Yesterday, after more then 5 years of development, Microsoft officially launched Windows Vista. Yes it’s true, as of today you can walk into any major retailer and purchase a copy. The dust of the launch has hardly settled however and here come the first reviews and the first critics.
Many have critizised Vista as being the equivalent of slapping a big coat of paint on XP. With the rise of Mac OSX and new Linux distributions, some have even gone as far as to say that Vista won’t sell nearly as much as Microsoft expects it to sell and that it will force the company to change dramatically. But really, if you think about it, does any of this matter? Vista will sell millions, despite all reasons to the contrary. Why ? Pure and utter ignorance. We technology enthusiasts often forget who holds the true power in this market: the average consumer. With the majority of the world’s population being computer illiterate, all the criticism against Vista is for naught. They consider the computer to be just a tool, a big black box that they’re afraid to open. They don’t care about things like Bitlocker or Readyboost. Chances are they haven’t even heard of them. Neither will they rush out and buy a boxed copy of Windows (most of the are probably to ‘scared’ to install it themselves anyway). To millions of people however, a computer equals Windows. And when those millions go buy their computers during the course of this year, they’ll expect it to run Windows right out of the box regardless if it’s Basic, Home Premium or Ultimate.
You see, we may bash on Windows from time to time, but the reality of the situation is that Microsoft dominates 90% of computers throughout the world. And as much as people like Steve Jobs keep dangling new, shiny things before our eyes, Microsoft has already won the battle. Hell, it won the battle 12 years ago.