If there is one Microsoft operating system that has been in the news for more reasons wrong than right, it is Windows Vista. From the ambitious development to the calamitous launch, it was sheer tragedy.

Windows XP will get the axe today, but the fan favorite operating platform still commands a substantial market share — the latest numbers from third party market research peg them at around 28 percent of the market.

And even though all sort of warnings have been coming in from Redmond about the risks of staying with the old operating system beyond retirement, the risks of running an unsupported platform, plenty of users look set to continue powering their computers with Windows XP.

One expert, however, has an interesting theory about why this has happened.

In a new interview, Terry Willis, the head of information security at a charity organization, Age UK, thinks that Windows Vista is the reason why so many users refused to move beyond Windows XP:

“A big problem is that Vista was so terrible, so companies just didn’t move off XP.”

Windows Vista was, obviously, the next version of the OS that followed after Windows XP, and at launch it was such a sluggish beast that many users actually refused to upgrade.

Microsoft, obviously, fixed many of the performance and driver issues soon after, but not before Vista was classified as one of the company’s biggest failures ever. Windows 7, on the other hand, set things right and convinced many users to make the move to newer hardware, and with it, the OS.

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  • Ray C

    Part of it is Vista, but part of it is also Microsoft’s reaction after Vista. Yes, they got the game back under control with Windows 7, but their presence at various conferences or their approach to presentations like BUILD were different. This year’s BUILD conference brought back energy and excitement and a Microsoft that seems enthused about the future.

    • Fahad Ali

      Agreed. This year’s BUILD was a country mile ahead of last years!

    • Emily W

      Good point. This with the rise of Apple being “cooler” was the perfect storm for everyone who wasn’t Microsoft. They’re turning it around now.

  • Ted Smith

    Common sense to me. I had vista and it worked ok for me for a short time, but that was with new hardware as well. I remember a vast majority of people I knew were screwed over trying to upgrade the software on the same hardware. Disaster.

  • Wayne S

    Vista was bad, no doubt about it. One thing I will say though is you could kind of see the progression from XP-Vista-Windows 7. We wouldn’t of gotten 7 without it.

    • Jake

      Really solid point. If you look at the screenshot above, you can see there are still a lot of XP elements as well as some windows 7 elements. Unfortunately as a whole, it was a total failure.

  • Sally Black

    It’s funny: I like the way Vista looks still on that graphic. It has a pretty nice layout and seems to look somewhat up-to-date even today. But boy, I do not miss using that system! lol

  • Bill Franklin

    I always forget about Vista! I’m sure Microsoft hopes most people are like me and completely forget it ever existed. Even when it’s brought up today, it sends shivers down my spine! HAHA