Microsoft’s Security Focus on Vista May Have Lowered Consumer Adoption

closeThis post was published 13 years 2 months 4 days ago. A number of changes have been made to the site since then, so please contact me if anything is broken or seems wrong.

In an article from PC World’s Business Center, it is suggested that Microsoft’s focus on security for the almost a year old Windows Vista may have undermined consumer opinion. Enterprises and consumers alike should not be expected to purchase an upgrade to a company’s product to fix an error on the part of the manufacturer. Microsoft has been promoting the security improvements in Vista from day one, when the OS was unveiled, and that could be a factor in the slow adoption.

In fact, many people who are getting Vista do so because they have no other choice. For the most part, new PCs are sold with Vista, without an option to buy XP. The majority of Microsoft’s Vista revenue is coming from the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) segment, not from consumer purchases of upgrades for existing machines.

Another factor, which I believe I have spoken of before, is Vista’s high system requirements. A bare minimum of 1,024 MB (1 GB) of RAM for all versions except Home Basic, and recommended memory of 2-4 GB, is a definite turn-off for business clients, who likely don’t want to spend the money on upgrading from their current 512 MB setups (the recommended memory for XP) to support Vista. As many companies have on the order of hundreds or thousands of computers, the cost to purchase the extra RAM and the labor to install it alone might be too much, let alone the possibility that the current motherboards in use might not even support more than the current amount of RAM.

I agree that Microsoft’s continued harping on security was likely a mistake, and that they should have focused on the other features Vista brings to the table. The UAC dialogs were also a huge problem, one the company is moving to fix in subsequent updates. Personally, unless all the problems and annoyances of Windows Vista go away, I’m holding out for Windows 7. My dad has an XP disc we can install on blank systems (an enterprise license), and I’ll use that until Microsoft gets back on the ball.


I am an avid technology and software user, in addition to being reasonably well-versed in CSS, JavaScript, HTML, PHP, Python, and (though it still scares me) Perl. Aside from my technological tendencies, I am also a theatre technician, sound designer, violinist, singer, and actor.

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