Vistas Ghost Boosts Windows 7 Sales

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-04-28 Print this article Print

5. Vendors are supporting it

When Microsoft released Vista, it expected that the OS to enjoy the kind of success XP did. Part of why it didn't can be attributed to OEMs. Companies such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard opted to allow customers to "downgrade" an OS installation and buy computers that came bundled with XP, rather than Vista. By doing so, these vendors effectively diminished Microsoft's ability to get Vista into homes. This time around, vendors are fully backing Windows 7. They realize that it isn't Vista and consumers are actually eager for it. That should only help Windows 7 sales.

6. The consumer market believes in it

Consumers are buying Windows 7 at a rapid rate. Unlike Vista, which they knew was a mistake from the outset, consumers seem to have realized that Windows 7 is nothing of the sort. The operating system is a fine choice for those who don't want to stick with an older operating system or opt for Mac OS X. For the first time in quite a while, Microsoft has delivered an operating system that consumers are actively seeking out. And by doing so, it's helping to bolster its bottom line.

7. A little help from

As troublesome as Vista was, its issues and poor sales are actually helping Microsoft. Because so few people opted for Vista and many decided to stick with XP, they're quickly realizing now that it's time to deploy a new operating system as their computers start slowing. Because of that, it seems that Vista has become a saving grace for Microsoft. Rather than allowing Vista's failures to continue to haunt it even after Windows 7 is available, the company has used them to make a more convincing argument to customers that they really need Windows 7. Not bad.

8. It isn't

At the same time, Microsoft is only able to use Vista as a selling point because Windows 7 isn't anything like its predecessor. Unlike Vista, Windows 7 is adequately secure without a service pack. It also boasts several features, including new encryption tools, that should appeal to the enterprise. Windows 7 is simply what Vista should have been. It's robust, reliable and quite speedy compared with its predecessor. Armed with that knowledge, it wouldn't be surprising if Windows 7-based computers continued to sell at a rapid rate.

9. Chrome OS isn't a threat-yet

Microsoft doesn't need to worry all that much about competing operating systems. It's fully aware that Mac OS X is a viable alternative, but few consumers in the mainstream (and even fewer companies) are willing to switch to an alternative operating system. The only major difficulty Microsoft might face in the coming years is Chrome OS. Google's Web-based operating system has the name recognition and feature set to potentially challenge Windows. That said, Chrome OS will only be available on netbooks when it first launches later in 2010. Until it makes its way to desktops and notebooks, look for Windows 7 to continue to sell well. After that, it's anyone's guess which operating system will reign supreme.

10. Microsoft is making the right moves

Part of the reason why Microsoft should enjoy even greater success with Windows 7 rests in the fact that so far it has made the right moves. Rather than focus its time on making consumers see that Windows 7 isn't Vista, the company instead decided to focus on Windows 7's virtues. It has also marketed Windows 7 far more effectively than Vista. There's no telling if Microsoft will continue to make the right moves in the future, but it has laid a solid foundation on which it can build future success.

If Microsoft keeps it up, Windows 7 could very well turn out to be a major success for the company.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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