365 days and 100 million licenses later, enthusiasm for a safe, reliable and engaging Windows Vista experience is high. In a roundtable Q&A, members of the Windows Vista team and others reflect on the past year and how Vista’s presence in the marketplace is maturing.Since the worldwide release of Windows Vista one year ago today, people are doing more and getting more out of their Windows experience. From pictures and videos, to games and family safety settings, users are finding out that they can do more with Windows Vista.
To get the full picture of what the past year has brought for Windows Vista customers, PressPass gathered a group of people representing many different viewpoints: Neil Charney, General Manager, Microsoft Windows Client; Robin Mason, a mom whose family participated in the “Life With Windows Vista”, program (in which 50 ordinary families gave feedback for the development of Windows Vista); Jeff Price, Senior Director in the Windows Group at Microsoft ; Richard Russell, Principal Development Manager in the Windows Client Performance Group; Austin Wilson, Director, Windows Client Security Product Management; Kevin Unangst, Senior Global Director of Games for Windows; and Chen Shaopeng, Lenovo's Senior Vice-President and President of Greater China Region.
PressPass: How have people responded to Windows Vista?
Neil Charney: The fact that we've passed the 100 million mark in licenses says something about people's response, but even more important has been people's increasing enthusiasm for using Windows Vista.
With any new operating system, there's a natural reluctance to upgrade because people have concerns about compatibility, they’re uneasy about learning something new or unsure about what the move to a new operating system will bring. But those who are using Windows Vista have generally been very pleased. We commissioned independent studies from IPSos and NPD to explore the attitudes of users about the operating system not only in the U.S., but also in China, France, Germany, Japan, and the UK. According to NDP, 70 percent of these users say it's an improvement over their previous operating system.
Personally, I know that the test of anything new for me is: Would I go back to what I was using before? When it comes to Windows Vista, for me it’s emphatically no. I watch my kids use the Instant Search technology to find information on the PC or to start up applications like Microsoft Office by simply typing Word into the Start menu—those are experiences that we quickly got used to. It's just much, much easier to work with applications, get to them quickly and visualize the information with folders that display thumbnails of the actual content.
Robin Mason: That's been my experience, too. Around the time of the launch last year, I was asked how I'd compare Windows Vista to Windows XP. I gave Windows XP a rating of 75 and Windows Vista 80. After using Windows Vista this past year on two of the three computers I have at home, I'd give it a 90. Nothing's perfect.
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