Windows

Windows Vista ranked most-used by only four percent of poll respondents

Over 1,300 people responded to our query on which Windows version was most prevalent among their end users. Windows XP was the favorite by a wide margin. Windows Vista and Windows 2000 came in second and third respectively.

On July 8th, 2008, I asked IT Dojo blog readers to tell us which Windows version was most prevalent among their end users. Three weeks later, over 1,300 people had answered the poll and picked a clear winner.

Windows Vista ranked most-prevalent by only four percent of poll respondents

With 92 percent of the vote, Windows XP is still the clear favorite among the end users of those who answered the poll. Windows Vista was the second most-prevalent Windows version with four percent of the responses. Windows 2000 followed closely with three percent. And, Windows 95 (or earlier), Windows 98, and Windows Me accounted for only one percent of responses.

Although I wasn't surprised by Windows XP's dominance in our poll, I was surprised by the extremely low response for Windows Vista. More than a year after Vista's release, Microsoft still struggles to counter the operating system's lackluster image. Microsoft is finally starting to address Vista's image problem, but as IT departments already look ahead to Windows 7, it might be too late to save Vista.

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

17 comments
jrw1411
jrw1411

I think that if Microsoft cannot address this issue with Vista and ditch it, with all resources being used to develop Windows 7, then Microsoft should either give free Windows XP software to all current Vista users or give them the latest windows version is this case Windows 7.

reisen55
reisen55

I cannot see the driving reason for creating Vista at the expense of killing off XP. IBM tried that ages ago in hardware when they created the ill-fated PS/2 family and killed off the PC-AT design, from which all contemporary computers base almost all of their technical lineage. PS/2 is now history. OS/2 was already dead when compared to Windows in whatever flavor it was, but Gerstner continued to pour huge sums of money into that operating system only to have it land with a dull thud and eventually be declared to be "stable" as in a dead person is stable too. Windows XP virtually owns the desktop market right now and Apple is a slice of what is left as is Linux. Microsoft cannot own EVERYTHING but they seem to think that the 10% or so they do not control is money they should try for through Vista and the eliminiation of XP. This is foolish. There was no business or operating system requirement to abandon XP in favor of Vista. Vista itself was a bloated hog that should never have been released as it is blood cousin to the bloated hog that was OS/2. Microsoft should have studied the IBM Playbook on that fiasco. Without a driving need ot change, Microsoft had all the time in the world to support XP and refine what is now called Windows 7. Vista should not have happened. Not necessary, needed, etc. But it did and Microsoft felt compelled to kill XP to push this awful product out the door. Hey, where are those PS/2 machines today? Hey, where is OS/2 today? Microsoft under Ballmer seems a FAR different company than it has been for these many years.

mickeypf
mickeypf

Yes - I agree too. It seems that MS is now really run by the marketing department (like IBM in the 1980's), whereas a few years ago it was more technically driven. Marketing always want new products or changes to products because they think it will give them a new angle to push sales, even if the new product is no better (or maybe worse) than the old one. What they just don't seem to get (even now) is that for corporate buyers, every change has a cost associated with it (training/driver updates / extra help desk costs or whatever), and if the changes are to benefit gamers, or to compete with Apple, it just becomes a cost with no corresponding benefit. Where I work - I'm putting XP on new hardware for a while yet.

VAR1016
VAR1016

That's a great post and very interesting reading. I particularly liked: "Windows XP virtually owns the desktop market right now and Apple is a slice of what is left as is Linux. Microsoft cannot own EVERYTHING but they seem to think that the 10% or so they do not control is money they should try for through Vista and the eliminiation of XP. This is foolish." Thanks, Paul

k0xv.00
k0xv.00

Windows Vista is absolute dog-drool-on-a-stick. XP is a superior OS and should never had been removed from production. Vista is no qualitative nor quantitative improvement over XP and this is a classic example of change just for the sake of change, the results of which have been dismal and lacking any inspiration.

VAR1016
VAR1016

Well after living with Vista for seven months (no more thank God) I have grumbled and groaned, ranted and moaned abut this OS both here and on other fora and my blogs too. I think that you are correct is suggesting that it might be a bit too late - certainly MS should have started their damage limitation publicity programme rather sooner. Paul

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

Over 1,300 people responded to our query on which Windows version was most prevalent among their end users. With 92 percent of the vote, Windows XP is still the clear favorite among the end users of those who answered the poll. Windows Vista was the second most-prevalent Windows version, but garnered only four percent of the responses. Original post: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/itdojo/?p=156 Although I wasn?t surprised by Windows XP?s dominance in our poll, I was surprised by the extremely low response for Windows Vista. More than a year after Vista?s release, Microsoft still struggles to counter the operating system's lackluster image. Microsoft is finally starting to address Vista?s image problem, but as IT departments already look ahead to Windows 7, it might be too late to save Vista. Is your organization moving to Vista or skipping this release and waiting for Windows 7?

gbhall
gbhall

I am always puzzled that not many people recognise the true significance of the opposing views which people take, which at heart I believe is simply "to you, is Windows a Toy or a Tool?" Windows as a Toy For these people every new issue is a joy. Lots of flashy new screens to look at, old features to search for and find in the new places they have been hidden, sometimes even brand new features to explore. If it runs slower, well that's a disappointment but it will be sorted out. The problems really begin when the new toy simply does not work well enough or for long enough, and play becomes frustrating. Windows as a Tool For these people, i.e., everyone on tech republic ! Windows is something they earn their living with, in some cases critically so, for time is money to them. A new version of an old tool will be welcome if it works better and faster and longer without faults. And if is easier to use, sharper, more efficient, cheaper, and more intuitive so that training oneself and new users is quicker. But every difference to the old version is a profound problem because it calls for a literal waste of time and money on training to find and adapt to the new features and where the old ones have gone to. The problems really begin for these people when the new tool simply does not work fast enough or well enough for long enough before falling over. A tool that requires you to re-learn almost everything, and takes longer than the old one to do the everyday things is just an abomination. In this light, one can easily see that Microsoft is lately totally dominated by the 'Windows as Toy' point of view, and if just lip-service is paid to the 'Windows as Tool' objectives, I forsee their eventual downfall. Because the core business product in my view should never be moved forward for necessary improvements in features and security without due respect to continuing familiarity and essential efficiency. That is why I personally think Vista is a failure. MS should, if sensible, (which I have come to doubt) issue Windows 7 in at least three very distinct versions - Business, GamePlayer and Entertainment centre.

PeterBoyles
PeterBoyles

MS shot themselves in the foot with an extremely over aggressive UAC addon for Vista on top of all the other changes. They then failed to make the Application Compatibility Toolkit as transparent as possible. Has anyone found clear explanations of all the options and when to use them? An Enterprise faces potentially 100s of millions of software upgrade costs. Why would they rush to Vista? Then add the costs of training users for the new versions of everything, costs of interconnecting the new software, costs of supporting the transition and the costs of hardware to support all changes pushes the total costs approaching the billion dollar mark. Um, no, they don't get it. They have an entrenched product. Business must see a real COST benefit before they let their investment in existing systems go. It is just not there for Vista.

bcarpent1228
bcarpent1228

The cost of the actual O/S used is minimal compared to the cost of downtime, retraining and maintenance. Most enterprise pcs use specialized apps and data and simply do not need the versatility of Vista (or Linux, or Apple). We could not find any "business benefit" for voluntarily switching O/S --- only if we were forced (as in the move from 2000->XP)

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Windows 7 isn't going to contain any Vista stuff that is currently causing problems? It's going to come out stable and working with full buy in from legacy hardware and software. Three gorgeous blondes are about undress you with their tongues? Which of these is more likely? Okay I know which one you are hoping for , but I told them you were a music and film producer, so you are about to be disappointed again. :p Wait for SP2, SP3 even, cross your fingers and hope MS don't deliberately screw XP. If you think Windows 7 is going to solve all your problems, I have three golden retrievers that need looking after. By the way the answer to your question is no, it's way too early to make that judgement. I worked in one place where the predominant OS was 95 in 2003, they were just starting to roll out XP when I left.

techrepreader
techrepreader

The latest PCs that our our organisation (a Public Health Service) is purchasing would easily run Vista but there is no business reason to do so. Whether or not they will consider the next version of windows is also open to question it depends on the business issues not simply technology. As part of the application development department we see lots of equipment that do feeds to the patient management system nothing requires Vista. Also since the area we cover is the size of England we have used the web for applications delivery. We have moved on to Flex so the major applications for ICU, pharmacy, etc are now completely browser based so we are gradually becoming OS agnostic, which from a development perspective is how it should be.

Tink!
Tink!

Like the company you left Tony, this company is slow to stay with the times. When I arrived in 2003 they were using NT. In 2006 we bought all new computers with XP. I'm sure these computers will stay in place until they are too old to run properly or the hard drives burn out! :D

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

cope with any enforced obsolescence (these guys certainly did !) Then it's doable. I was coding in VB6 for 95 on a P3 with a 128m of RAM, support was sort of unnecessary. :p Not a normal situation though.

armstrongb
armstrongb

The reason we still use XP, even on brand new hardware, and not Vista is legacy apps that do not perform on Vista as they do on XP. That's the only reason. If we did not have to deal with the legacy accounting and databases then we'd probably be moving to Vista on every new system and phasing out XP.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

with those apologists who blame 3rd parties for Vista's slow take up. If you were some poor git of 3rd party about a year or two ago, and you'd spent a significant amount of resource on being Vista compatible, you'd be sacked. One of the reasons my team is on Vista, is we expected that our customers would do so, and that we could lose them. Fortunately it wasn't that big a job. Not everybody is having it so easy though. Based on Vista's 'success' I would expect 3rd party's to be even more leery of plumping for windows 7. I'm still waiting to see how MS address that, at the moment they seem to have theior heads firmly buried in the sand, which makes it easy to kick their ass.

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