Posted by: badarrow
Barbara Darrow, Channel, Microsoft, News
Gartner: Vista will surpass XP, but not any time soon
Windows Vista will overtake Windows XP sales, but not for a couple of years, according to recent Gartner estimates.
Gartner predicts Vista sales will surpass declining XP sales sometime in the middle of 2009.
Their projections show worldwide sales for Vista that year will be around 596 million units vs. 516 million for XP. In 2008, Vista is expected to hit the 324 million mark vs. close to 660 million for XP. (Vista became widely available early this year.)
Percentage-wise XP’s market share will shrink from about 61% worldwide to 43% from 2008 to 2009 while Vista percentage will rise from 30% to 50% in that period.
While some may snipe that this is a slow takeoff, it’s par for the course. Windows client OS sales typically take more than a full year to ramp up.
And Vista has onerous hardware requirements that make upgrading even “Vista-capable” older systems problematic. VARs have said for months that people should wait for new hardware to upgrade—despite Microsoft claims to the contrary.
Many solution providers are loath to say this for attribution, but Ron Herardian stepped up.
For businesses “Vista isn’t really a factor–companies are generally rejecting it, it sucks up too much hardware. It may be the most bloated operating system in history.” said Herardian, chief systems architect for Global System Services, Mountain View. Calif.
It’s at retail that Vista is making waves and that’s because there’s not much choice for those who want to buy-and-go. At the local Micro Center, the only laptop offered with XP pre-installed was a Lenovo. Everything else came with one of the many flavors of—you guessed it—“the V word.”
And that is how I came to be typing this on an HP Pavilion with too many bells and whistles and which is too slow to boot and power down. And oh yes, with a browser that hangs at least twice a day.
And that is how one reporter came to ask Windows marketing maven at a recent conference about whether this new Pavilion came with “downgrade rights.” It was not meant to be a smart-ass remark although it probably seemed that way.
Sorry about that.
His answer on downgrade rights, by the way, was “yes.” Still thinking on it–maybe Vista will grow on me. It’s only been a few months.
Barbara Darrow, a Boston-area journalist, can be reached at