The Midnight Release “Parties” are being plugged everywhere I look (or listen), for Microsoft’s Vista release on January 30th (tomorrow). It makes me long for the chance to go wait in line at the local Apple store for Leopard’s release – now that’s a party, and one that isn’t hyped much at all, at least in comparison. But the eve of Vista’s release has me thinking about the breadth of adoption it’ll see in the immediate future.
As with any operating system release, consumers tend to have a “wait and see” approach to allow time for bugs to be patched. Yet Apple lets another cat out of the bag and you can’t hold the consumers back from getting in the door to upgrade their machines to the latest and greatest platform – The patient ones are the ones who wait till they get to their car to install it, rather than in store! This of course is a generalization, as there are many who are not accounted for in the hordes that show up at Apple Retail Stores.
But how will it play out for Vista? The “parties” are so widespread (at places like Circuit City, CompUSA, MicroCenter, etc), how many people will actually show up at these places? Taking into account the scale of Windows to OS X users, will the comparison of immediate adoption be parallel? Will it really be a party? (In the Apple lines everyone is having a great time and genuinely excited for the release. When cars drive by asking what the fuss is about, an ecstatic crowd exclaims, “Apple’s releasing [Insert Cat Name Here] tonight!!!!!!!”) I’ve read a few accounts of dismay with Vista beta previews, and many more who plan to hold it at arm’s length for sometime, choosing rather, to stick with the ever again XP until Microsoft’s bugs and other problems can be worked-out and properly addressed in Vista.
I guess it really can’t be an Apples to Apples comparison. While both Apple’s OS X and Microsoft’s Windows XP launched in 2001, the former has seen major update releases almost yearly. The latter however is just now (6 years later) getting around to releasing an updated/new operating system platform. So the millions of starved users (that haven’t already switched) may very well be out in force tonight – but is it out of excitement, or just a change of scenery? And how long before they ditch Vista and make the move to OS X…?