Harris: Two-Thirds Will Say No to Vista

While actual sales numbers may suggest otherwise, a new study from Harris Interactive seems to suggest that consumers are increasingly deciding to hold off on upgrading to Windows Vista.

The poll was initially taken in December 2006, preceding the software's consumer release. At that time, only 47 percent of respondents were aware of Vista. Of that group, 20 percent said they would upgrade, 31 percent said they would wait, and half were unsure.

According to Harris, as familiarity with Vista grew, its appeal lessened. When respondents were asked again in March, a full 87 percent knew of the new operating system.

This time, however, only 12 percent said they would upgrade, while the number who said they would stick with their current operating system shot up to 67 percent. 20 percent remained unsure of their plans.

Consumer apathy to Windows Vista seems to fly in the face of data released last month by Microsoft, which said it had sold some 20 million copies of the operating system in its first month with Vista becoming the fastest-selling OS in the company's history.

It even added that many of the upgrades were opting for higher end versions of Vista, far exceeding the company's expectations. "Ultimate has been the shocker," a source within Microsoft told BetaNews. Microsoft had been expecting 20 percent Home Basic to five percent Ultimate, but had seen almost exactly the opposite in actual sales.

So even if sales trail off as some are predicting, Microsoft is still making far more revenue off the sales of the operating system than it had initially anticipated. For example, a Home Basic upgrade costs $99.95, while the Ultimate upgrade is $295.95 - a nearly $200 difference.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, the sea of anti-Vista press has not stopped and it appears that it will once again find itself fighting to ensure that consumers do not become complacent and stick with Windows XP.

"In order to generate that 'WOW' factor, Microsoft will have to put forth a value proposition that will move the majority to the upgrade category in the years ahead," Harris Interactive vice president Milton Ellis said. "No doubt, Microsoft understands theses issues and will proceed accordingly."

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