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“Microsoft has irked consumers and corporate customers with the most recent version of its Windows operating system, which they complain requires hefty investments in PC hardware and offers a paucity of compelling new features in return. Now there are signs that companies' reluctance to install Vista is starting to weigh on Wall Street's outlook for the company's stock.

“Charles Di Bona, a senior analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein and a noted bull on Microsoft, said in a June 10 report that ‘dampening’ adoption of Vista by corporate customers will shave $395 million in revenues and 2% a share in earnings from the company's financial results for the 2009 fiscal year... According to a Bernstein Web survey… companies expect just 26% of their PCs to be running Vista by the beginning of 2011, down from an estimate of nearly 68% of computers by respondents to a similar survey a year ago.

“The new survey… also shows Vista's requirement of running on PCs crammed with lots of memory and powerful processors to be a deterrent. Companies expect to install Vista on only about 10% of the PCs they already own, compared with estimates last year that they'd be able to do so on 27% of their machines.

“‘It seems like the IT community has turned tepid to negative’ on Vista, says Di Bona... ‘There aren't any features in there they find compelling -- even ones that haven't had bad PR.’ For example, companies said in the survey that they were indifferent to Vista's Windows Presentation Foundation technology for building visually compelling programs...

“Vista… has suffered from a number of shortcomings. Besides the hardware requirements, customers have complained about clumsy new security procedures and a lack of compatibility with some companies' existing software programs. As a result, companies including General Motors are considering bypassing the system altogether and waiting for Microsoft's next operating system, code-named Windows 7…

“For Microsoft, a key challenge in its Windows business right now is to encourage companies to keep installing Vista while it trickles out information about Windows 7. At a recent conference, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer demonstrated Windows 7's new user interface, which allows users to manipulate objects on a PC screen using their fingertips.”

(“Microsoft: What Cost the Vista Fiasco? After a survey of corporate customers, one Wall Street analyst cuts his expectations for revenue and profit growth.” Aaron Ricadela. businessweek.com, June 12, 2008)

JUST BECAUSE WE CAN DO IT certainly does not mean that we should.

Real value added comes only through relentless focus on enhancing the customer's experience as they see it.

Customers first, business sense second, technology third.

We already knew that, right?

(P.S. I keep wondering how I will enjoy and benefit from raising my hands to touch a screen of spreadsheets and documents... )

1 comment:

Marc said...

Vista is wholly unpopular, and at this point Microsoft must be pushing it due to the sunk costs they have in it. Otherwise why would they continue to cram it down an unwilling public's throat? So much for adding value to the consumer. And those Mac commercials don't help either.

Who wants a touch screen computer? Can you imagine how often you'd have to clean it?