Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

MSFT Pumps Vista Ahead of AAPL's Leopard Launch

Posted by Tom Foremski - October 24, 2007

Microsoft is keen to relaunch Vista, (this time with drivers!) Tuesday evening I went to a very pleasant Vista dinner with Microsoft, Best Buy, and Hewlett Packard execs. I heard a lot about Vista and how now consumers have a choice in the PC arena.

I was puzzled about all the talk of choice because Best Buy and other retailers only carry Vista PCs on their shelves. Even HP only offers one laptop with Windows XP. Is my choice to buy or not to buy?

I should be able to choose to load my machine with whatever I want--that's the kind of choice any customer would want. (There are a couple of links online on BestBuy.com that will get you an XP machine . . . if you know where to click.)

I said that these days we don't have to choose, which is great.

My son runs Vista and Mac OS X on his laptop. I run Windows XP and Microsoft OS X on my laptop. Am I a Mac user or a Windows user? I'm both, I don't have to choose, I just choose applications. I don't have to have religion about Mac or Windows, that tedious 20 year argument has gone away, and I'm glad.

My Windows apps run great on my Mac thanks to Parallels, but I could use other virtualization software to run multiples OSes, and the performance is great. And Microsoft still gets paid. Yet Microsoft people continue to get upset about Apple, which I can't understand.

Leopard?

MSFT's chat with the media about Vista has nothing to do with Apple's imminent launch of its Leopard operating system this Friday. It is coincidental timing, MSFT wanted to tell us about what is new in retail PC land.

But isn't Vista nearly a year old I asked? Yes, but It is still new to a lot of people...
(Tune in for Video Vista Interviews...)

Undercover VPs

I did learn a couple of interesting things. Microsoft VPs will sometimes throw on a blue Best Buy employee shirt to talk to potential customers in Best Buy stores to get a measure of the retail market. They will throw on a red shirt in Circuit City stores.

Inside the Geek Squad

I accepted an opportunity to drive around with Best Buys' Geek Squad as they strive to make the world a simpler place for technology users. BTW, here is an interesting fact: Vista PC customers that buy Geek Squad services have a 50 per cent lower rate of returning their Vista PC.

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