Harris Interactive polled 2,223 U.S. adults online between March 6 and March 14 about their perceptions of and plans for the Windows Vista operating system.
About 87 percent had heard of Vista, a nod to the huge marketing campaign Microsoft unleashed to launch the product Jan. 30. That’s up from 47 percent who had heard of it in early December when Harris conducted a similar poll.
While awareness has increased, the percentage of people planning to upgrade in the next 12 months has not. In the December poll, 20 percent of survey respondents who had heard of Vista were planning to upgrade. In the March poll, that number was 12 percent. (Harris notes that there are various factors that introduce potential errors and a meaningful margin of error cannot be calculated.)
Of those planning to switch to Vista, 31 percent will do so through purchasing a new PC with Vista already installed. Another 48 percent intend to install Vista on an existing machine, which runs against some experts’ advice.
Finding a workable combination of Vista (there are four flavors with substantially different features available to consumers) and hardware to run it is proving frustrating for some PC purchasers, as illustrated by a class-action lawsuit filed by a Camano Island woman last week.
“I think this underlines the issues with Vista — it’s hard to figure out which version you can run,” Michael Silver, research vice president at Gartner, said in an email. “While Microsoft has a program … to find out which version you can run, the best way to get Vista is on a new PC.”
The poll asked people what operating system ran their primary home PC. Here’s the percentage break down:
Windows XP: 79%;
Windows 98: 5%;
Mac OS X: 5%;
Windows Vista: 3%;
Windows ME: 3%;
Mac OS 9: <3%;
Windows 95: <3%.