Pre-launch coverage of Microsoft’s long-awaited new operating system Vista displayed a distinct lack of journalistic excitement. Comment was mainly confined to the trade press, which was largely cynical about Vista’s self-marketed ‘wow’ factor.
‘It is Microsoft’s biggest release in five years, but do not expect long queues at shop doors’ (PC Pro, 25 Jan); ‘The retail launch of Windows Vista … is likely to be an almighty flop’ (HEXUS.lifestyle , 22 Jan).
Criticism focused on a perceived lack of innovation from Microsoft and incentive for customers to upgrade. ‘Windows Vista is essentially a warmed-up Windows XP’ (www.zdnet.co.uk, 25 Jan); ‘When Microsoft takes five years to upgrade its most important product... and tells us we’re going to go “Wow!” when we see it – and then it entirely disappoints, there’s a case to answer,’ observed The Times Online (28 Jan).
But the biggest criticism was reserved for Vista’s UK price, prompting indignant headlines. ‘Vista: ripped off across the pond,’ screamed PC Advisor (27 Jan), while bbc.co.uk warned of a ‘consumer backlash’ (29 Jan).