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back to article Vista Business sales soar like leaping dachshund

August numbers are in from Context, the European PC market watcher, and they show that the Vista is anything but Buena for Microsoft. Vista Business, the, um, business version of Vista, Microsoft's new operating system, slowed during the month, to grab a measly 13 per cent of unit PC sales through Europe's top IT disties. Maybe …

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Anonymous Coward

It's not over yet....

We can all right Vista off only after SP1, then if uptake is poor we can compare it to windows Me.

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Yay.....

Isn't this just the greatest news ever???? :P

Long live XP..

Cuddles

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Anonymous Coward

The New Vista Commercial

When Microsoft gets honest:

http://www.blimptv.net/mostpopularV1.html

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's funny

Several retail store in Oz (*large* stores) are putting out advertising touting their 'wares with *XP* (their empahsis), not Vista. ^_^

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Anonymous Coward

An alternative point of view, aside from my usual microsoft bashing...

It's not that I wish any ill will on Microsoft as they've done a phenominal job of taking a realtive complex "think" and making it simple enough for just about any intelligence level. And in doing so, they've managed to cash in along the way...

Bravo, and I really mean that...

But, here's where I start disagreeing with them... The sun doesn't shine out of their ass, they don't do things better than everything else and they can only idiot proof things so much before it becomes either a pain in the ass or it's just so bogged down with legalities that a fair portion of its user base gets tired of all the bs and starts looking at Open Source alternatives.

Business isn't necessarily ready for the likes of Vista because of all of the administrative overhead. Also, if I understand correctly, a lot of the really cool policies that could make the lives of IT brethern & sistern so much easier, really aren't available until you get a long horn server up & shipping out GPO's. Which, as I've learned first hand, also applies to XP boxes as well. So, why would any business go through the hassle of deploying Vista if the server infrastructure isn't already available to fully implement it?

Secondly, as far as the home market is concerned... Bill, Steve, what's-his-name... Guys, people are inherently cheap... Unless someone has money burning a hole in their pocket, is even slightly technically inclined and has a whole lot of time on their hands, most people aren't going to be busting down the doors to replace what has now become a relative benchmark standard OS for something brand spanking new, that has lots of "features", "nuances", "idiosyncracies" or is still so new it's just flat out buggy.

Most people have a relatively good understanding that the only truly stable computer is one that's powered off... And no matter how smart the user or business admin is, at some point in time, something is going to go awry. And given Microsoft's declining track record when delivering a product that actually works as promised, is it any wonder that the only way they can sell Vista products is at gun point?

I just purchased two computers for home... a laptop for my wife (that came with vista) and a little after that, a quad core desktop, for myself... After spending I don't know how many hours getting her crap to work on our little home network, when it came to ordering my machine, I just went with XP.

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Anonymous Coward

Buy Vista Business, Install XP Pro

That's what we've been doing... and quite likely a high proportion of Vista Business sales are to people & organizations who actually want XP Pro.

Not to mention the fed-up end users who have bought a Vista Home machine and then end up paying an extra £150 for a retail copy of XP Home.

MH

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MS keeps acting like a four-left-footed dancer.

I'm the local "Go-To Guy" for computer services.

Friends, family, coworkers, friends-of-friends, neighbors, et al.

When they show up, system in hand, asking "Can you fix it? Windows broke!", I do what I can to correct the spyware, virii, trojans, & scumware infesting their system, but a LOT of the time it boils down to needing a "nuke & pave" (format & reinstall) to get rid of all the cruft.

When they've got enough garbage installed to make a P4 3GHz run like a 486/sx16, it's LONG past time to nuke & pave. =(

So when they show up with a brand new system & a copy of Vista on it, wondering why it's *slower* than the system they just "upgraded" from, all I can really tell them is to go BACK to XP.

As much as I've used/supported Windows, I can't in good faith, honestly recommend Vista for anything.

XP was bad enough, but at least it's stable, has drivers that work, and enough third-party tools written to keep it from crashing TOO often.

When they come to me for purchasing help, I try to steer them towards a bare-bones system & a copy of Ubuntu.

It does everything most users need (email, web, word processing, finances, etc), has plenty of games for the kids (of all ages), and is effectively immune to the garbage commonly & continuously assaulting the Windows machines of the World.

With the recent "stealth" update, the DRM, the WGA falsely calling legit copies as pirated, and now the debacle that is Vista, I can't in good faith recommend Windows any longer.

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Silver badge

Lives in XPlaNation. Totally Immersive Addiction is........

...... Assimilation or Virtualisation? And Reward by Passionate Selfless Effort is Priceless, is it not?

Which is very Enigmatic seeing as how its Application is freely available to All

Is XP driving Vista? The Programmers Tool creating no more than an Extension of themselves..... Does Vista Plug you into the Windows Mainframe for Input of ReVisionary Code... by a very Circuitous Route/Root?

Softly, softly ........?

Logically, further developing XP through enhancement cycles of Patched and Secured Code, for XPXPerts and XPXPert Professionals and their Peers in Highly Enriched Tiers, XPXXPerts/XPXXXPerts/XPXXXXPerts.

MS Beowulf Clusters for Parallel Line Operating Systems?

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Seems fine to me...

The majority of my family is now running Vista, as well as a few family friends. They don't seem to be complaining half as much as they did with XP.

In the meantime, I'm running Vista on both my home machines and on my work machine. The only macine I own still running XP is my laptop, which I know is never going to be able to cope. I've had no problems.

So... Why do all the comments on here read as though Vista's some terrible repeat of Millenium? It's not. At worst it's a rehashed version of XP that lost some compatibility with older hardware and drivers (no surprise there, it's not 1995 anymore) and got a slightly updated interface (debatably better, but not by much). I'd recommend it to friends who get a new computer (Home Premium, not Basic) but I wouldn't suggest that anyone upgrade. The fact is that there isn't anything particularly special setting it apart from XP in either a positive or a negative manner.

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Numbers

Agree with the Vista is <insert expletive> but have to take issue with your use of the sales figures:

Vista sales go 17% -> 13% (-4%) and that is back pedalling

XP Pro sales go 31% -> 27% (-4%) and that is stabilising

You don't need to spin the figures like this to convince us that XP is (relatively) better :-)

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@ amanfromMars

Dude,

Some of your stuff almost reads like Haiku, but is in fact nonsense. :)

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Anonymous Coward

It's simple...

Nobody wants to pay lots of money to fix something that ain't broke.

XP Pro works and works well. Vista appears to have a lot of problems, but crucially, even if these were fixed, it doesn't offer businesses anything new. This is the reason sales are poor.

We are being asked to pay to replace something which doesn't need replacing.

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Oh, BWS, you live in a Gates-Centric World...

I agreed with much of what BWS said about MS and Windows. But I have to take issue with the second-last paragraph. "Most people have a relatively good understanding that the only truly stable computer is one that's powered off".

If it's running windows, that is ;-) The alternatives are pretty damn stable and from my personal experience will run for days, weeks, without needing a power cycle. I use Windows in my day job, but I run Windows, Linux and Mac at home.

The Mac is a combination of a hardware spec firmly fixed by Apple and a version of Unix, an operating system that, in various flavours, has been with us now for nearly 40 years. It's easier to use and as simple to keep the OS software up-to-date although IMHO the switch to Intel processors mean it is now more vulnerable to attack.

Or, that non-Windows machine may be a standard Intel/AMD box running Linux, an open source version of, hey, Unix, an operating system that, in various flavours, has been with us now for nearly 40 years.

Bottom line, Microsoft must expect high R&D costs, lots and lots of defects and the bad PR that comes with them, and to miss the target, whatever it is, on a regular basis. Because they are trying to develop products from scratch that are competing with operating systems that have many more man-years development and testing than the entire Windows product line combined, right back to Windows 1 which surfaced in the mid 80's, just 25 years behind Unix.

Microsoft have won in the short term, but the price of Vista, the price of hardware upgrades, and the price of Office 2007 is so high that more and more people are turning to alternatives.

"Oh the times, they are a-changing..."

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Maybe it's marketing

All of a sudden XP can do no wrong. Maybe the whole Vista thing is a marketing ploy by Microsoft to get the message across that 'XP's not that bad, folks!'...

By the way, SuSE 10.3 should be out later today :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Forward to the Past

I spent the weekend searching for a new PC for the family. PC World no longer have XP 'wares, retrofitting will (still) invalidate the warranty so down to local retailer.

"Yes I can have XP installed if I want. No there's no extra cost. Have I considered going down the Ubuntu route? No-one is asking for Vista by choice"

My 14 year old son has ' Ubuntu'ed a geriatric Laptop in the past month, claims it's a breeze to install and runs faster and cooler (in the processor heast sense). He now uses it for all schoolwork.

Once the new PC gets to old age it will also be 'Ubuntu'ed as will all new hardware in my family once XP is no longer available/supported.

I am sick and tired of being dictated to by the M$/Intel/highstreet retailer cartels as to what I may or may not run on my new hardware.

And just to get another pop in I notice Apple are getting just as dictatorial with iPod/phone/Mac strictures.

Bring back the slate and the abacus.

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XXXXXp

Man, I want some of whatever your dealer is selling you.

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Freak or unique???

Can you get odds on Microsoft not existing in say five years time?? I'm tempted to put a wager on.... not because Vista is failing but I suspect Jobsy is just waiting to unleash OS-X for PCs

www.goffee-freelance.co.uk

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I've figured out amanfromMars

These are not just random ramblings...

They are secret messages to an invading force!

Similar to those detailed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maquis_(World_War_II)#Role

RotM maybe?

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There is hope yet

Vista sales are up because of their sales tactics, nothing more.

But there are places where you can get XP home for 50 quid. I just had to buy a laptop and it came with the vista virus.

MS XP home, OEM SP2 50.82 inc.

Have hope guys, there are suppliers out there still holding out against the new ME.

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Software/Operating+Systems/?x=12&noVat=0

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Anonymous Coward

Vista

Not been that bad. Equivalent to XP when it first came out. Only difference is I never had to pay for XP.

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Could somebody explain to me...

When I post a comment I get a notice that my posting will be checked by a moderator before being published. Either this is a lie, and anyone can post, or it's true and the moderators decide that amanfrommars' text-bot postings are considered suitable for joe public. I don't know which bothers me the most...

hold on - I've just visited amanfrommars' website http://www.ur2die4.com and now need a lie down

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King Canute

I'd just like to make clear, from the get-go, that I'm not a Microsoft bummer. I own a Vista machine and a Mac, so I like to think I'm reasonably unbalanced.

But still, whenever there's a slightly gloating story about Vista, it amuses me to see the Linux/Open Source crowd crowing about, like the world is going to change tomorrow.

We'll skip over the millions of people who buy PCs and treat them as royalty - they get Vista on it, they never change. A lot of people wouldn't know how to change it. Fair play to them - I don't know how to change the drum of a washing machine.

But to bleat on about Linux is pointless - Linux is wack. Now, unless things like Ubuntu et al have changed madly in the last 6 months (the last time I installed a Linux version on my machine), then it's still wack.

I know what I'm doing with computers, but I installed Ubuntu. Straight off my wireless adaptor and my X-Fi wouldn't work. Driver issue - no problem, I thought. Hours of recompiling kernels later, with no joy, I got the hump and bought Vista, and it is fantastic. Everything works, regardless of what people say you can tone it down to be less intrusive, and unlike XP IT NEVER CRASHES. Maybe I've just been lucky.

Linux is suffering because it is still the preserve of the techno-dick. It isn't as supported as Vista, and it isn't as user friendly as either MacOS or Vista. Unless you live at your parent's house and wear a tinfoil hat, Linux is a curiosity, nothing more.

Also, people moaning about Vista advertising. I can honestly say I've never seen an advert for Vista. Where are they all?

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Vista lasted less than a week on my new PC

Being forced to buy a new PC with Vista installed I thought i'd at least try it out but the annoying OS coupled with the manufacturers bloatware and a blue screen after 3 days made me downgrade to XP. Even though it isn't officially supported and drivers were taken from another models library it works fine and is much faster now. Better still no blue screens.

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@Gulfie

"[Microsoft] are trying to develop products from scratch that are competing with operating systems that have many more man-years development and testing than the entire Windows product line combined, right back to Windows 1 which surfaced in the mid 80's, just 25 years behind Unix."

The mid-80s would be just 15 years behind Unix and the NT kernel is almost universally regarded as a rip-off of the VMS kernel which is a serious contender amongst older hackers for the title "platform of choice", *ahead* of Unix.

No, there's nothing wrong with Windows' pedigree. What's gone wrong for MS is that there's frankly nothing left to add to their OS (and Office suite). They're trying to milk a cash-cow that has run dry.

The Vista experience may be to MS what the rise of the RISC machines was to IBM in the 80s. Business as usual ceased and they were forced to re-invent the entire company. There may be no version of Windows after Vista. (At least in any real sense of taking the existing platform forward. Obviously the brand name will live on.)

On the bright side, Niagara, Larrabee and similar "modestly parallel" processors appear to be the only future and appear to be incompatible with existing OS and software models. The entire software industry may have to reinvent itself *anyway* and so MS may not be at a disadvantage after all.

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Anonymous Coward

@@ amanfromMars

> Some of your stuff almost reads like Haiku, but is in fact nonsense. :)

This is not Haiku, this is Amen from arse

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I can honestly say I've never seen an advert for Vista. Where are they all?

http://www.blimptv.net/mostpopularV1.html

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Missing the point.

The organisation I work for has successfully migrated half of our PCs to Vista this summer. By August 08 we hope for have all our desktop machines over to the new OS. Despite being committed to Vista we still purchase machines with a XP OEM because our volume licensing agreement means we already have the upgrade right to the latest version. It's cheeper to buy the XP OEM. Just because people aren’t buying Vista OEMs does not mean it is not being widely used.

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Just a rant...

@Simon Lewis

amanfrommar is not a text-bot. You should look at his other posts. He is very strange, but there is to much thought and refrence to both the artical and other posts to be a text-bot.

@Mac fans. Mac OS is only more stable because of the stranglehold Apple have over what gose on there machiens. If there was a Mac OS for PC's I would be as buggy, if not more so (Because of lack of expirience) than windows.

Talk to an electronic engineer or a softwere angineer and they will tell you that PC's mostly crash when somthing unexpected happens. Because most stuff run on Macs is made by apple and all the hardwere is made (or authorised) by them, this is much less likely to happen.

Genraly a crash happens when the PC is trying to do somthing, and it gets some data that dosent fit what was expected. The PC then tryes to use it and everything gose wrong. Computors are not alive, so cant just throw out or deal with anthing that dosent fit there expectations.

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Re:Freak or unique???

I wish he would, but I don't think he will.

Steve and the Apple board believe in their hardware too much to release Leopard for PCs. I would like nothing better than for Steve to stand up somewhere at the end of this month, show us the wonderful world of Leopard, tell us that it will be in the shops tomorrow for $99/£99/€99 (and there's a pain in the arse in itself - we *will* be paying twice as much for it as the Septics) and as 'one last thing': "We think Leopard is so good that we're going to share it with the rest of the world. Leopard for PCs will also be available tomorrow for $129/£129/€129."

But I doubt it. I suspect that there's a tacit agreement with MS for Apple not to encroach on their OS market, and that Apple is still unwilling to support the sheer variety of PC hardware out there, even if they have used most of it in different versions of their hardware. While there is a movement within Apple to get OS X to run anywhere, of which the iPhone and iPod Touch are spectacularly successful examples, it's one of those things that would require work to get Steve to agree to. Then again, someone might have penetrated the reality distortion field at last...

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Maybe it's sneakier than we all think...

I'm wondering if there is a secret Microsoft master plan for all these people who buy new PCs with Vista. If the experience is so bad that they want to then replace it with XP, Microsoft will win twice. The home market is clearly the driving force behind Vista so far and they won't have the availability of volume licence keys. So they then buy a shrink-wrapped copy of XP and MS get a higher slug of profits *plus* the original OEM fee for Vista.

And anyone (without an IT-based career) who tries to be clever and re-use their old XP is put off by OEM licence restrictions, activation woes and a likelihood of updates being withheld. Nifty work Bill!

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Re: Buy Vista Business, Install XP Pro

Same here; VB and VU OEM give downgrade rights to XP Pro, and that's what we're using, and will continue to use for the foreseeable.

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Anonymous Coward

Bile!

It never ceases to amaze me how much amount of anti-Microsoft bile some people have that results in articles like this being written with such glee.

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KISS

MS seems to have moved away from a very important principle of programming ever since Window 2000. Keep It Simple, Stupid! Each operation system has in succession gotten more complicated. Not necessarily for the user, but for the IT tech or admin who has to set it up. Most admin's just want something small and simple that can do the job.

I'm afraid that MS ability to swap XP for Vista could end up being a marketing version of 'Whack a Mole'. They will spend a lot of money to get Vista working and in everyone’s homes and business only to find XP still taking a larger share after 2 to 3 years.

I should know. I’m one of those people who refuse to switch to a new OS for 3 to 4 years after its release. Hopefully by then it is working and stable. Ok, I’ll be honest I probably wouldn’t switch if it wasn’t for the compatibility issues that usually plague old OS with new hardware. Don’t fix it until it’s broke.

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Is XP piracy up?

If you've just bought a machine with Vista on it, the chances are you are not going to want to shell out further for XP, so I'm wondering if the numbers of dodgy XP installs is up and will continue to rise?

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Anonymous Coward

@Richard Jones

Are you saying that you bought Vista separately from the machine and it installed onto the machine more easily than Ubuntu?

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The Lure of the Android and ITs PleasureRobots ....XXXXotic ARGs on Quests

"Dude,

Some of your stuff almost reads like Haiku, but is in fact nonsense. :)"

It sits very well with Haiku, does PerlyGatesPython. There is AI TelEMPathy in the Pairing. 42 Entertainment Stuff and Nonsense, Adrian?

An Invading Force, GettinSadda. I Trust that Brightens ur dDay.:-)

"These are not just random ramblings...

They are secret messages to an invading force!

Similar to those detailed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maquis_(World_War_II)#Role

RotM maybe?"

Wanna Play Play AI? Venus Rules.

A Leading Question in Deed, indeed.

A boy, is this a nifty trick or not ....."The notion that brain activity should be monitored and used to derive a person's intentions is not new." ... http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/10/04/mind_to_machine/

A Piece of Cake whenever the person's intentions are Transparently Openly Shared.

Virtual Space Flight not Houston's neck of the Www00dDs then. NEUKlearer Newbies/Virtual Virgins, where would you have them Go if you don't know of them. Would they Create AI Global Control Web? Dumb question I Know but bound to be asked. :-):-):-):-)

:-) Lots of smiles there because of MIT Nifty Tricks and/or Skunk Works.

When looking for Flash Cash Funding, Wanton and Brazen have no Need to be Coy Koi in a Shark Infested Pool.

Hello, DARPA, hows IT hanging together?

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@Paul

quote> @Simon Lewis

amanfrommar is not a text-bot. You should look at his other posts. He is very strange, but there is to much thought and reference to both the article and other posts to be a text-bot.

end quote

er... yes it is a text-bot! All your statement points to is the fact that the AI behind it is working to a certain extent. Perhaps a Turing winner here? After all if you believe that he's an strange, rambling human who's possibly deranged you are still believing he's human.

Have a look at the site I posted above...

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@ anon

Oi! It was not me, I know this a comments form not an inane brain dump.

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I agree with Norman

I'd just like to agree with the comments of Norman above: "MS seems to have moved away from a very important principle of programming ever since Window 2000. Keep It Simple, Stupid! Each operation system has in succession gotten more complicated."

So true. Windows is so phenomenally complicated. If you try any advanced modifications you inevitably have to try 20 different approaches, and you're just happy when it eventually works. You just leave it alone. You don't know WHY it works, and you don't know why the other 19 things you tried DIDN'T work, you're just relieved it's working. That's no way to go about business. That's hopeless.

I suspect everyone is going to change to Apple or Linux, but it won't be a progressive thing (you can't have 50% or people on Windows and 50% on Macs - the incompatibility that would introduce would make that a painful situation for everyone). Apple will increase market share until a tipping point is reached, and then we'll get a massive overnight change - a swing. Then maybe it'll go from 90% Windows, 5% Apple to 90% Apple, 5% Windows in just a few weeks.

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Vista False Positives

Most of our customers are still asking for Windows XP Home or Professional pre-insalled on new systems. Almost all notebook customers either buy an Asus notebook with Vista Business on it, which they can 'downgrade' to XP Pro, or they are buying XP along with the new Vista system and getting us to install it on their new notebook for them. And then we have customers who ask for a dual boot Windows/Linux system. And then we have white box customers, some of whom we know will install Linux, some who will install "their own" copy of Windows.

I don't think Microsoft is willing or able give you figures on how many of those Vista sales are destined to be 'downgraded' to XP or that other increasingly popular alternative.

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Bronze badge

Don't hold your breath waiting fopr SP1

As mentioned elsewhere today, ( can't remember exactly where I saw it, or a link would be provided)word from MS is that SP1 is mostly going to be regular patches and security updates. The "meh.."starts here.

Business sales will be bad this close to the launch. Many businesses are just moving to XP now.Vista isn't even on the horizon. Nobody is going to risk such an unstable unproven OS and the hardware requirements make it more expensive than it is worth. 3-5 years time, it might be a different story, or MS might decide to admit that very few want it and start extending XP's sales time line to the next version. The only people buying Vista at the moment are those who don't know any better and go to PC world, or insist on a big name despite the smaller outfits offering a crapplet free system built with standard components.

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@Paul

Jury still out? Is IT or isn't it IT a Parallel Virtual Life Driven by the FreeFlow of Ideas rather under the Threat of Them,

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AManFromMars

I don't have either the time or inclination to decode AManFromMars' remblings, but I suspect that anybody so inclined might do well to google "Fibonacci", and also perhaps read the following article on TheRegister:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/04/28/da_vinci_decrypt/

PFFT!!

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@ Anonymous Vulture

Not quite - Ubuntu and Vista both installed with the same ease. However, Vista then worked perfectly from the get-go, unlike Ubuntu, which after 14 hours of fiddling still wouldn't do what I wanted it to (quite simple things like connect wirelessly and produce sound)

Yes, I know you can blame Creative for not producing a Linux driver, but that's kind of the point. 90% of PC owners aren't even going to bother attempting to tailor Linux for their machine so that basic functions work. I gave it a fair go, and it didn't work - most people would just get rid of Linux within minutes.

Maybe I've been lucky with Vista, but everyone I know who uses it has nothing but praise from it, from my aged father (sorry dad) to the most outrageous geeks I've ever met. It just isn't as bad as people think it is, and it isn't quite as good as MS make it out to be. No amount of fingers in ears humming loudly by either side is going to change that fact.

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Anonymous Coward

And in conclusion . . .

@Finnbar:

"Nobody wants to pay lots of money to fix something that ain't broke.

We are being asked to pay to replace something which doesn't need replacing."

Exactly! You hit the nail on the head, Finnbar.

@Richard Jones:

"Linux is suffering because it is still the preserve of the techno-dick. It isn't as supported as Vista, and it isn't as user friendly as either MacOS or Vista. Unless you live at your parent's house and wear a tinfoil hat, Linux is a curiosity, nothing more."

Ab-sol-utely! And until it comes preinstalled on 'name brand' units (not just total cheap-os in WalMart) it will NEVER be picked up at the consumer level. Laptops seem to be the biggest challenge. Only those 'into computers' install anything, let alone Linux distros. Apps that are compatable with the MS Office Suite would make a big impact too. Until then -- Linux = Fizzle.

@Simon Greenwood:

"Steve and the Apple board believe in their hardware too much to release Leopard for PCs. I would like nothing better than for Steve to stand up somewhere at the end of this month, show us the wonderful world of Leopard, tell us that it will be in the shops tomorrow for $99/£99/€99 (and there's a pain in the arse in itself - we *will* be paying twice as much for it as the Septics) and as 'one last thing': "We think Leopard is so good that we're going to share it with the rest of the world. Leopard for PCs will also be available tomorrow for $129/£129/€129." "

Dream on. What makes you think Apple would break up their winning combination that works, just so YOU can try to cobble their OS onto some cheap-assed Franken-box? If you really want a 'cheap' Mac, just get a Mac Mini, and if you really *still need* Windows, just frickin' install it. That way it will ALL work.

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Perplexing...

And what was the point of the inane comment dump, amanfromMyarse?

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re: And in conclusion . . .

*Way* to take a quote out of context. I said that it wouldn't happen despite hoping that it would, and gave very good reasons why it won't. Learn to read.

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@Dave Edmondston

I read your comment and immediately thought of the "New" Coke marketing ploy that Coke ran. If I could credit such brillance to MS I would say that this was it, but I don't think so.

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Anonymous Coward

Vista, Microsoft's new (?) operating system

Double redundancy, surely?

Its not "new"; and, some would claim it ain't "operating"

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Dual Boot

Why don't OEMs do what Apple did with Mac OS 9 and OSX. Have both! Eventually, folk would move to Vista for its new Tech (.NET, DX10 etc) but could boot into XP to use the 10 year old scanner and AOL CD.

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