Very recently, I purchased a version of the Vista operating system, Home Premium to be exact for school. After using it for several days, I have begun to see problems that keep reappearing. I’ll abstain from writing on the drivers, as they are written by third party manufacturers, and not the sole responsibility of Microsoft, although quality control methods would help ease the situation.
I have written about the problems that I have had to the support email at Microsoft, and have not yet heard a reply back, now at around 36 hours from when I wrote the support team. I have faced problems with Vista, primarily with Internet Explorer. In my opinion, IE 7 is a mess, a total and complete mess. It’s slow, it has bugs, it’s hard to navigate, and it refuses to load certain pages every other time. To fix this, I have installed Mozilla Firefox. It works flawlessly, and it much easier to use than IE 7. Now that I am using Mozilla Firefox, you might say that my problem has been solved.
Windows Vista, in my opinion, is not a necessarily bad system. I have enjoyed using Office 2007 and one of the coolest applications available, WorldWide Telescope. With that being said, Windows Vista is expensive. I payed far more than I would have hoped, for a system that has provided me with more caveats than any other system I have used. Paying $240 for an operating system that does not include all the applications I need is preposterous. The cheapest, and shall I say, least functional version of Microsoft Office 2007 costs $120 Either way, I would have to pay over $300 to get the full system. That is within $100 of a computer I saw in an office store. I am sure you would have wanted me to buy a computer with Vista to get every drop of market share back that you are still losing to the competition on all fronts. Breaking it all down, with the three installation policy for Windows Vista in consideration, each install of Windows Vista Home Premium costs $80. It’s almost silly to think that a limited capability version of Microsoft Windows is so expensive, when it should only cost maybe $150 or so for the entire system, with the office suite installed.
It does not surprise me that you are talking about Windows 7 already. Vista isn’t that exciting of a system, and the only time I said “Wow” was when Internet Explorer decided to keep opening copies of itself all over my desktop. Most are buying Vista either on a PC, just because it comes with it, or buying Vista in a box version because they need it for school or work like me, or are just looking to get away from the 7 year old system, XP.
At least in the Windows 7 release, make it good. I know that the move from 2000 to XP was a good one, and was certainly an upgrade. In order for me to want to go on with Windows at school, I have to be convinced that the system is worth using. Most colleges do allow for students to run Apple’s systems, and right now I’m leaning towards getting a Mac, or using Ubuntu if I can.
It’s easy to see why you’re in a tough spot. With Apple sucking up users like a vacuum and Linux making it’s way around the block, you have an uphill battle to fight. Ever see the Mac vs. PC commercials? I am sure you are aware of them. They have made quite an impact. Now, people naturally look down on Windows and look up to owning a Mac. One nearly obvious reason for this disdain customers have towards you is there seems to be a disconnect between you and you’re customers. I know I feel disconnected. Most think you do not really care about whether or not they are using a good software, as long as they are using “Genuine Microsoft Software.” Don’t believe me? How do you think a customer feels about having to buy a $240 system for the “recommended version” and then have it not come with an Office suite. Charging top dollar for a mediocre system is one of those sleazy tactics that I would recommend you abstain from. At the same time, don’t keep using the same old tactics and making excuses just to hold on to your precious market share. I would like to see a clean fight, even if Apple hit below the belt with the Mac vs. PC ads. You are working with a tarnished reputation, and it will take good, honest work to bring your image back. You need to create quality systems and software that people will actually want to use.
In conclusion, I am a rather unsatisfied Vista customer. I have problems and you refuse to help me fix them. You also charged me an excessive amount on a system that is not worth the buying price, even if it does come with three installations, it still remains more expensive. When I look for a deal, all versions are the same price at all stores. Also, having different versions with different levels of limitations does not make sense. Why not give your customers the best you can give them for the lowest price you can? I have not had a completely bad time using Vista, but installing and using it has shown me why so many people run to Macs or are looking for other alternatives — alternatives other than Windows.
An Unsatisfied (Vista) Customer