security. User Account Control is a nuisance, but Vista is more rugged than XP. To get an A, Microsoft would have needed to make security measures less complex. B.

source: microsoft-watch.com




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