Microsoft to users: Please, please, oh pretty please don’t wait for Vista SP1.

Microsoft has implemented a new approach to getting Windows XP users to move to Vista: pleading. With there being no consensus on Vista, especially in comparison with Mac OS X, the scuttlebutt has been to at least wait until SP1 is released before upgrading to it.

Since SP1 is not slated until the last half of the year (and maybe not even by then), clearly MS doesn’t want anyone to wait.

Why is this such an issue? Well, the pre-built boxes with Vista installed do not gain Microsoft much revenue over what the same box would have provided if Vista had not been released in the first place (i.e., if it had XP on it instead). I mean, Microsoft already owned the pre-built market, so Vista didn’t change anything there. Microsoft didn’t spend five years and six billion dollars to get a market they already had.

What Microsoft wants is the high-profit box upgrades for existing machines. This, along with the buzz about how super-cool Vista was, leapfrogging XP, etc. would have also given Microsoft a shot in the arm in terms of the public perception that they can’t innovate. Unfortunately, that’s not happening. In fact, the “wait until SP1” attitude, and overall unimpressive reviews, have actually cost Microsoft some of those pre-built dollars.

So Microsoft has to act, and act fast. Why not just rush out SP1 and be done with it? Obviously, because it’s not ready, and a “fake” SP1 would be seen through easily, and then really be bad publicity. It’s bad enough Vista’s perception is that of an OS in need of a service pack, it would be a disaster if it still had that reputation after a service pack!

So what will Microsoft do? Well, beg. The APC article covers it well. I especially like this quote:

“What we do know, however, is that Vista service pack 1 is, in the company’s own words, designed to address “deployment blockers and high impact issues”, suggesting that until the release of SP1, you will have to contend with … deployment blockers and high impact issues. Hardly the basis for proceeding with confidence.”

Ouch! Microsoft was never very good at PR. It’s also strange that the “fact rich” site meant to persuade users to upgrade is not actually accessible by, well, users. Huh?

“Despite the “fact-rich” materials being designed for both “partners and customers”, the link supplied by Microsoft goes to a website which is available only to computer makers who are prepared to sign up to a non-disclosure agreement.”

Classic Microsoft. Even when they’re just shooting the breeze with their user base all friendly-like, their lawyers are right there making sure nothing is ever really said, and no real information is ever conveyed.

So, what about it, XP users? Has Microsoft’s pleas managed to persuade you? Are you now going to upgrade? I can’t speak for any but myself, but this home user of XP Pro (HP laptop) and XP Home (Gateway laptop) has zero intention of upgrading. To be honest, even SP1 will not get me to upgrade to their DRM-infested OS.

Sorry, Microsoft, begging won’t get me to upgrade.