Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 11th Aug 2009 10:26 UTC, submitted by Moulinneuf
Windows Technologizer has an interesting article about why Windows Vista failed, and it provides 16 reasons why this is the case. A few of those reasons reveal a certain lack of understanding, but a more pressing issue is that while listing these reasons individually is interesting, Vista's failure in the marketplace can be explained in a much more compact fashion.
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Vista was OS X 10.0
by SterlingNorth on Tue 11th Aug 2009 18:46 UTC
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I have always said that Windows Vista development and rollout was the equivalent to that of what became OS X version 10.0. Years of development, besieged with problems, delays and even a starting over on development while making a "quicky" upgrade to the old OS (Mac OS 9, Windows XP SP2) pretty much forced both companies (Apple 2001, Microsoft 2006) to release an OS that was not ready. Remember OS X was so slow, buggy and bloated that most Apple machines still booted into OS 9.

Remember this review? "Mac OS X shows tremendous promise, which is a nice way of saying that the 10.0 release is not quite ready for prime time. This is most certainly an early adopter's OS release. Interface responsiveness and effective stability are the two biggest fundamental problems, but missing features and compatibility issues rank just as high if you actually intend to use OS X as a full Mac OS 9 replacement: the 10.0 release cannot view DVD movies; printer drivers are still scarce; CD burning is not yet supported, even by Apple's own iTunes CD authoring application; and a lot of hardware (like my G3/400's serial port adapter to which my printer is attached) seem destined to be orphaned forever."

That it took Apple three years to get all the major kinks out of the system is forgotten by Mac partisans, and unknown to the new switchers who started flocking to OS X after 10.3 was released. OS X 10.1, like Vista SP1 fixed most of the egregious issues with OS X, but it wasn't until 10.3 that APIs were finally finalized and the OS looked and felt solid. I know people will take this the wrong way, but I think Windows 7 is very much like OS X 10.3 like that, right on down to the fact that the companies felt confident enough in the internals to introduce enhancements to the interface. Note that Expose was introduced in 10.3, like today Microsoft introduced Aero Peek to W.7.

The major differences between the two stories are external. OS X was release back when Apple was still near rock bottom, but that insulated them from the public eye somewhat. Apple is freer to start off with something incomplete and refine it until it is working , as its base at the time was the true-true believers. Fortunately, by the time the iPod proved to be a success, they were up to 10.3, 10.4 and 10.5. Microsoft, however was near the top of its game but was beginning to take assault from the resurgent Apple (at 10.3 and 10.4). Vista was a bigger stumble because it was a much more public stumble.

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