Windows Vista: Top 20 Stories From Year One

Windows Vista celebrated its first birthday last week. In lieu of cake and candles, I've put together a list of some of the more memorable stories from the Microsoft OS's rather bumpy first year on the market.
Windows Vista celebrated its first birthday last week. In lieu of cake and candles, I've put together a list of some of the more memorable stories from the Microsoft OS's rather bumpy first year on the market.Beyond their individual significance, the following stories--taken together--create a picture of a product that's had more downs than ups in its debut season. Doubtless, Microsoft is hoping that Vista will do better in 2008 and avoid the 'terrible two's.'

Ballmer: Vista Is Not Microsoft's Last Big Operating System January 29, 2007

The continued convergence of communications and information technologies and consumer demand for ever more sophisticated forms of digital entertainment will require operating systems with capabilities well beyond that offered by Windows Vista, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said.

Bad Activation Keys Plague Windows Vista Family Discounts February 2, 2007

Consumers that purchased copies of Windows Vista under Microsoft's Family Discount plan are reporting that they are unable to activate the operating system because of faulty registration keys.

Windows Vista Flunks At MIT February 8, 2007

Tech staffers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are warning professors and administrators at the school -- host to one of the country's most prestigious computer science departments -- not to upgrade desktops or laptops to Microsoft's new Windows Vista operating system because the software isn't yet ready for "productive and safe computing," according to an internal statement posted on MIT's Web site.

Microsoft Hit By U.S. DOT Ban On Windows Vista, Explorer 7, and Office 20007 March 2, 2007

Citing concerns over cost and compatibility, the top technology official at the federal Department of Transportation has placed a moratorium on all in-house computer upgrades to Microsoft's new Windows Vista operating system, as well as Internet Explorer 7 and Office 2007, according to a memo obtained by InformationWeek.

FAA May Ditch Microsoft's Windows Vista And Office For Google And Linux Combo March 6, 2007

Days after InformationWeek reported that the Department of Transportation has placed a moratorium on upgrades to Windows Vista, Office 2007, and Internet Explorer 7, the top technology official at the Federal Aviation Administration revealed that he is considering a permanent ban on the Microsoft software in favor of a combination of Google's new online business applications running on Linux-based hardware.

Adobe Has No Plans To Make Current Products Vista Compatible March 19, 2007

Users of Adobe System's digital publishing products, including Photoshop, InDesign, and Dreamweaver, will have to shell out for new versions of the software if they want to run them without glitches on Microsoft's new Windows Vista operating system, Adobe says.

Apple: New Boot Camp Software May Choke On Windows Vista April 12, 2007

Mac users who attempt to boot Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system on their computers by using a new version of Apple's Boot Camp partitioning software may encounter some problems, Apple has conceded.

Microsoft Can't Use Vista To Pay Washington State Taxes April 17, 2007

Microsoft and other businesses headquartered in Washington State can't use Windows Vista-based PCs to pay their unemployment insurance taxes online because the operating system is incompatible with the state's electronic filing system, according to a bulletin published by the State of Washington Employment Security Department.

Survey: 30% Of Businesses Have No Plans To Upgrade To Windows Vista April 25th, 2007

In the latest sign that Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system may be destined for less than overwhelming commercial success, a new InformationWeek survey has found that nearly one third of businesses don't plan on upgrading their computers to the much-hyped software.

Microsoft Says 'EU Version' Of Windows Vista A Dud May 21, 2007

A senior Microsoft official said the company has had few takers for modified versions of its Windows operating systems built to conform to European competition requirements. David Heiner, Microsoft's deputy general counsel, said "not a single PC manufacturer has chosen to license" the special editions of its operating systems, which are available only in Europe.

Continental To Deploy Up To 10,000 Windows Vista Copies June 5, 2007

In a sign that Microsoft's latest operating system may be gaining traction among corporate users, company officials said Tuesday that Continental Airlines is in the midst of upgrading its computers to Windows Vista and will likely deploy between 7,000 and 10,000 copies of the software by year's end.

Windows Vista Sales Show Slow, But Steady Growth July 25, 2007

Microsoft finally got some good news about Windows Vista. Its new operating system is now more popular than Apple's Mac OS.

Judge Says 'Vista Capable' Lawsuit Can Proceed August 8, 2007

A federal judge has ruled that two consumers can proceed with a lawsuit that claims Microsoft's "Windows Vista Capable" campaign was misleading.

Microsoft Hopes Add Ons Will Boost Windows Vista September 27, 2007

After a delay of several weeks, Microsoft has shipped a free add-on pack for buyers of its pricey Windows Vista Ultimate operating system -- utilities the company hopes will help reverse flagging interest in the software shown by some consumers and PC makers.

Microsoft To Extend Windows XP Sales As Vista Concerns Mount September 28, 2007

Responding to some customers' lukewarm embrace of Windows Vista, Microsoft said it will extend by several months availability of the operating system's predecessor, Windows XP.

Windows XP Significantly Outperforms Vista, Tests Show November 27, 2007

In the latest Mac versus PC ad, that put-upon Windows guy quietly concedes he's "downgrading" from Vista to XP. He may have good reason: new tests show that the older XP runs common productivity tasks significantly faster than Microsoft's newest operating system.

Windows Vista Users Hit With 'Purple Screen Of Death' December 5, 2007

While most users of Microsoft Windows-based PCs have seen their systems lockup and display the dreaded 'blue screen of death,' a new, lavender-hued variant of the problem has emerged.

Windows Vista SP1 Includes More Than 300 Hot Fixes December 12, 2007

Microsoft has released a detailed roster of the contents of its forthcoming service pack for Windows Vista , and the list includes more than 300 hot fixes covering everything from data protection to video performance.

Windows Vista, Office 2007 Expelled From British Schools January 11, 2008

The agency that governs educational technology in the United Kingdom has advised schools in the country to keep Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system and its Office 2007 software out of the classroom and administrative offices.

Software Tool Strips Windows Vista To Bare Bones January 28, 2008

A free software tool that promises to strip down the Windows Vista operating system -- which even some Microsoft officials have called "bloated" -- to a minimalist state is attracting big interest on the Internet.

So, did I leave anything out? What's your favorite 'Vista moment'-good or bad--from the past twelve months?

Editor's Choice
Samuel Greengard, Contributing Reporter
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Carrie Pallardy, Contributing Reporter
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
Astrid Gobardhan, Data Privacy Officer, VFS Global
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing