For those who even remember it, Windows Me (Millennium Edition) was a stinker. Even internally at Microsoft no one (at least the people I worked with on various engineering teams) liked it. There’s plenty of websites dedicated to why it was a stinker, so I don’t need to go into those details. But, with Windows Vista, there was a lot of the same vibes… which made me think, will Vista be the next ‘Me’?
Like with ‘Win Me’, Vista was plagued with issues of all kinds, but the biggest problem was the press it got. I’ll admit that Vista, after a few service packs, turned out pretty okay, but the bad taste and fearful ads persisted. Windows Me was released Sep 14, 2000, but right behind it was Windows XP, which released October 25, 2001, and people seemed to love it. Lots of companies rolled XP out, and LOTS of computers were sold for work and home. That short window between released must have helped Microsoft by keeping the bad press down, while also releasing a well-liked product with XP.
So, when Vista released on November 8, 2006, and ended up getting all the bad press (including Apple’s brilliant ‘anti-Vista’ commercials) there wasn’t a "follow up operating system" within a year to take up the slack and divert the attention away from all problems. Instead, Windows 7 took almost 3 years to RTM. During those 3 years, I’m sure Microsoft lost more sales than ever before in their history – mainly to Apple, but also to those companies and individuals who just wouldn’t leave their trusted Windows XP.
So, now that Windows 7 is has been getting such great press, and people really do seem to like it right out of the box (without any service packs), it seems like it’ll be just like WinXP. And since so many people completely skipped over Vista, that means Microsoft took a big hit in the wallet. WinMe only had 6 years of support by the time they officially powered it down. What will it be for Vista?