Vista's a Hit in India

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Microsoft is pushing Windows Vista in a big way in India. According to Microsoft, over 180 million licenses of Windows Vista have been sold worldwide, with India adoption alone crossing over two million copies.

Initially, there were concerns around Windows Vista in the areas of device and application compatibility. There were some misconceptions about the hardware requirements for Windows Vista and its resultant overall performance.

"Over the last year and a half, Microsoft has made a variety of investments in Windows Vista to make it a compelling upgrade for enterprises. Businesses and consumers are adopting it at a good pace. We're pleased with Vista's progress thus far. Since the consumer launch in January 2007, nearly 180 million Windows Vista licenses have been sold worldwide.

In the consumer segment too, we have seen an immense uptake of Windows Vista. It also provides an easier and much wider access to an integrated yet seamless menu of entertainment functions, which is what consumers have told us they want," said Prasanna Meduri, Director, Windows Client, Microsoft India.

According to Meduri, since the launch, large computer manufacturers such as HCL, HP, Lenovo, Sahara, Wipro and Zenith have been shipping Vista-loaded PCs. They understand from these OEM partners that there has been an encouraging uptake of Vista- loaded computers in the Home User segment.

In terms of partner reach for Windows Vista, Microsoft plans to go to 260 towns and cities this year covering over 10,000 partners. "Additionally, to help educate customers, we have strong programs (Microsoft Learning Circle, Microsoft Foundation Series) to train and certify partner sales and technical personnel. One such initiative is the "Microsoft Foundation Series" that was launched on July 2007. This program focuses on building awareness on Microsoft Platform through Video Conferencing and runs across 25 cities every quarter. The prime objective of this program is to help new partners joining the Microsoft Partner eco-system and new people joining existing partners. We have touched over 1500+ Sales & technical professionals, and we will continue this journey in enabling the Partner ecosystem", said Meduri.

Ensuring easy availability of their software is a priority for Microsoft, according to Meduri. To address this, they are aggressively expanding their geographical reach to cover hundreds of cities and retail outlets across the country. Additionally, apart from providing the option of buying software telephonically, they recently launched an e-Commerce platform in India, www.buyoriginalms.com, for original Microsoft products including Windows Vista, Office, Server, Xbox, games and gaming accessories, thereby providing wider availability for the product.

Nelison Johny, proprietor of Denzil InfoTech Mumbai, said, "Yes, the Windows Vista market it is growing. But it is more out of force than out of choice for a lot of people. As Microsoft has stopped the shipment of XP, people do not have an option but to go for Vista. Earlier, there was an option of downgrading to XP, but even that has been removed by Microsoft. Although, many do prefer XP over Vista even today. This is because the visual interface of Vista is not as user friendly as XP's. People have a difficulty getting used to it.

Initially when it was launched, it was said to be a very secure operating system. However, that was not the case. Then Microsoft came up with its Service Package, which took care of some really major problems in the system.

However, the biggest hurdle in Vista's way is the fact that it needs a high-configuration PC or laptop for it to work in its full glory. If the configuration is less, the computer works really slow. Also, if you do not have a graphic card, the new features like 'Arrow', does not work at all. So, a customer has to spend more on the RAM and in buying a graphic card, which increases the total cost incurred by him.

Vista is going through the same phase that XP did when it was first launched. It takes time for people to get used to new operating systems, but then they get used to it slowly. The new laptops are already bundled with Vista, so it can be safely said that in a year or so, Vista will be adopted by the customer".

Venkat Raman, Proprietor of Vishal Computer Solutions Bangalore, agreed with him and said, "Windows Vista will be big in the coming years. Since last year, the sales of Vista have grown by nearly 10 percent."

Microsoft has stopped production of XP and all the newer hardware that is being produced is better supported by Vista. Also, if someone is starting a new project or a company, they go directly to Vista, thereby increasing its sales. Although it does require more memory, customer does not mind spending on that and thereby enjoying its entire features.

Vista is a lot more secure than XP as it has a lot of anti-virus software upgraded on it. The anti-piracy software fitted into it will also help the customers and the company in the long run. However, the compatibility of the customer with the new hardware isn't what it should have been. Windows Vista should have been a lot more user friendly.

This story, "Vista's a Hit in India" was originally published by Channelworld-India.

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