PC Pitstop Vista Survey Results

The results of our February and March 2007 Vista Survey are in. Our initial analysis of the survey data is found below.

In summary, the results of our survey are generally not good news for Microsoft. While Microsoft’s ‘The “Wow” starts now’ tag line for Vista marketing focuses attention to its visual and graphic capabilities, the software giant appears to have under-estimated the importance of marketing the more tangible benefits that PC users want or expect. Our survey results indicate a significant amount of uncertainty or confusion by PC users as to the benefits of upgrading to Vista. This came though loudly on the survey questions concerning people’s perception of Vista’s speed and security and definitely became evident in the percentage of people that currently have no plans to upgrade to Vista.

Apple has been airing television commercial for months that attack Microsoft Vista. These “Hello, I’m a Mac and Hello, I’m a PC” ads have attempted to make viewers question Vista’s ease of upgrading, speed and security as compared to an Apple. Our research indicate that these ads seem to be working. Perhaps, Microsoft should spend some advertising dollars to respond to Apple’s campaign. At this point, one might consider it damage control.

Almost 70% of the people responding to our survey do not believe that the Vista operating system is faster than XP. This is a matter of perception by PC users, but it begs the question as to why Microsoft hasn’t done more to position Vista as a performance leader.

There’s good news and bad news here for Microsoft. Our survey shows that once a person has upgraded to Vista, they are over twice as likely to say that Vista is more secure than XP. That’s good. However, the bad news for Microsoft is that even after upgrading, 30% of people responded that they do not believe Vista has better security than XP. The Apple attack ads portrays Vista security as being overly intrusive and requiring a high level of user intervention for its administration. Maybebetter isn’t always better.

An astounding 61% of Vista users indicated that they have had problems acquiring or using Vista drivers with their system. Could any other industry get by with coming out with a new model and having a 61% issue or failure rate?

There appears to be a significant correlation between the age of a PC user and their plans to upgrade to Vista. One might argue that older people may be more set in their ways and less open to change. However, it also makes one question the risk to benefit ratio. At this point in time, it appears that a significant number of people feel the risk and issues of upgrading to Vista overshadow the expected benefits.

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